[Jandek] Blue Icicles = First of a series of Dream albums?

Danen Jobe danen1970 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 3 22:12:10 PST 2009

Been meaning to get with the list on this one, but it's been crazy busy in
my side of the world...anyway, if you like this you should pick up the other
three in what's becoming a "modern acoustic" phase - and I say modern
because these feel recorded now, almost beamed in directly after recording,
in fact. At the moment we have the debut of this phase, which you note
below, but that is then followed with "Skirting the Edge," "Not Hunting for
Meaning" and "What Was Out There Disappeared." Am I the only one to hear a
thematic connection between them? If you look at the titles of the last
three it does seem to say something...almost an address of his mental state,
but not simply the depressed side of that (which covered much of the last
acoustic phase), but rather the intangible, the dreamstate, that which is
reflected in the music.

This is, again, radically different from the LAST acoustic phase, though
it's tied in a bit thematically with the utterly wonderful London Tuesday
and even the "Khartoum" discs. But this is something else, and I do think
the last four (studio) acoustic albums should be connected in a similar
manner to the early phase, the middle phase (or "early CD era") and what has
been known as the late phase - but that term doesn't work anymore. We've
covered a lot of water under the proverbial bridge since then, after all. Do
we call these the "mature albums?" Ugh. No. But the Beckett comparisons are
back for me, the meta-sense of the artist aware of himself as an artist and
communicating it. That's what "London Tuesday" is all about, but here he's
not DIRECTLY addressing an audience in front of him, but rather a group of
unknowns, and to these people he's unwinding a long and hypnotic dream state
that concerns itself with romance (of course, Jandek is nothing if not a
romantic. Then again, so was Baudelaire...) and spirituality to a certain
extent, but maybe even more than that with the dream itself. Doesn't that
seem to sum up the title "What Was Out There Disappeared"? What else is a
dream save the intanglible, that thing you have for a fleeting moment but
which vanishes upon awakening. Perhaps you hang on to a single image, but
that's still a part of you, that dream, a piece of your psyche. Here, Jandek
is giving that to us, an exposed subconscious with all the trippy imagery
that goes with this, and yet it adds up to me to a reflection of life. And
what else is Jandek music, ever, save a reflection of one person's life?

Okay, I don't know if that rant made sense but I'm not going to edit it -
just thoughts. Point is, if you don't have these discs you should get them,
and listen to them in order. It makes an interesting trip.


On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 10:33 AM, The Bear With The Thorn In His Side <
doesabearwoof at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Picked up Blue Icicles the other week, and finally got around to listening
> to it.  Maybe it's some kind of trompe l'oreille (trick the ear) thing, but
> I find myself noticing actual riffs and repeated things...
> Must post my sort of tribute to Jandek here soon (youtube clip,
> www.youtube.com/timmybear, 'Jandek Goes to Fremont, New Hampshire')
> "...men may become hairy as bears, if such is their fancy, without fear of
> excommunication or deprivation of their political rights." Charles Mackay
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