Last Night: Jandek at Mango's

Jandek Mango's July 12, 2012

"So what do you know about tonight's set?" I ask Dunnock, stalwart soundman at Mango's, trying to play Jimmy Ace Reporter just minutes before Jandek walks onstage, close to half past 8 p.m. on Thursday night. Without a beat...

"Um, it's Jandek Punk Rock Experience," he says, fiddling with a smoke. "He brought in a female singer, a bassist from Boston, and a guy from Darwin's Finches," he finishes.

Jandek and punk do not get used a lot in the same sentence, though people try to call what he does "punk" to be cheeky or grandiose.

Before Thursday night I had never seen Jandek live myself, but I had spent years in bars, living rooms, and coffee shops listening to people talk about who or what they thought he was, his power and glory, and his weirdo outsider tag. But I had listened to him plenty for myself and didn't lionize him like most, because that didn't seem respectful.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty