[Jandek] jandek philadelphia show

Joe DeCarolis foma1984 at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 17 15:43:09 PDT 2008

That show was my 3rd time seeing Jandek, and it by far the worst.  The past 2 times have been deeply affecting, and got very real emotional reactions out of me.  this philadelphia show was as boring as that blog says.  the harp and woodwinds were a nice idea, but too often they did the same things over and over, making it all blend together.  and not in a good, thematic way.  the bits about dancing and the play were interesting, but the lyrics didnt seem to have any coherent theme like other times when i'd seen him.  

Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2008 11:11:53 -0400
From: ian.nauroth at gmail.com
To: jandek at mylist.net
Subject: [Jandek] jandek philadelphia show

Here's that review from the shitty paper.

Pretty harsh, but accurate on some levels. The fans defend him in the comments.

Overall I enjoyed the show. Musically there was some interesting things going on. The harp is just a beautiful sounding instrument and thus interesting
to see used in a Jandek performance. Jandek's piano playing was sparse
as would be expected. Unfortunately I had some difficulty hearing it
from where I was sitting. The bassoon gave everything this underlying deep atmospheric tone which was accented by the unconventional clarinetist. He did things like taking off the mouthpiece and just blowing air through to create a fluttering sound not unlike bird wings. 

The players were all very good, but often seemed to be playing too independently rather then off of each other. There wasn't much variation in the overall sound of the songs (this ultimately led to me cutting out early). The musicians seemed too physically distant from one another to really be
connecting. The bassoon player and the clarinet player were right next
to each other and seemed to be reacting to one another more than anyone

At times throughout the performance you could hear motorcycles and trucks passing in the street outside prompting Jandek to offer a glimpse of his sense of humor by ad libbing into the lyrics "that sound is annoying." I found myself wondering how much of what he was saying was rooted in the moment. He also seemed to be examining thoughts on expectations and maybe exploring the idea of keeping up an air of mystery. He also moaned through
some expressions of hopelessness and similarly disheartening themes.
In a welcomed departure from his woeful meanderings he went into an interesting bit about meeting a
woman at a party who had a bloody nose and dancing around the room
with her. I wondered if this was also rooted in actual events or if it was part of some larger metaphor or imagined folk tale.

I think there have been much better performances based on what I know about previous shows. It was still pretty good and if nothing else interesting to see the myth in the flesh. I haven't followed him so closely as of late. I'm not the hugest fan but I definitely am finding myself with a renewed interest. It is what it is and anyone who comes to a Jandek show should know what they are getting  themselves into. I think if you are going to see an artist who is unconventional in every aspect you set yourself up for disappointment when you expect the same kind of experience you'd get from your average show. It's a whole separate set of rules and that's what makes it entertaining. It's the fascination of it all that keeps me interested. It's wholly unique and that's got nothing to do with being pretentious. That argument is a rather tired one.

Wow. That turned out to be rather long-winded. Hope you enjoyed it! 

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