Oberlin College Concert Board presents:
Jandek is the musical project of an outsider musician who operates out of Houston, Texas. Since 1978, Jandek has self-released over 60 albums of unusual, often emotionally dissolute folk and blues songs without providing any biographical information and having only ever granted two interviews. Jandek often plays a highly idiosyncratic and frequently atonal form o…f folk and blues music, often using an open and unconventional chord structure. Jandek’s music is unique, but the lyrics closely mirror the country blues and folk traditions of East Texas.
Officially, Jandek is not a person. Albums and live performances are credited to “Jandek”, but the man on the album covers and on stage is “a representative from Corwood Industries”. Corwood is the record label; “Jandek” is the musical project. Both are directed by the same individual. The trinity of Jandek, Corwood, and “the representative” is both three and one.
The enigmatic musician has also been the subject of a feature-length documentary film, Jandek on Corwood, which features interviews with music critics, obsessed fans and musicians.
In an issue of Spin circa 1993, Kurt Cobain said “He’s not pretentious, but only pretentious people like his music.”
For this very special performance, the Representative from Corwood Industries will be joined by:
Aaron Dilloway (ex-Wolf Eyes, Hanson Records) on tapes/electronics/guitar.
$3 for students, $7 for the public.
Tickets available at Wilder Information Desk or by calling Oberlin College Central Ticket Service at 440-775-8169 starting April 4th.
Kellarissa (nèe Larissa Loyva) is hardly a new face on the music scene, but she’s new to WOBC. An alum of P:ano, The Choir Practice, and Gigi, she’s currently on tour with Destroyer in support of her sophomore effort, Moons of Neptune. It’s a distinctive, keyboard-and-vocal driven album that immediately sets itself apart from, well, nearly everything that I’ve heard this semester.
The formula for these songs is easy enough: angular synth or vocal line is introduced, but it’s fleshed out over a normal pop-song timeframe (3 to 5 minutes). Apart from that, there’s room for a ton of variation. It’s a very sparse record – there’s little else beside Loyva’s dark soprano (multitracked), her synthesizer, and a drum machine, but the lack of bells-and-whistles means that her compositions take center stage. This kind of parsimony lends Loyva’s music a kind of slick, sleek quality. Rather than lumbering through these cuts, each one feels effortlessly crafted (a masterful trick, no doubt). Less is more on this album; Loyva seems to take sonic cues from Nico’s chilling organ opus The Marble Index, but not emotional ones. Rather than the Bergmanesque, nightmarish quality of Marble Index, Moons of Neptune has pleasant moments. Even the more unsettling moments – “Blood + Sand,” “Sisu” – don’t terrify in the way that Nico does. That’s a credit, not a knock: her voice is flat-out gorgeous, and it’s a pleasure to listen to.
This is not a pop album, per se; there are choruses, there are hooks, but they don’t take center stage the way they would on other pop records. That’s not to say that the songs are subpar: far from it. Kellarissa knows what she’s doing, and she does it better than most people working in her territory. “Flatlands” is even radio-friendly. But unlike a lot of pop songs, you can’t fast-forward to the chorus – or even to another verse – without missing something interesting. Overall, one of my favorite releases of the semester, if not my favorite.
RIYL: Zola Jesus, Juliana Barwick, Nico’s Marble Index
Top 30 is a weekly section of the blog where we show the 30 most played artists and albums on WOBC. Each entry links to the artist’s MySpace (or other free music player) so you can check out some of this music for yourself!
1. Toro y Moi – Underneath the Pine
* = New to the top 30
Part of what I love about my show, Somethin’ Else, on WOBC is that I am able to share music of relatively unknown, and certainly under appreciated, jazz musicians with a diverse audience of listeners. This past week I featured the profound music of Steve Lampert on the show.
Mr. Lampert has two albums out under his own name. The first, Venus Perplexed, was released on Steeplechase in 2004. The second, Music From There, was released on Bridge Records in 2007. I do believe that both of these albums are essentials in any jazz or new music collection. They are vastly unique and exciting pieces of music.
I was also fortunate to be able to be in touch with Mr. Lampert to ask him a few questions about his music, which draws on very diverse influences. He very willingly responded and I am happy to share this interview with the WOBC community.
-Aidan Plank via WOBC Jazz
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