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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Jandek
Glasgow Sunday
Corwood Industries

Rating: 7/10 ?


June 21, 2005
Amidst eroded brick and pale blue beams cast from the high ceilings at The Arches in Glasgow, Scotland, Jandek's live performance was born in front of a largely unsuspecting flock of people. Adorned with a wide-brimmed hat and smart black shirt and slacks, the frail figure took the stage with nary a word of his identity and meandered through impressionistic, atonal passages of frantic free-blues.

More angular than much of Jandek's recorded work, the sound is filled out by the twangy, bottom-heavy bleating from avant-garde veteran Richard Youngs bass and Alex Neilson's metallic, off-kilter thrashing of drums. Atop these coarse scrapings and delirious rhythms, Jandek's guitar emits barbed - though not altogether out of tune - tonalities around which his deep, moaning voice ventures tales of disappointment and despair. More often than not, he sounds nearly misanthropic - a trait buoyed by sonic detritus being deployed sparsely in reductionist fashion. Jandek categorizes these works as "ballads, blues and the brutals", yet successive pieces are content to dwell in the lodgings of the latter two territories. The reclusive musician digs deep into his guitar, bending chords and surfacing with confrontational, multi-layered drones that are punctuated by the repetitive rumble of Youngs' bass and Neilson's pot-and-pan patter of percussion.

In a moment more clear-eyed, "Darkness You Give" takes on skeletal melodies that are less frictional and dynamic, allowing one's attention a chance to saunter about and appreciate the idiosyncrasies of each player with regards to individuality as well as collectivity. The words are also shown in a manner more intimate as Jandek bemoans, "I'll stay forever in the darkness you give/it's just that I consider it my due, for all the transgressions I brought against you/I don't mind how far I have to fall/to find your mercy at the end of it all". After this nine-minute interlude, however, the proceedings eschew open space and pursue a line resembling the edgy textural fraying of Jandek's recent effort in Shadow of Leaves. As on that album, asides from a few low-plucked bass notes, there is no chordal-center and Youngs and Neilson spar and collide, frantically trying to predict and hover alongside Jandek's loosely linked strings of discordance.

Jandek has since performed live on two other occasions; the second event being much in the manner of the first, while the following effort saw him before a piano, picking melodic, minimal motifs that were said to have reminded of Erik Satie. As perhaps evidenced by these repeat performances, this live ensemble seems a worthwhile venture for Jandek - at the very least, they do well to place more of the focus where it rightfully should be: on the music as opposed to the myth.

Reviewed by Max Schaefer
Nocturnal qualms and eyes that brim like lamps betoken slender sketches, poetry and short stories strewn alongside piano playing, a fiddling of knobs and murmured dialogue with a medley of electronic gizmo\'s. A twenty-one year old person lodged within the University of Victoria, Max harvests organic sounds on a sullen sampler, watching water unwind like two broad lengths of ribbon and nursing a book below the canopy of a cheery-tree. Max believes that the world is made present by people\'s presence in it and that art is one such way in which a distinctive disclosure might be crafted.

See other reviews by Max Schaefer

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