[Jandek] corwood catalog/Further thoughts on Helsinki

Danen Jobe danen1970 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 12 07:15:19 PDT 2009

On Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 6:53 AM, Tony Lackey <the_abbott88 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Can anybody scan the latest catalog and post it?  I need to check it
> against my collection... i have some catching up to do.  Thanks.
> Would love to do this but my scanner's busted. Anyone else? It's a sort of
funny catalog, as he's crowded the name of the Helsinki disc in at the
bottom. It's also occuring to me that it will be a while until the next DVD.
Portland, I guess. Hopefully he can keep those releases together, or close
together, from now on.

Wanted to mention a few things more about the new album. It's a twin of
sorts, cover-wise, to Hasselt. Another B & W picture, also in the city of
performance, but THIS time it's in front of a majestic boat on a dock with
glorious gigantic buildings framing the background. His expression, poise,
and overcoat are pretty well identical to Hasselt.

The music is also a twin of sorts, almost a b-side to the main show, the way
that the two pieces on "Glasgow Sunday 2005" work together. There's a lot of
movement in this music, I must say, and I heard this more on the second
listen than the first. I also was even more aware of what's annoying about
the disc: the audience. The horrible, horrible audience. The talking is so
loud at times it nearly obscures the music, as in you can imagine him
sitting at the piano, trying to follow the improv, communicating well with
the harpist (I love this aspect - so much neat interplay) and then this girl
in the front row, or this old guy nearby, or sometimes several groups of
people start talking up a storm. Sometimes this invokes a dissonant response
- he gets loud and they shut up. By the end of the show, however, when the
harp is also playing some crazy noise and the music is building in tension,
the crowd no longer cares about even this. You hear them speak until he's
done playing, you hear them speak for another moment of silence, and then
everyone erupts in applause, as though they'd been hanging on every note.
But they haven't.

This brings to mind the idea that Jandek is as much about the audience as
the performer. Here, the audience is almost a "third instrument," something
blurring the landscape, and influencing the music by pushing Corwood to play
louder. This he does, though he always moves back into the bliss and
sometimes stays there for long periods of time. Not that I think this is
intentional, that he told them to talk or something, that would be even more
annoying. No, this is how they spent their time, oblivious to the recording
of their conversation. If I spoke the language, I could tell you what it's
about. I don't, so it's just chatter. How much it bothers you will depend on
what you think of all this. Most of the time, I can ignore it. Still worth
picking up.

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