Live: Jandek at DiverseWorks
(l to r) Jandek, Craig Hauschildt, & Angela Reed. Photo by Creg Lovett.
DIVERSEWORKS -- 5/3/2009: Jandek surfaced at DiverseWorks last Sunday for an hour and five minutes of improv chamber music. This was as unlike any of his other music as his other music is to everyone else's music. There were no vocals. Jandek remained seated throughout, and may never have looked in the direction of the audience. He sparsely played an electric five-string bass guitar with a pick and slide. To his left was Craig Hauschildt playing gongs using props ranging from buckets of water to brushes and rubber bands. When he removed and serenely threw a cymbal across the room, nobody acted surprised.
At center stage, and featured, was Angela Reed seated with a huge bass clarinet that often dominated the performance. Behind her, James Metcalfe operated several dozen wind chimes, most notably using a Big Gulp-type plastic cup full of water, in which he submerged chimes as he struck them.
(l to r) Craig Hauschildt, Angela Reed, & Dan Workman. Photo by Creg Lovett.
A highlight was the accessible guitar work of Dan Workman, who was seated, wearing all black, with an electric guitar, a very small Casio SK1 keyboard, and a laptop with which he interfaced constantly during the show. Most of the concert was the musical equivalent of a Jackson Pollock painting, but the guitar was often a very familiar shredding that reminded me of one of the 1980s Zappa disciples. It was weird, but not Jandek weird.
The mere sight of Jandek himself is a shock. Honestly, he looks like a star. The players sat below the audience in folding chairs on the floor, while we were on risers. Several large stage lights flooded the band in blue moonlight tones without shadow. This made Jandek, and Jandek only, appear ethereal. Like a gentleman ghost in fine bluesman clothing. END