strange phenomenon

i used to see the mysterious, forbidding, immense jandek section at mondo kim's and ponder who this strange, single-named person might be and what the music might sound like. but i have to admit i remained in the dark until the dvd release of the 2003 documentary jandek on corwood. the flashes of brilliance mixed in with the mystique gave me enough of a taste to want more. from what i've heard so far, the man's output itself is erratic, but that's part of its charm. that, coupled with the single-minded, minimalist design and information accompanying his 42 releases (to date) since 1978. regardless of your opinion of his art, he's fascinating because he's not only very prolific, but one of the original "DIY" and "outsider music" artists.

seth tisue's unofficial website has been one of the few resources out there (and still the best) for anyone wanting to know about as many facts as there are about this artist. which frankly, there aren't a lot of apart from the music itself. this is because jandek has spent most of his unique career living up to one of his ironically-titled albums, worthless recluse. until last year, when he played an unannounced live set at the instal 04 festival, his first ever. a few others followed, also in the UK. then a few weeks ago, the unthinkable was announced: jandek was playing 3 dates in the US, including one at anthology film archives in new york city. the choice of venue was just strange enough for it to be true.

then the ticket rumors started to fly. tickets would only be available at the venue. calls confirmed only that tickets would be available around august 8th. then other music (one of the few places in the city that stocks jandek CDs) was said to have tickets. unfortuntately i was unable to get to either place and they reportedly sold out within an hour or so. it's only because of seth's down-to-the-wire posts on the jandek list about a ticketweb sale (rumored to be around 80 tickets) and the fact that i was hitting refresh on a super-fast connection at the time tickets belatedly went on sale that i got some. by several estimations, the online allotment sold out in 5 minutes. longtime fans are definitely not pleased.

i understand everyone's frustration with the ticket situation as well as desiring "normal" practices like having CDs on sale at the venue. in theory (and ordinary practice), i agree. however, in some way, none of this should surprise anyone familiar with jandek. everything sourrounding him is unusual. so much of the mystery is all about lack of information. so jandek playing a place as quirky as anthology film archives is par for the course, as is next to no info on ticket sales and last-minute shifts in availability. with only 200 seats available, it almost makes sense to limit the knowledge necessary to secure tickets for such a rare show. sadly, this hasn't ensured the most hardcore fans getting tickets, only the luckiest and/or most resourceful. i count myself very fortunate to be going on september 6th.

the title of this post comes from a song on the jandek album living in a moon so blue.