[Jandek] Amsterdam

michael goldman coyoteboy12 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 12 03:09:16 PST 2007

The Amsterdam show was actually kind of buried in the
William S Burroughs Tribute night.  He played after
the screening of the new Burroughs documentary
(actually quite a good film).  The Paradisio is sort
of a building with a building and Jandek's performance
was in an upstairs alcove of sorts.  The stage set-up
was the typical sparse, dressed in black visuals we've
come to expect from his live performances.  The first
piece was performed on bass and drums with Jandek
singing in a spoken-word fashion and occaisionally
blowing atonal harmonica.  The lyrics seemed to cover
the rise and fall of deposed king.  For the rest of
the set he strapped on a guitar.  The second peice was
brutal and frantic and the only lyrics were an
occaisional shout of "Am I dreaming ?".  His guitar
was in the high register and staccato.  The rythms
were frantic but slightly jazz tinged.  It was very
reminiscent of the Jimi Hendrix Experience in places
mainly due to Nielson's jazz inflected drumming.  The
bassist was more out off the Laswell/Gunn school but
laid out some killer lines often with very distorted
tone.  That remained the style for the bulk of the set
- he was in excellent voice and seemed to cover his
usual topics - dark humor, desolation.  One standout
number was a gentler, much more tonal song that almost
bordered on R&B.  Interestingly this song was only
about 2.5 minutes.  Just for that reason it would be
unusual for a Jandek live number but there was a
lilting melody and played a nice repeating pattern in
the middle of the fret board - it may have been his
first attempt at a top 40 single.  The final piece was
the most over top revved up piece of punk rock I have
ever seen him play.  At one point I thought he was
trying out a heavy stage move by dropping to his knees
but it turned out he dropped his pick. The final lyric
was a nod to Burroughs - he shouted "Thats when the
ticket exploded".  The show was short by Corwood
standards - roughly an hour but definitely one for the
books - heavy, frantic, and fuzzed up.  It was obvious
he came to rock.  Rumor has it the second night in
Denmark was going to be completely different but I
wasn't able to make that show.  

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