[Jandek] my first Jandek show.

Cornslaw Industries cornslaw at gmail.com
Sat Oct 11 06:59:14 PDT 2008

Hello list, usually just a lurker, but today a poster...
I saw Jandek for the first time last night in Columbus and I was not
disappointed. It was a little less song-centric than I thought it might be;
in fact, it was very free and exploratory. Maybe because of the free
improvers he was playing with, maybe because I am not all that familiar with
this post-2004 live performing Jandek.

By my count, there were about a half dozen songs, all with long extended
improvisational sections. Ryan Jewell on drums and toys and C. Spencer Yeh
on violin and toys seemed to really tap in to and compliment Jandek, who
played a pair of Korg Tritons. Also performing was Derek DiCenzo on electric

The show lasted just over the scheduled hour and a half. The little theater
space in the Wexner Center is a great room. Very cool stuff. Not really much
more to say. I mean, when I first heard about Jandek in the early/mid 1990s,
the mystique of this reclusive, anti-public artist had firmly been set in
place. I never really thought I'd have a chance to see him, let alone try to
convey the experience to a listserv. So, forgive me if I am vague in my
conveyance. I wonder how the experience of seeing Jandek live is different
for those who may have discovered him in the early days when there may have
been a "he might play, I just haven't seen him" feeling. Likewise, how do
people who discovered him after he "emerged" as a live performer or after
the documentary experience the live performance? But I digress...

Loved overhearing conversations prior to the show. ("I'm just so happy to be
around people that GET Jandek," "I saw [this show] and [that show]. He
played [this instrument] and [that instrument]" (seemingly said just so
everyone around them could hear it, since both of the members of the
conversation seemed to have equal knowledge of these previous shows), and
"People are always like: I don't like THAT music, but they just don't
understand. You get it, right?") Made me think about the listserv
conversations from a few weeks ago concerning "getting" Jandek.

Just before the final song, the Rep looked over at Yeh and gave him a little
half-smile. Yeh returned the sentiment. It was a nice moment to see a
glimpse of the human behind the persona.

Take care,
Colin Helb, PhD [ABD]
American Culture Studies
Instructor,  Telecommunications
Bowling Green State University
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