[Jandek] "Lesser" Jandek?

Brendan Stewart brendankifostewart at gmail.com
Fri May 14 01:40:54 PDT 2010

I totally get you on the Kingdom note. I've read at least 2 reviews that  
seem to just sort of discard the album (maybe because of the other jandek  
things that happened around that time?), which is depressing as Kingdom  
was the first jandek I had ever heard. It stands out to me as being one of  
the more musically dynamic records of his later period stuff, whereas many  
times his vocals are what stand out (Khartoum and The End of it All). I'll  
be honest, I find his recent stuff the most difficult, and haven't had as  
much of a chance to explore it as I'd like, but that sudden  
catch-a-downbeat moment (the strong double downbeat stomp) in the middle  
of "I gave my eternity" is far more emotionally deep for me than almost  
anything else his recent music has had.

I woke up is certainly a classic, although I don't think its as overlooked  
as I thought at first. The last 3-4 years of his music are significantly  
different than the slow-ramble talk stuff in the few years before it, so  
maybe it would be okay to say that these are the most passed up?

Side note, I think Stay Me Here is one of the most upfront and aggressive  
things I've ever heard from Jandek. Moments like those are making me  
constantly re-evaluate how far he has come since Twelfth/Graven.

On Wed, 12 May 2010 10:35:31 -0600, Danen Jobe <danen1970 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Once upon a time (many moons so blue ago), this is what the Jandek list  
> was
> like. A few of us on here will remember this: when I joined the list in
> 1998, there was no documentary or Katy Vine interview or tours or books  
> (ah
> hem, looks at self in mirror) or anything like that, there was just
> discussion about the discography. In fact, at first, there was only
> discussion of a discography that didn't EXIST anymore - at that time "The
> Beginning" was only about to come out and the reissues hadn't started,  
> and
> yet nearly everyone had at least HEARD most everything, had collected at
> least a good chunk of the vinyl and was ready to throw down about it.  
> Sorry
> to get nostalgic, 'cause I sure don't miss the part of this list that was
> all cult-y and into "I saw Jandek baggin' groceries at Safeway down in
> Houston. I gave him a dollar tip." Seriously, part of it was like that.  
> But
> I miss the discussion of albums and this is the first post I've seen in a
> LONG LONG time to do this, so forgive me for being a bit nostalgic.
> Anyway, when you have as many albums as our man does, inevitably some  
> rise
> to the top and others get forgotten. "Living in a Moon So Blue" used to  
> not
> be quite as canonized (the favor has always - and still does - go to  
> "Chair
> Beside a Window" which sorta starts this bluesy sound, coming off the  
> more
> folky opening trio) and many seemed to feel that you could skip a lot of
> these early numbers and skip ahead to "Interstellar Discussion". What a
> shame. I've always loved "Cellophane" (and "Moon" as well) since this
> captures best the BLUES GUY Jandek, the lone player with an obsession on
> guys like Son House and Charley Patton but who plays music that only
> distantly sounds like that. I've always thought Jandek was more about  
> rhythm
> than melody (that's why it works, see, the rhythm IS the melody) and I  
> love
> how these albums have these short songs with crazy ideas. Is one much  
> like
> the other? Sure, but he doesn't make music like this anymore so I'll take
> all of it I can get.
> Same with "New Town," which had just come out when I joined the list and
> whose lyrics were the first I ever transcribed for the site. At the time,
> the "down" feelings came from the idea that he might just make this album
> forever. But he didn't, and he hasn't sounded like that for some time.  
> After
> "The Beginning" that phase ended, and I'm now hoping for an assessment of
> such forgotten records as "The Place" or "A Kingdom He Likes." I spent  
> time
> a few weeks ago with the latter, and it's aged well, better than I  
> would've
> thought. Some real emotions on that one. Are any of these "top shelf"  
> albums
> that one would recommend for beginners? Probably not. We've had that
> commentary before, made lists of the faves (the first four, the first  
> three
> concerts, the first three "second acoustic phase" a couple of the band
> albums, probably "Portland Thursday" and "The Myth of Blue Icicles" now).
> How about the seconds? How about the batch you get out when the first  
> batch
> is done? I think "Cellophane" and "New Town" are terrific examples of  
> this,
> as is "Kingdom." While I'm at it, I'll nominate "Glasgow Friday" for an
> overlooked live set and "Somebody in the Snow" for an album that seems
> always bi-passed by "The Living End." Is the former the better album?  
> Sure
> it is, easily in my top 5 Jandek's ever. But "Snow" deserves another  
> look,
> and that's what this suggestion is about. What do you guys think? "Camber
> Sands?" "Not Hunting for Meaning?" "Nine Thirty," "I Woke Up?" Give it a  
> go.
> Danen
> On Tue, May 11, 2010 at 11:06 AM, Brendan Stewart <
> brendankifostewart at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I may be mistaken, but it's my understanding that staring at the
>> cellophane is one of Jandek's least favored albums. Although some  
>> reviews
>> say otherwise, it seems that living in a moon so blue is considered
>> somewhat of a classic in his whole discography, and it seems that SATC  
>> is
>> mostly the same kind of material (well, more like very little of it is
>> different), yet it's completely neglected. What's up with that?
>> I was thinking, yea, okay, it could be the whole release date thing.  
>> It's
>> too similar to stuff that was before it, so it gets ignored when it  
>> comes
>> out and is then doomed to just sort of get looked over. Same thing
>> happened with new town. Is this :actually: an unfavored album (SATC)? Or
>> is it just something people put off?
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