Apr 6, 2009

Jandek In Houston

The reclusive and mysterious musical entity known as Jandek played his first ever show in his hometown of Houston Texas on Sunday. Here is a small write-up by a fan who was there to witness outsider music history.

Holy crap. Where to start?! First off, I am not a Jandek “fan”. I admit I totally went to this show out of curiosity. Heck, what else is there to do at 4:00 on a Sunday afternoon? I’m familiar with his music, his legendary super-duper extraordinary underground status, blah blah blah. Yeah, I get it. I was half expecting to arrive, subject myself to some noise-torture for about 30 minutes, and leave. However, what happened was so bat-crap crazy it blew my mind.

So, the sound guys comes over and talks to our table and says Jandek just met the drummer and bassist he’s playing with. Never played with them, just met them. Sweet, let’s see what happens. About 10 minutes after 4:00 they take the stage. The bassist is straight out of Parliament Funkadelic. Seriously. He had mad bass skills. The drummer was more subdued, but held a great funk beat. Funk?!!! What the HELL is going on?! None of the Jandek records I’ve heard sound like funk at all. I’m expecting some dark, somber, gut-wrenching songs. Not today folks. Jandek finally joins in after a few minutes with his avant-garde guitar playing, but strangely funk-infused noise. Scraping chords, playing over the neck with this thumb, just going CRAZY. It was effing MAD. Insane. All the while, the other two musicians are just in their own world, pretty much playing an hour long version of “Give Up The Funk”. About 2 or 3 time, Jandek chimes in with some pretty cool, very upbeat disjointed spoken word pieces. “I am drunk”, “I can’t stop”, “Pretty girls”,….”sitting”……”falling out of the chair”….. stuff like that. The crazy thing is, it all actually worked. It was P-Funk meets Talking Heads meets William Burroughs, all rolled into one glorious strange hour and twenty minutes of non-stop music. Not to mention a good 20+ people were dancing their asses off in front of the stage and throwing confetti Easter eggs at Jandek and the stage, covering them with confetti. Jandek had a huge smile on his face the whole time. Jandek danced. He owned that show. It was nothing like I expected, and I am so glad I went. This one will do down in the history books for sure. It was the strangest Sunday afternoon I have ever experienced. Freaking Jandek.

Thank goodness someone caught video of this freak-out! Straight from Rudyard's Pub, here is Jandek.

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