Jandek -Ready for the house

Jandek – Ready for the house

In 1978 the first chapter of one of the most unusual – perhaps the most unusual – stories in popular music began. It was the year Jandek released ‘Ready for the house’.

Jandek’s music is, in a strange way, incredibly difficult to characterise, sounding, as it does, quite unlike anything else. The musical techniques on Ready for the House, however, can certainly be easily described; Jandek is playing an acoustic guitar, turned – not randomly, as some have suggested – but to produce an open, atonal chord. This same chord, the only chord played on eight of the albums nine tracks, is sometimes strummed, sometimes picked; played over and over again in a simple rhythm or, othertimes, played almost at random intervals. Over this is sung, whispered and wailed some of the most astonishingly weird and depressing blues lyrics ever put on record.

But this description can’t quite explain what Jandek really sounds like. I wonder now if this particular album is really the proper topic for a blog entitled “Pleasant Fluff”. Ready for the house is many things, but pleasant it is not. It is the sound of lower-middle-class suburbia at three in the morning: a car horn, a bird’s last languid cry; the remote, shimmering echo of a dog’s bark, and in the distance, a disturbing unidentifiable sound – like metal grinding upon metal.

Or perhaps it is the sound of one of those lazy Sundays, when the golden sunlight falls upon a dimly lit room in the afternoon, and you stand by the window, peeking through the blinds – which you have not yet bothered to open- while next door your neighbours and their friends enjoy a barbecue, to which you were, once again, not invited.

George Morison.


~ by georgemorison on September 17, 2008.

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