[Jandek] fort worth saturday

Jandekian Jandekian jandekian at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 22 17:02:21 PDT 2007

i used to read postings on this site from people who had attended a live jandek event and always rolled my eyes when they would say something like, "o.k., here are my initial impressions, but i'm still trying to take it all in / i'm still in a daze / i'm still stunned"...etc, etc.  well....uh....here are my initial impressions, but i'm still trying to process what i just saw and heard.  i'm still stunned and in a daze.  (>>>)  for starters, simply put, "fort worth saturday" sounded like the grand ol' opry on acid.  the music was jandek country-blues.  and it was a GOOD thing.  i sat in the front row, approximately 10 feet away from the rep, directly in his line of sight as he looked at his music stand and he repeatedly smiled and laughed during the set, obviously enjoying himself and his band.  there were a couple of times i thought he was going to just break out and dance across the stage.  from my vantage point, he was jammin' and REALLY getting into it.  everytime he
 started playing his harmonica, he was very aggressive and it almost seemed like he was going to slam into the microphone with it.  of course, he never even uttered a "thank you", but he did actually reach up and slightly tip his hat during one episode of post-song applause.  (baby steps, sterling....c'mon, you can do it)  here's a sprinkling of some of the lyrics in no particular order, except for the first ones, which are from the opening number:
  "come to my party.  we'll drink champagne all day.  we'll wear real fancy clothes."  (and then a reference to):  "the baroness of lynchburg"
  (at times during this number, he howled like hank williams, sr.)  "got those southern blues.  to myself i'm walking.  to myself i'm talking." 
  "can't find a way to justify my going on.  help me through this day.  i can't seem to find a way."
  "i don't want to win or lose, i only want to live with you."
  "woke up this morning in a bathtub on display.  where are my clothes?  they brought me a suitcase filled with towels.  i've been drugged and robbed.  how else could i wake up in a bathroom on display."  (during this song, he referred to himself "standing in the middle of the lobby wearing only a towel"....YIKES!!!  there's an image for ya!!!)
  (this was a waltz, believe it or not)  "i'm a working man.  don't shirk my responsibility.  i'm counting my blessings.  i keep truckin' along.  saving up for the day.  that day's here."
  (and reminiscent of "get real wild")  "let's get in trouble.  let's do something to get in trouble.  trouble's all around.  no place else is alive.  and now, where are you?  you're in trouble.  you stiffen up and tremble."
  (the gospel number)  "i'm a new man.  i got the lord god in me.  gonna clean up this place.  don't leave no dirt around here.  lord god got ahold of me.  i'm a new man.  i'm here for you.  look out, ya hear?"  (during this song, he kept making motions with his right hand like he was preaching or something like that....or maybe just imitating a 60's-esque soul brother walk.  who knows?)
  "when the day's over, i'm that much closer to retirement.  lots of pretty girls on the ballroom floor.  they're playing us for a fool."
  "if i had to take 100 pills, i couldn't find the remedy for how i feel today.  i get me up in the morning.  i get me through the day.  i put me to sleep.  it's the only way.  used to have a memory, but it hurts too bad.  now i feel much better.  don't know who i am."
  it ain't that kind of party.  i ain't no newcomer here.  but you can take a seat right over there.  waitin' for the train of fools."
  "can't think about some love i lost.  they don't matter anymore."
  "the nightime has transpired.  intruders are here.  we grappled without touching.  that's the life of a ghost.  i'm too primitive.  i'm....looking....for....the....kill."
  "i took a slow boat to china.  nobody even told me to."
  the band:  susan alcorn stole the show with her insane steel guitar playing.  she was an animal on that thang!!!  ralph white's banjo, fiddle and more than anything else, his kalimba playing was beautiful.  what a mood he conjured up.  ryan williams was exquisite on bass (upright/acoustic & electric).  rock solid, not too much out there, but just that foundation you need to hear and feel.  will johnson drove the show with his pounding.  he even broke out the ol' fly-swatter on a song or two.  when these guys were jamming, they were cookin' with gas!!!  they would lay back when mr. smith was singing and when he would bring the harp up to his mouth, it exploded with pure, texas country energy.  i've said it before and i'll say it again:  YEE-FREAKIN'-HAW!!!!  i'm not a professional reviewer (duh!), but those are my gut feelings less than 24 hours after the fact.  also, the show was filmed and recorded.  (woo-hoo!!)

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