Friday, July 29, 2011


YEAR: 1982
LABEL: Corwood Industries
TRACK LISTING: Down in a Mirror, European Jewel, Unconditional Authority, Poor Boy, You Think You Know How To Score, Nancy Sings, No Break, Mostly All From You, Blue Blister, The Times, Love Love, The First End
IMPRESSIONS: I don't know if it's possible to choose a "favourite Jandek album" and, if it is, I don't think this would be mine. However, it's presence here is of course due almost entirely to the earth-shaking appearance of "Nancy Sings" which, for Jandek fans (and there actually was such a thing even back in 1982) it was the first nuclear explosion in the Jandek catalogue. Up until now, listeners had gotten pretty much nothing but single guitar strumming with Jandek's droning vocal underneath. Therefore it was a huge impact when the last song on side one suddenly and without warning featured a female voice! Wow! Jandek actually knows another human being and is not barricaded in some cabin in the woods alone and spooky. It was the first inkling that the performer was a social animal . . . at least to some small extent. The placing of "Nancy Sings" at the end of side one was perfect sequencing in the days of vinyl. The stunned listener could have time to recover from the shock before flipping the record over and listening to side two. The album opener "Down in a Mirror" is also a favourite Jandek track but how can one focus on anything besides "Nancy Sings"; everyone's favourite Jandek song!
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Down in a Mirror, You Think You Know How To Score, Nancy Sings
GUEST ARTISTS: Nancy, of course. . . whomever she may be.
FACT SHEET: Corwood Industries release No. 0742 CHAIR BESIDE A WINDOW is Jandek's 4th album. The mysterious and reclusive performer (whose name is NOT Jandek) was just embarking on an incredibly prolific career releasing sometimes multiple albums a year; he is, in fact, one of the most prolific recording artists in history and is still going strong. Since 1981, he's released at least one album per year and usually there have been several. The enigmatic album covers which feature oddly artistic "non-photos" of a person we presume is the artist himself or else seemingly random objects or locations are bona fide pieces of artwork in themselves. For the full skinny on Jandek's work and career, see the acclaimed documentary JANDEK ON CORWOOD as well as the link to the Jandek website in the righthand column of links on our sister blog "The Land of Cerpts and Honey".

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