Tag Archives: Jandek


Hey people! Most everybody’s favorite completely-DIY, underground-ish music festival for Louisville’s weirdos is back and… hey… wait a minute… DOES THAT SAY JANDEK IS PLAYING IN LOUISVILLE?!? HOLY SHIT!!!


You read it right, folks! The time is yet again upon us. Cropped Out’s annual extravaganza is back for 2012. This Fall (September 28th-29th), we will be taking over the American Turners Club — our home for year one, as a few (literally, a few) of you might remember. Last year at the Crummy Den was not only a blast but also a milestone for us as an organization. However, as fun as it was watching Scratch Acid play in a crowded warehouse shortly after cops accosted them at gunpoint, having mistaken them as armed robbers, we decided it was time to take our festival back to more…”welcoming” grounds of operation.

As always, we’ve carefully chosen a solid stash of local, national, and international performing artists to spotlight in our hometown of Louisville, KY. There will also be a familiar face or two from festivals past, along with the usual “tricks up our sleeve.”FRIDAY + SATURDAY: Our third year kicks off at over 30 bands spread across 3 days (two main days with an unforgettable closing party on Sunday, 9/30). A short list of attractions lined up for Friday (9/28) and Saturday (9/29) include the proto-doo-wop sass of Chain & The Gang led by DC legend Ian Svenonius (The Make-Up/Nation of Ulysses), a very rare performance from elusive Texan blues/folk outsider Jandek, the silky lo-fi New Wave croon of Tampa, Florida’s Merchandise (ft. members of the late great Cult Ritual), the bitingly sour, self-deprecrating social stabs of “World’s Funnyman” Neil Hamburger, live music by David Liebe Hart of Adult Swim’s “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job,” and as always, plenty of organically grown, freshly picked, fairly traded locals like Twin Sister Radio, Gangly Youth, and Kark, just to name a few…
Ashcan Orchestra (Brooklyn, NY)
Binary Marketing Show (Little Rock, AR)
Buck Gooter (Harrisonburg, VA)
Black Kaspar (Louisville, KY)
Cave Bears (Providence, RI)
Chain & The Gang (Washington, DC)
Cool Memories (Chicago, IL)
Crys (Indianapolis, IN)
Dahm of Phantom Family Halo (Brooklyn, NY)
David Liebe Hart Band (Los Angeles, CA)
Disco Doom (Zurich, Switzerland)
Eugene Chadbourne (Greensboro, NC)
Gangly Youth (Louisville, KY)
Globsters (Hazard, KY)
Guerilla Toss (Boston, MA)
Jandek (Houston, TX)
Kark (Louisville, KY)
Lantern (Philadelphia, PA)
Merchandise (Tampa, FL)
Michael Zerang/Darin Gray Duo (Chicago, IL/St. Louis, MO)
Microwaves (Pittsburgh, PA)
Neil Hamburger (Los Angeles, CA)
PC Worship (Brooklyn, NY)
R. Stevie Moore (Nashville, TN)
The Ritchie White Orchestra (Louisville, KY)
The Sediment Club (Brooklyn, NY)
Shaved Women (St. Louis, MO)
Slug Guts (Brisbane, Australia)
Street Gnar (Lexington, KY)
TV Ghost (Lafayette, IN)
White Walls (Cincinnati, OH)
& others to be announced!
FIND OUT MORE: Stay tuned for all sorts of exciting updates to come at http://croppedoutmusic.com/.

Holy CRAP! I could not possibly be any more excited! Never in my life did I think I’d get to see THE REPRESENTATIVE FROM CORWOOD in my hometown, on my birthday weekend to boot! The rest of the artists and bands booked, at least the ones we know, are pretty awesome in their own right, too. And with lots of names I haven’t heard of, it’ll be another great opportunity to hear some new sounds as well.

Loren Connors, Red Mars (Family Vineyard)

This week’s edition of the LEO Weekly includes my review of Red Mars, the new solo album by Loren Connors:

Guitarist Loren Connors toiled for decades in near-willful obscurity, self-releasing his recorded output under multiple pseudonyms. Only rarely in his early years did Connors work with other musicians, and as a result of his relative isolation, he developed a singular, insular style of playing guitar that, while inspired by the blues, thankfully never sounds “bluesy.” Despite his being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the early 1990s, the rest of the world somehow caught up to Connors shortly thereafter, and he entered a still-ongoing fruitful period consisting of multiple collaborations (with avant-garde types such as Jandek, Jim O’Rourke and Keiji Haino), and the formation of his own band, Haunted House. Red Mars, his first truly solo release since 2004, harks back to Hell’s Kitchen Park, the first Connors record that I heard, way back in 1993; but it sounds even more desolately stark than previous efforts, an achievement I thought nearly impossible. As such, Red Mars is one of the darkest, sparest, listen-only-at-4 a.m. records I’ve ever heard. And that’s a compliment.

