[Jandek] Jandek in Ann Arbor and thoughts after

Neil candle-ends at sbcglobal.net
Thu May 29 06:10:49 PDT 2008


I just joined the list. Some things stayed in my head from seeing Jandek in Ann Arbor, and I figured this would be the place to share them.

One thing I noticed, that I had not previously particularly noticed, was a sense of humor. For example, he had a piece in which he continually said "jump in the fire . . . in the conflagration . . . come on let's go . . . jump in the fire" and right at the end he announced, "oooh! it's hot!!"

I'll share my memories about other pieces -- one was about "i have three neckties, which I change every hour," and about watching the gin in his glass dissapear. Another was about sitting in London thinking about Indian gurus -- them being positive thinkers and him being a negative one. I also remember one where he sang, "dear diary . . . let's get it on!" This last one made me think that all the pieces he performed sounded like journal entries.

The one line that really stood out to me was I believe in a piece about deliberately hiding himself from the public with "smoke and mirrors." He sang (and I remember this very clearly), in a way that only Jandek could, "YOU'VE ALL BEEN BAMBOOZLED! IT DOESN' T MEAN ANYTHING!" You could hardly blame people for leaving after they heard that, don't you think?

To me that sounded like a direct reference about his work to the audience. I wanted to pick the collective brain of this list in regards to what other songs does he discuss his writing, or his relationship with his audience? One that I noticed, that I only picked up on after the concert was in "I Stepped Out of It" from "The Humility of Pain" where he asks, "Why am I doing this? Because you let me." 

Anyway, let me know what you think -- I'm sure you all are more familiar with his work then I am.

Neil Paananen

I have a podcast at www.candle-ends.com.
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