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Jandek - Glasgow Monday

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Artist: Jandek

Album: Glasgow Monday

Label: Corwood

Review date: Sep. 17, 2006

Once, there was only the music. The man and his mythos were conspicuously absent and one was left in the dark to assemble a history out of hearsay. Now that he has at long last been seen, shared conversation with a few and even performed live, the man has nearly overtaken the music. Couple all of this with the banal Jandek on Corwood DVD – a pointless attempt to delineate inchoate music and the purposefully inchoate person behind it – and those proud enough to call their selves Jandek “fans” must be reeling from all of the invasive attention.

And so here is Glasgow Monday, a recording of the “Corwood representative” accompanied by free-percussionist Alex Neilson and mopey savant Richard Youngs on bass, playing live at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, Scotland. The sound is lovely; the methodology behind the playing – not so much. Gone is the anguished meander, the monotone gargle. The typewriter tenor jabs and pecks as he has on over 47 other recordings, but the delivery is frankly fucking strange. Lyrically, the penchant non sequitur abounds, yet it’s clipped and groomed – a drunken David Grubbs having at Shatner’s salad days in a trendy karaoke shit hole. Vocals are given counterpoint with piano, the student Satie making much gravy of the Gymnopédies. Nielson responds the only way he can, awakening a cymbal with a violin’s bow, thumping bells, tinkling chimes. Youngs sweeps the floor with long haired bass strokes. And Satie persists.

Jandek was seemingly always content with his thing-in-itself status. Recent rebellion now has the thing revealing itself and what could be the ends of creative reason. With so many bona fide classics under his belt, perhaps the end of an enigmatic career was meant to be committed in front of the crowd, to hushed and respectful applause in a place very far from home. At one time, it was only music.

By Stewart Voegtlin

Other Reviews of Jandek

Glasgow Sunday

Raining Down on Diamonds


Glasgow Sunday DVD

Manhattan Tuesday

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View all articles by Stewart Voegtlin

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