[Jandek] Re: Greetings all

Spencer Graham soccerdude219 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 18 17:10:56 PDT 2007

I've always thought there was a considerable amount of time between The Beginning and Put My Dream... His voice sounds suddenly deeper and more weathered, and just generally older. At the same time, his voice already sounds like this in the Trubee interview from 1985, so who knows?

Aunt Acid <anxietyparty at yahoo.com> wrote:

Welcome to the list! Your theory is certainly interesting, and plausible, and I don't think I've seen or heard anyone looking at it that way before. What are your thoughts on the solo voice albums though? My theory for those has been that at some point in the man's life, he became very very ill, probably bedridden and too weak to get around much. Maybe it was cancer, maybe it was some other illness that required long-term treatment (like kemo) that makes you frail and weak. 

Either way, my thoughts on this are: what do you do if this happens to you, and you're Jandek? Well you can't just stop being Jandek because of it, so you do the only thing you have the strength to do: speak. You get a voice-activated cassette recorder so you can hold it in your hand while you sit, or just pick it up whenever an idea comes to you. For all I know, those long tracks on "Put My Dream On This Planet" could've been recorded over the course of a week or even longer, if he just picked the recorder up whenever it struck him to do so.

What also led me to this idea was the content of the lyrics. I know, I know, so many of you reading this will probably tell me I'm reading too much into it or taking the man too literally, but when all he gives you in these albums IS the writing, I think it takes on a new level of importance. He seems like he's almost pleading or begging to be spared from some awful thing that has his life in it's clutches, while also rationalizing all of it down to nothing, like his wants and needs don't matter because he's "stuck", unless you help him. 

This is also a point that I see when I listen to The Cell, or even just think about him performing live so much now, and the way he looks (skinny, frail). Alot of folks will probably just jump on my ass for this, and I know alot of you said before that you thought he looked like he had cancer or was dying...well I look at the live shows, the frail body frame, and references in The Cell all culminating in the image of someone who has already battled with cancer (or something similar) and has overcome it. Is it really beyond reason to imagine a person who has overcome an illness feeling like they have a new lease on life? Maybe he feels like going out and playing live is his way of stamping out any traces of his illness, psychologically. He now has proven himself to be stronger than it is/was. 

Anyway, just thoughts. It could be a bunch of overanalyzed bullshit on my behalf, and the man is just a normal artist who has retired from his day job and is letting the world see him before he's done. 


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