[Jandek] Chicago - "Is this on?"

Lauren Ciechanowski ciechano at stolaf.edu
Fri Sep 22 13:29:51 PDT 2006

While you may think the lyrics were a bit weak, I'm more inclined to think
that they were (gasp!) rock song lyrics. Think about it - the whole
evening was sex drugs and rock and roll, full of head-bobbing delight. He
was playing in a bar - I thought the lyrics and the music suited the venue
perfectly, and I fully believe he was playing to that aesthetic. That's my
thought, at least.


> The lyrics (as they've been trending lately) seemed a little weak in my
> opinion, at least when examined separate from the music.  Curiously, a few
> songs seemed to employ a rhyming couplet, in contrast to his style on
> nearly
> all of the records.  I guess the weakness of the lyrics was not that they
> were generally few and far between for each song, but rather the songs
> took
> on a sort of predictable, repetitive format as the show progressed (seems
> hard to believe that anything jandek does could be predictable).

> generally start each song with a lead in, then a build-up of rhthym
> followed, then he'd sing a lyric or two, grind around for a few minutes,
> sing another couple of lyrics, grind some more, and then close with the
> same
> opening lyric or two.  the words themselves, in isolation, were not
> particularly evocative, but in many instances were very powerful when
> combined with the music and the way he timed their delivery (e.g., the
> song
> about the red skirt where he quipped "I don't know why I feel this way..."
> probably the most poignant expression about indifference I've ever heard).

As for the wag, I just don't appreciate smart-asses who think they're
funny just because you can hear them at a show. He qualified as a 'wag'
because of that, in my opinion, and not necessarily because of shouting
something at Jandek. Even for a bar, it's kind of 'waggy' to do that and
think you're cool.


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