[Jandek] Jandek in Manhattan

James Holloway jwholloway at mac.com
Sat Apr 14 21:16:30 PDT 2007

Hi all, a few quick impressions of the Jandek gig in at Abrons Art  
Center on LES in Manhattan	.

1. Two and a half hours. A very comfortable theater, though it got  
somewhat stuffy about an hour into the show. A sellout.
2. Drummer (Pete Nolan) was incredible, as was bassist -- laid down a  
pretty intense groove. With a great rhthym section, you can get away  
with damn near anything.
3. First song established what I took to be the theme of the night: I  
walked through a grocery store/I walked through a grocery store...  
maybe someday I will find something I believe in.
4. The next few songs dealt with seeing/being seen in dreams, and  
waking up startled.
5. Then a series of songs about a crime -- property trespassing? Then  
a Jandekian description of prison: No women... all men... they are  
incarcerated. Description of a hirsute, tatooed prisoner.
6. Last two were about alcohol causing separation from God -- then,  
that "apart from my love/your love I don't exist." This would seem to  
support speculation I've read that the Corwood rep is a Christian.
7. Musically, what sounded like a lot of seventh chords and minor  
sixths. Jandek's music has an inner order or structure; it's not  
everybody's bag, of course, but it's obvious to me that he's thought  
through what he does. A great sense of dynamics. Again, for this the  
Corwood rep had a great partner in Mr Nolan, whose intensity was  
Bonhamesque at points.

It's often-noted that Jandek's music can make one feel uncomfortable  
and creepy. That's certainly true. But I left this gig with a big  
grin on my face, and I'm still on something of a high, and without  
chemicals or booze or even fried food. Jandek's in-person vibe is, to  
me, overwhelmingly positive. Maybe I'm reading too much into this,  
but I got an overall sense of geniune "narrative arc" of loss/pain/ 
emptiness, but ending with a sort of redemption. Jandek may be odd,  
and not everybody's bag to be sure, but there is a overriding honesty  
and decency and dignity in his stuff. I've always admired him for so  
resolutely and stubbornly pursuing his strange aesthetic vision for  
lo these thirty-odd years. But what I got from tonight was that in  
some weird way, Jandek partakes of the Universal that informs all  
great art, and tho his way of communicating it is the very definition  
of idiosyncratic, it is authentic/sui generis and, while informed by  
an experience of the tragic, is ultimately positive and redepmtive.  
At this moment, I can say it's one of the five or ten best shows I've  
ever seen, up there with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash,  
Merle Haggard, and Roy Buchanan. Thanks much, Man from Corwood.

James Holloway
Brooklyn, New York
United States of America
jwholloway at mac.com

I am ready to face any challenges that might be foolish enough to  
face me.
      Dwight K. Schrute

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mylist.net/archives/jandek/attachments/20070415/3f76cfcb/attachment.htm

More information about the jandek mailing list