musicportland

An Evening With Jandek

Spooky music? You think you like spooky music? You ain’t heard spooky music until you’ve spent an evening with a six foot blonde moaning to a discordant guitar. He’s self-pressed some 40-odd records, most of them mentioning suicide, European jewels, and/or janitors.

It was great- there was a lot of Jazz/Skronk flavored “jamming” with local hero Sam Coomes and drummer Emil Amos. Jandek asked the audience that if they wanted to leave, to please do so between songs, so there was this herding phenomena when songs ended after ten or fifteen minutes.

He was everything I thought that a middle-aged outsider musician could be, and more. Songs about love, depression, and the speed at which his friend Eddie the Wino can down a bottle of Wild Irish Rose.

He helped me solve a lot of problems I have when trying to sing and play guitar at the same time. His solution is: when he is singing, the guitar hangs limply around his neck. When he is done singing, he plays his guitar some more.

The Jandek-loving masses wandered out of the theatre in a daze two hours later. I really did feel hypnotized. He was totally un-charismatic, but in a hilarious way. No chitchat, very little acknowledgement of the audience. At the end he got a standing ovation (mostly in stunned amazement) while he packed up his own guitar and got his lyrics sheet and walked out the door.
For a weirdo ex-Texan, seeing Jandek perform was a little like seeing the tooth fairy.