[Jandek] how to 'do a jandek'?

jesus kenievel knievelperu at hotmail.com
Sat Jun 27 13:27:49 PDT 2009

I agree that things have changed since Jandek started out, but I still think that someone could do it.
I think that there are two main differences between Jandek and all those promotional cds that you use to receive at the magazine you worked for, (for example).  First of all he's Jandek and there aren't too many people I'm aware of that sound like Jandek.  He's really got his own thing going, can you think of another artist that is similar, and not just in the music, but take the whole Jandek experience into consideration?  I'll bet a whole bunch of those CDs that your magazine use to receive sounded a lot alike. 
Second, he's been doing this for over 30 years.  How many artists do you think have continued to release material themselves, with so little public exposure, for so long, (hell, even R. Stevie Moore has received more exposure in the media than Jandek)?  It was about seven years after he released his first record before he got the Trubee interview and over twenty (about 28 releases) until Katy Vine wrote her article.  
I say forget MySpace. Forget the whole internet. If you want to make music just do it.  Do the same thing he did and see what happens.  Who's to say that some college radio station won't hang on to your CD and someone won't pick it up in 5 years and ask themselves, "who the hell is this", or someone at a tiny music magazine won't listen to it and be interested enough to review it?  
It isn't just how Jandek went about distributing his music that has made it the success it is, (this of course is dependent on what your idea of success is).  Like anything worth spending one's time on, it's the content that matters.  Does what you produce have the same, or parallel qualities?  

Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2009 13:52:58 +0100
Subject: Re: [Jandek] how to 'do a jandek'?
From: restlessboy at gmail.com
To: jandek at mylist.net

I think you misunderstood my post a little. The reason I mention Lady Gaga is precisely to make the contrast between the way artists like her are marketed and how jandek was marketed. Because Jandek clearly was marketed. He sent his records to radio stations and people who he felt would spread the word. he clearly never wanted to be famous or rich from doing it, but he obviously wanted people to listen to his records and enjoy them. That he succeeded in doing so (eventually) is testament to his faith in his art, and his hard work.

The point I'm really making is that it's a different world now. When Jandek sends his records to a radio station that record stays there in the archives for someone to find. Sooner or later someone picks it up and thinks 'What on earth is this?' - because lets face it the records look intriguing even if you'd no idea what they were. There's no modern equivalent. There is just so much music that any attempt at humility in how you promote yourself is, I fear, pretty much doomed.

You couldn't just make a myspace page and hope people stumbled across it, for example, because there are far too many other people with myspace pages and how would anyone ever just happen upon it? Same if you decided to just do what Jandek did and press up a record and send it out. I used to edit the reviews section of my university magazine, we were a tiny magazine serving a fairly small university and we were swamped with promotional cds. The next jandek could've been in there and we would never have known.

I'd like to think there's a way for someone wishing to just get their records out there but still remain humble and anonymous to do so these days. I just don't know what it is.

On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 6:08 PM, jesus kenievel <knievelperu at hotmail.com> wrote:

Can there be another Jandek?

Of course. In fact, I wish there were more.

I have always seen Jandek not so much as a musician, but as a genre.


In your blog post you talk about things like record companies and Lady Gaga.  

These things are so far from what Jandek is all about (as far as I'm concerned) that your post becomes incomprehensible.


What is it that you want?  To make music or to become famous?  These are two very different things.

I think that the aims of something like Lady Gaga and Jandek are much different.  Lady Gaga isn't an artist, she does not produce art, she creates a disposable product.

I believe that in 100 years people will still be listening to Jandek, maybe even less than the number of people who do today, but someone will be.

I doubt that Lady Gaga will be anything in 100 years, except maybe an example of our culture's obsession with instant gratification.


The Rep just made his records and put them out there.  I have no evidence that he had any inclination to become a celebrity.

There's no reason that someone else can't do the same thing.


Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 19:33:33 +0100
From: restlessboy at gmail.com
To: jandek at mylist.net
Subject: [Jandek] how to 'do a jandek'?

Hi all,

first post to the list - recent convert etc...

Just wanted to share a blog I wrote just as I was first becoming interested in Jandek. It's less about his music, more about his approach to releasing it - and whether such a technique would be possible in this web 2.0 information-overload age. I'd just post it right here but it's a bit long.

Interested to hear any of your thoughts anyway....




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