[Jandek] Another Glasgow Monday review/ Critical Rant

Danen D. Jobe djobe at uark.edu
Sun Sep 24 22:36:40 PDT 2006


Still trying to make sense of this one. The Erik Satie comparison seems to hold water (and is, really, complimentary), and I must say that this is Dusted's "best" Jandek review to date, in that the critic seemed to consider the music. Yet...

could not get past the legend. It's funny how critics like this one are so in the shadow of Ye Ole Jandek that he is simply incapable of getting his point across.  They try to put this Jandek side by side with the artist behind the early albums and find a single path that leads from 0739 to 0785. On one hand, they bitch about "Khartoum" and the like, claiming them to be utterly unlistenable and yet complain when he creates something this "lovely" (even they have to give it that). It strikes me as funny, like the guy who reacted to the Chicago show by saying, "do people really like this stuff?" Were you there, man? It's like the guy in Chicago who yelled "where have you been" (funny enough - I wish the man would've responded) or the MANY who keep saying "why now?" Why not now? Why can't he just decide to do something different. The thing I think this reviewer misses is that it IS still about the music. But Jandek never subscribed to anybody's idea of what a musician was suppo
sed to do and still doesn't. I don't know, I wish people could stop tripping about the "sudden change" and realize that the enigmatic "just the music, nothing more," primitive musician is a creation of the press. If Jandek were no more than that then I think the music would've stopped after "Lost Cause." But he's a musician, and the one thing that neither this critic nor most others I've read has done is take him at that level. He's writing songs, playing them, and creating a modern improvisationally based music that dances an edge most couldn't be comfortable with. If anything, I think his live appearances have bolstered the music beyond the man, not the other way around - does that make sense? You don't know what's going to happen next, or who with, or why. Some songs fall flat and others soar - such is the way with improvised music (as any jazz/improv listener knows). So judge the set by these standards, and not how it measures up to what he was doing two decades ago. I gu
ess musical criticism's always been that way - Coltrane heard no end of it in the sixties nor Miles after Trane's death - a critical insistance of measuring up the new stuff with the old. Just let it be - sit back and enjoy. I don't know - I shouldn't be so reactionary. I suppose I feel like critics are missing the point for the most part. 

Maybe it's 'cause I think "Glasgow Monday" is the best damn thing released by anybody this year. It's hard for me to imagine hearing it and not being touched - unless, of course, you were looking for it to be something it isn't. 

Oh well. I think all this is pushing me towards hitting Indie in December. Anyone else going? It's a nice half-way mark between Toronto and Chicago (but could somebody tell me, please, WHY THERE???). Maybe Nilan Perrera will fly down and layer guitar sounds over John McEntire's drum. Or maybe he'll have race cars rev in the background to create a constant drone while he plays percussion on an oil can. What the hell, I think I have to know.

I may just have enough of the credit card paid back by then to pull it off...


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