[Jandek] More details on Canticle of Castaway

Michael.Goldman at CH2M.com Michael.Goldman at CH2M.com
Fri Apr 23 07:18:58 PDT 2010

Good notes.  Haven't heard it yet.

I'm looking forward to the Atlanta release myself!

From: jandek-bounces+mgoldman=ch2m.com at mylist.net [mailto:jandek-bounces+mgoldman=ch2m.com at mylist.net] On Behalf Of Danen Jobe
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2010 1:15 AM
To: jandek at mylist.net
Subject: Re: [Jandek] More details on Canticle of Castaway

I would agree that this album continues the internal stream of consciousness approach of the last few studio albums (or "series of dreams" which I like fine). There's an interesting leap if you take "London Tuesday" and play it back to back with "Dream of Blue Icicles." "London" so deals with fame and consciousness, of - for God's sake - facing those fans straight on with nothing but an acoustic guitar and calling them out and asking who in the world they are. There's a similar technique, of course, on "Austin" but "London Tuesday" is even more bare in the sense of artist/audience. So with "Icicles" we get something utterly different - a plunge into the psyche of this guy complete with visions. He's come close to this on a few earlier albums, yet so many Jandek LPs are actually about the EXPERIENCE of the world, of the feel of feet on concrete and the places he's gone and relationships he's had and people he's known. So this sequence seems to wander further into the psyche, distancing itself from the outside world, and I often feel that the "you" he's confronting is himself (again, a "dual personality" theme has been consistent of late. I recall that the Atlanta show is a vivid experience of this self confronting self and wondering who's real. Can't recommend that enough, and we're not that far from a release! Whoo hoo!).

This record feels on the harsher side, which sometimes contrasts with some of the other studio albums between "Icicles" and this one. "Not Hunting for Meaning" suggested a movement towards this but still the half an hour of "Don't Go Out" is jarring, and reminds me of nothing so much as Baudelaire without the eros and intestines. This guy really DOESN'T WANT TO GO OUT but this sentiment is used to greatly accentuate the blues of the guitar, which is veers between a Delta feeling and clashing, black-key tonality. I might add, as well, that I recommend experiencing this whole and not reading the lyrics first (though they come in handy after - thanks!). Just let it waft over you and then wait for release.

That release doesn't come on this album. No funny song or quiet, dreamy song as on some of the earlier records. This jarring acoustic stream moves into an even MORE jarring acoustic track, the utterly caustic "You Weren't," which is "short" at 6:51 but feels longer (the other songs, curiously, feel much more compact). This leads to the other, weirder acoustic track "Boys Like Blue" which again carries the listener into this dark and dreamy place.

Ultimately, I'm curious as to where this series is going. Thus far this instrumentation is consistent (though the playing style moves around the blues/ballad/brutal canon) in a vocal/acoustic sense. Perhaps an album will alter this? Perhaps we'll begin to see new themes? I recall the shift in focus between the albums around "A Kingdom He Likes" and "Khartoum"/"What Else Does the Time Mean?" These albums are another shift from those, and show no signs of abating. It would be easy, I think, for Corwood just to rack up concerts and release those only, but the studio albums are good and interesting and I hope the listeners, at least, are getting them as well.

On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 8:31 PM, <jbswafford21 at tntech.edu<mailto:jbswafford21 at tntech.edu>> wrote:
After a couple of spins, the new album fits perfectly with the last few studio
albums sonically and lyrically...  first song "Don't Go Out" is 29 minutes and gets
pretty intense around the 17 minute mark as the guitar starts getting
thrashed... vocals sound a murky when compared to the last couple of releases
especially win the line of "You move and you're dead..." vocals kinda bottom out
or clips or something... second song "You Weren't" shortest song on the album
clocking in at 6'56'' highlight of the album for me...most upbeat song on the
album musically and with the phrasing of the lyrics...Ithe last one "Boys Like
Blue" mentions different types of personalities and what colors represent
them..."City men like grey, black and blue... Countrymen like green, brown and
red, tones of the earth...I like the theory someone posted on here about the last
few studio albums being a "series of dream albums"... this one continues that
feel as the lyrics make references to dreams and have a distorted descriptive
feel to them kinda like a dream... two thumbs up... like I said, cover is a B & W
head shot of the Rep... looks like the background has been possibly whited
out... kinda reminds me of The Living End sorta except he's much older and

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