You can buy it from Family Vineyard here.

Galbraith/Neilson/Youngs, Belsayer Time LP (Time-Lag)

Belsayer Time

This review also appeared in Swingset #8, yadda yadda, etc. etc.

“Idumea,” the first in this collection of haunting songs by Alastair Galbraith, Alex Neilson and Richard Youngs, begins with a steady drone and [Youngs’] Robert Wyatt-esque vocals singing an echo-y melody reminiscent of “House of the Rising Sun.” The trio’s new album, Belsayer Time, is their first together, and will not seem alien to fans of their individual and [other] group works. These three musicians are known best as the cream of the crop of their respective New Zealand and Scotland scenes: Alastair Galbraith has long been a member of A Handful of Dust with the Dead C.‘s guitarist/crank Bruce Russell. Neilson and Youngs were the musicians chosen to accompany Jandek at his first-ever live performance in Glasgow, and both have a long history of making excellent music. (Youngs’ first solo album,Advent, is a favorite in this house).

Together, the three mesh excellently on this album, simultaneously sounding fresh, yet familiar. The first side of Belsayer Time is perfect for a fall evening spent in the company of warm narcotics, while the second [side] begins with a free jam appropriate for all seasons and gets more abstract as the side progresses. Highly recommended for losers who want to drop a lot of money (like me).

Ltd. edition of 900, available from Time-Lag.

No One at the Venue May Look Jandek in the Eye


Last night I saw Jandek at the Abrons Arts Center in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The mere idea of getting to see the mysterious entity known as Jandek play sometime in my lifetime would’ve been laughable a few years ago, but since 2004 the representative from Corwood Industries has made intermittent appearances in such far-flung locales as New York, Glasgow, Austin and Chicago, all with a different cast of musicians each time. For his third (I think?) appearance in New York, Jandek teamed up with Pete Nolan (of Magik Markers) on drums and Tim Foljahn (of 2 Dollar Guitar) on bass, in what turned out to be a rather inspired grouping. Initially I was a little wary as the trio launched into the first number, which was rather squall-some (in a good way), thinking it would be the only mode they’d be in all night. But over the course of the ten “songs” they played that evening, all three showed a lot of stylistic diversity while remaining true to what could undoubtedly be called Jandek’s very singular sound.

The man himself, an apparition of a ghost, was one of the most uncharismatically charismatic and powerful performers I’ve ever seen. He entered the stage wearing all black, with a black fedora and black guitar – indeed it’s almost as if the clothes wore him, seeing as he was basically a skeleton, only defined by what was not there. His shiny belt buckle was the only accoutrement, sticking out a little past his chest. Lyrically, he sang words that were almost as physically alienating as his entire appearance – and this worked beautifully with the music, which only rested at points to give him space to sing. He’d play a guitar squall – very “amateur” in terms of technique but disciplined and focussed in terms of sound and intention, then drop his strumming hand to his side while delivering a lyric like “Starve my body/Starve my mind” in his uniquely mournful moan.

Towards the middle portion of the set, after a good three songs or so of similar construction, things took a very abrupt turn. Lyrically, Jandek moved away from the rather impersonal description of general alienation that had been the theme, and went specifically into songs about prison, all from different narrative perspectives. This was kind of unexpected, at least for me, and really gave the overall set a depth that it might’ve otherwise missed. These songs ranged from description of a hairy, tattooed prisoner “From wrist to neck/From neck to belt/Sides and back” to an amazing jailhouse lawyer’s dialog with a prisoner in for being “provoked.” Really harrowing stuff, in Jandek’s very non-descriptive descriptive way: “There’s a shower and a sink/But you don’t want to USE them” (which got a few chuckles from the crowd).

After this short suite of songs, Jandek moved lyrically back towards general themes of alienation, but the trio moved in a more rock, less free direction, which I found fascinating. One song, anchored by Foljahn’s bass and Nolan’s drums, was basically a primitive punk song – which did not throw Jandek one bit, and his guitar playing became appropriately even more spiky than it had been already. He even cracked a few smiles, and seemed to engage the other players, without giving too much away or even saying anything – not the least acknowledging the audience, whose applause he seemed visibly shaken by.

I looked over at his amp, and noticed a small travel clock set to Houston time on top. After three hours, ten songs and a gripping sound that seemed to revel in every detail, no matter how nuanced, the three sheepishly walked off-stage, and the evening was over. Somebody else’s music – hopelessly inferior to what I’d just witnessed – was played over the PA, and the audience shuffled out into the New York night. I felt like I’d just woken from the best nightmare I’ve ever dreamt. And unlike those who think Jandek’s recent live shows have somehow destroyed the mystery (which isn’t even as interesting as his music), I was left with more questions than before.