The Rep

cover of Manhattan Tuesday by Jandek

The Jandek live records are my favorite thing to buy these days.

I am not a Jandek superfan. I heard Lost Cause when I was in college after reading the Byron Coley SPIN article. Previous to that, I heard a dude who worked at a record store in Florida talk about him. That dude didn’t really like me, so I never asked more.

Now, I am totally obsessed with these live records. I only have four, but they total ten hours of music. Here’s a big list I have in my head about these records.

Here what I like about the records that has nothing to do with the music:

They are inexpensive: Yesterday I bought Brooklyn Wednesday which is a FOUR disc set in a slipcase. 17 BUCKS.

They are all starting to really look the same in a really cool way: Manhattan Tuesday and Brooklyn Wednesday have very similar pictures of very lovely green rolling parks. I like that they look nearly alike, almost like issues of a magazine.

True to form, you never know when one is getting rolled out: They just show up on the shelf. Imagine that. You put out a record and people find it. Conversely, since they are being released in chronological order, you know what the next one will be. You just don’t know when.

Here’s what I like about them musically:

They are all really different in sound and shape: The angular attacks of Glasgow Sunday are a world apart from the languid dewdrops of Glasgow Monday, which is a world away from the cavernous blackout of Manhattan Tuesday and the charged electric jam of (at least the first disc of) Brooklyn Wednesday. And all four of these records are played by the same seven or eight musicians.

They are concept albums within live albums: Well, two of them are. Or, maybe they are song cycles. Anyways, there are titles and subtitles to these records, which gives you more to think about? (Maybe this belongs in the top column?)

They contain some of Loren Connors’ hottest playing on record: Seriously, the distortion and wah on Manhattan Tuesday are SICK. He tears it up on the first disc.

They have Chris Corsano on them. No further elucidation required.

There’s more to say about these and I suspect that those who have dedicated a lot of thought to the man deserve to have your ear on the subject. I really hope every single one of his shows are released on CD. The show that I saw here in Boston was fraught with intensity and humor, just like these records. These are special documents that deserve lots of attention.

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