seeing jandek live is a pretty rare occurence, and the fact that i’ve missed two other chances to see him is kind of amazing, and i thought the chances were slim i would get another chance. very quietly word spread that jandek was playing with thurston moore at the hollywood theater. i knew this was going to be a good show and made sure not to miss it.
for those not aware of the jandek’s story; a summary. starting in the late seventies albums from jandek started to appear, using his own label corwood industries. he has released over 60 albums, and up until a couple of years ago he never appeared in public and no one knew who he was. he played his first live show in 2004 in glasgow, and has only played a handful of show since. his music is a distinctly southern version of avant-garde folk.
thurston and jandek silently walked on stage. nervously thurston started, i’ve seen him before and knew that he could tear sound out of a guitar. he had the guitar tuned high, it sounded like a lacerated falsetto. jandek, with his back to the crowd, started building a foundation of low-end sounds. jandek’s signature loose tuning rumbled under thruston’s shrieking guitar. it was a disaster for the first ten to fifteen minutes, they were lost and competing. it was halfway into the first piece that they got together. during the second piece they were together from the start and built a cathedral of sound, and demolished it brick by brick. they knew going into the third piece that they just killed it, so it seemed like an afterthought. it wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t inspired or new. the show was uneven at times, but the awesome that was the second piece made it all good.