[Jandek] Worthless Recluse

Alex Koenig rabid_anti_dentite at sbcglobal.net
Thu Oct 14 09:26:38 PDT 2010

Certainly, you know when I was looking at that sentence I had a real feeling 
there was something not quite clear about it. What I really meant to say that 
with the recent digital albums the mood is consistent, (in my opinion more 
consistent than his earlier albums) in terms of sound. He seems to have been 
using roughly the same tuning for at least the past five albums (I'm of course 
excluding the live releases) the sound is always a clean digital sound, the 
guitar playing is a bit more erratic in terms of improvisation, and by and large 
the lyrics are front and center, very rarely do they have any song-ish qualities 
that you often find with the earlier albums. Very rarely do the albums feature 
the type of singing found in the classic Jandek period, I'm sure his age might 
play a role in this, and he's adopted that sort of moan we've all come to know. 
It's almost as if they could have been spoken word pieces with music added in 
later serving more of a secondary role (then again you could argue Jandek has 
always done this) 

Not Hunting for Meaning first two tracks seem to buck this trend a bit, perhaps 
that's why it stands out in my mind more than Corwood's other recent albums. I'm 
not mentioning any of these characteristics as criticisms, in fact many of these 
recent albums I like quite a bit, but I will say that  if a song from a recent 
album comes up randomly on my ipod, I have a harder time placing the track to 
the album it belongs, that is until he hits a particularly evocative image, 
which you'll guaranteed on the recent albums, his lyrical skill has only 
improved in my opinion.


From: Jesus Knievel <knievelperu at hotmail.com>
To: Alex Koenig <rabid_anti_dentite at sbcglobal.net>
Cc: "jandek at mylist.net" <jandek at mylist.net>
Sent: Wed, October 13, 2010 9:50:29 AM
Subject: Re: [Jandek] Worthless Recluse

Could you expand on your comments about the recent digital albums? I'm not sure 
what you mean by the mood being terribly consistent. Weren't some of the early 
albums also very consistent in that regard, such as Ready For The House?


Sent from my iPad

On 2010-10-11, at 12:58 PM, Alex Koenig <rabid_anti_dentite at sbcglobal.net> 

Considering the boards have been getting some attention for the last week or so 
I figured I'd bring this up and steer the conversation to what has so far been a 
little talked about Corwood album.
>Worthless Recluse has really been growing on me as of late. I know the spoken 
>word discs are by no means the most popular numbers of the corwood catalog, but 
>I find them a good deal more palatable than some of the recent digital albums, 
>(which seem to put the lyrics front and center, and mood and atmosphere are more 
>or less secondary or at least terribly consistent, although Not Hunting for 
>Meaning is a nice exception in my opinion)
>Put My Dream on this Planet was the first spoken word disc I heard and with its 
>two 20 minute plus tracks and pretty abstract lyrics, I considered it an 
>extremely brave record to make, even for Jandek. Worthless Recluse in comparison 
>is a little more digestible with most tracks being only a few minutes, with most 
>having a consistent focus. The album's title track at 17 plus minutes is 
>ironically one of my favorites, probably out of all three of the albums, as it 
>seems to be one of the few Jandek tracks that's ever struck me as definitely 
>somewhat autobiographical. Maybe I'm not looking close of enough, since the 
>details I'm thinking of are pretty basic with the line "cold northern cities" 
> seeming to correspond with the rep's known time spent in New York, and the line 
>"Do you really live there?" with reference to the subject's house, reminding me 
>of the man who releases the Corwood albums relative affluence and how he may at 
>times feel at odds with it. The guy after all does have a pretty nice house.
>Of course there could after all be nothing to this, as always whenever we try to 
>read something autobiographically when we know fairly little about the person, 
>or anyone really. But I feel like there might be at least something to this 
>idea, any thoughts?
>While going through Worthless Recluse as well as the other spoken word discs it 
>really did make me agree with Aaron Goldberg's reviews and say it's a real shame 
>these albums haven't gained any real traction with spoken word communities, his 
>delivery is quite unlike any reader I've heard before. 
>And as a side question, (this was probably discussed when the albums were first 
>released, but I'll ask anyway) Put My Dream on this Planet's track titled "It's 
>Your House contains the line "Ready for the House" has this made us wonder 
>whether that recording and possibly all of the spoken word discs predate all 
>other recordings or in the very least predate corwood's release history? The 
>audio quality seems to be some of the most basic, so it's always made me wonder.
>jandek mailing list
>jandek at mylist.net
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