SXSW Flashback: Even Jandek is a SXSW whore
Both of this blog's regular readers (hi Mom!) may have noticed that my posting schedule was unusually light the last week or so, a result of my aforementioned SXSW-induced illness/crises, and a number of other travels. Rest assured I was hard at work crafting posts throughout my sinus infection and my glamorous cross-continental lifestyle.
One of the things I've been most excited to think about is the Texas musician Jadek. It's quite possible that he, more than any artist in history, has milked the obscurity thing for all that it's worth, releasing literally dozens of LPs and, eventually, compact discs with nary an interview, tour, or press stunt to mar his near perfect track record of underground cred. (And note, you can't even find his shit on iTunes save a stray compilation track or two.) Pretty much all there was in terms of media exposure was a brief 1985 phone interview for, of all places, Spin Magazine. (Also documentaries, websites, and stalkerish articles, but none of which involved much participation from Mr. Jandek himself. We'll get to these later...)
Well, times have changed. In October 2004, Jandek conducted his first live appearance at an experimental music festival in Scotland. (It was, natch, not publicized in advance.) Since then he has popped up around the world with an increasingly ambitious, international gigging schedule including appearances at SXSW two years running. He was the last performer I saw at my SXSW 2008, and the gig provided a fitting contrast to the clusterfuck. It was packed, took place in a hallowed feeling room called the Central Presbyterian Church away from the buzz and thrum of 6th street. And, unlike most trainspotting audiences at the festival, these folks were completely riveted to their seats, obviously there only for him. I'd point also to an artist like Jandek for audiences annoyed at the celeb-trotting adventures of yesterday's blog subject, Devendra Banhart. Devendra may not be your poster child for freakiness anymore, but we'll always have Jandek...
I'll be posting more about Jandek in the next week's Play blog.
After the jump, more photos of his 2008 appearance in Austin, and a video of his SXSW performance from 2007.
Jandek & band in living color:
From SXSW 2007. (And, yes, if you're wondering, the music is supposed to sound like that.):
A full on picture of the detail that opened this post: