[Jandek] London Tuesday

Danen Jobe danen1970 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 24 20:40:30 PDT 2008

What I wouldn't give to have been at this show. I've heard reports from
those who were there, but still...

This one will bring you to tears. The guitar playing is surprisingly
elegant, and I find the album to be hypnotic, lulling the listener from part
to part of the song. The extended song itself is naked, extended, brutal,
hopeful, ultimately alone, and isn't that the point, in some ways, of the
Corwood acoustic albums, the idea of a man alone singing about a man being

Except that he's not alone, and the "you" in the lyrics refers directly to
the audience.

I still come back to the idea that Jandek is principally blues music, just
its own KIND of blues music. Here we find an open-sounding blues that talks
about its being an open sounding blues, and ponders the listener while the
audience (then, as in live at the show, and now, at home listening) is
listening. As in these lyrics:

I got these blues/and I throw them at you
Why are you here anyway/catching my blues
Go out into the yellow sun/ be happy, have fun
But you come into this cellar/ looking for the death bed blues.

The title of the extended song, "No Mind is a Good Mind" brings back the old
riff on the saying "The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste" rewritten simply
as "the Mind is a Terrible Thing." In this piece, the mind is exactly that,
a rival to the songwriter, a dark twin lurking out of sight. The audience,
then, is even worse than the mind in a way, as it keeps peeking in and
wondering how the battle is going. But not to worry. the singer has gotten
used to us being there. In fact, he lets us know at one point that he's not
yet out of breath. And he's singing these words not simply to a microphone
and recorder but TO the audience. Moreover, there's nowhere to hide here, no
band to rustle next to for camaraderie. Here, it's an hour and change of the
death bed blues, and one of the finest late-period acoustic albums ever.
Don't miss it.

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