[Jandek] Gainesville Monday

Michael.Goldman at CH2M.com Michael.Goldman at CH2M.com
Wed Dec 3 15:05:01 PST 2008

The Gainesville show was amazing.  A power trio comprised of The Representative from Corwood on fretted bass, Rob Rushin on guitar and Chad Voight on drums.  The stage set was sparse and looked like a concrete entrance into a bunker.  All three players started the show and most of the numbers seated.  Once the rhythm had built up and things were rolling the Rep stood up and walked to the mike.  Out of 8 pieces, 3 of them were in a brutal, punk rock mode - these were brilliant, great slabs of bass, drummer Voight pounding out rhythms and Rushin accenting off beats and playing staccato phrases reminiscent of Discipline era Fripp.  He was getting a really nice, slightly raunchy tone and sadly popped a string.  He switched to a hollow body 335 style guitar for the rest of the night and an acoustic guitar for a pair of beautiful folk-style songs that are unlike anything in the Jandek canon to date.  Rushin played repeated chordal/modal patterns on the acoustic and Voight lightly filled in the spaces with brushes and mallets on the kit.  The Rep soloed on bass, moving in and out of consonance with Rushin's harmonies and sang in a straightforward way at the upper reaches of his range - the effect was slightly pastoral and quite lovely.  These songs also had the best lyrics of the evening.  I didn't write them down so I am hoping someone else did.  On another piece the Rep played harmonica over some beautiful loops that Rushin laid out in a ambient style.  This song had the most definite tonal center and melodically would have fit in a folk mode albeit an odd one.  Only one number seemed to not quite hit the mark, early in the set, the band tried a blues in a 12 bar format with a 12/8 shuffle feel.  It seemed a little forced and all three seemed relieved when they abandoned that idea and moved on to another brutal rock number.  They closed with one of the strongest pieces of the evening, a rumbling, massive freak-out that sounded like the Velvet Underground covering King Crimson.  Rushin spun out some wild guitar solos while the Rep stood mid stage rocking back and forth obviously digging the manic playing of his band mates.  Voight and Rushin seemed have an easy time locking in together and were often hitting off accents in a call and response fashion - on the brutal numbers, this was a devistating effect.  Voight really stood out - remember his name, you will hear it again, he is one of the finest improvising drummers around.  Rushin was also stellar - he brought a very studied approach and strict technique to the table.  The technique didn't get in the way of the more Dionysian approach the Rep was taking.  In fact, that was one of the aspects that made the evening so thrilling - Rushin's Apollonian methods in collision with Rep's free approach and Voight holding it down and living in both worlds.  No doubt about it, this was a hot band.  We've got our fingers crossed that the taping and filming will be to Corwood's standards.  "Gainesville Monday" will make an impressive addition to the catalogue and improvisational rock music in general.
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