Friday, 18 April 2014

Music Review - Jandek

The Lunar module makes a slow, measured descent onto the Moon's surface. Dust is thrown up by the thrusters, cataracts of silvery haze form over the crew window. The astronauts have been sent to investigate a strange structure discovered by a Russian lunar reconnaissance orbiter during a recent flyover. The object stands on the rim of a small unnamed crater.
     The Lander: a hatch opens, a ladder unfolds. An astronaut lowers himself down, plants his feet, takes a look around. He sees the object clearly.
     'It's a crude, improvised structure, pieced together from mismatched offcuts of knotty old moon wood, looks like. Resembles, somewhat, a civil war era outhouse, a shitter - pardon my French - only built up a little 'round the back into... it's a kind of shack. There's a crooked tin pipe, a chimney, with a conical hat protruding from the roof. Intermittent puffs of dirty black smoke. Someone's at home, over.'
     'Proceed with extreme caution.'
     The astronaut is a few meters from the shack. A door swings open. The smell of gasoline somehow penetrates the astronaut's spacesuit. Out steps Jandek.
     'Hey, well, uh, look, it's Flash Gordon! Wanna hear a song,Cowboy?' His voice, like the smell, is somehow conducted into the astronaut's spacesuit.
     The astronaut freezes. All he can do is listen to the sound of his own breathing.
     'What's up, Cowboy? You look like you need to take a shit. I got a cute little potty back there in my shack if you'd like put your space ass down on it? No? The shit goes SLOSH right down to the centre of the fuckin moon, I think. It's a pretty sweet set up if you want to know the truth. Well not if you gonna ask the ant people, I guess.'
     The astronaut starts to back up. Breathing sound intensifies. Ground control concerned over soaring pulse rate.

     The astronaut comes to. He has been taken inside Jandek's shack, stripped of his helmet and spacesuit, and deposited into an armchair. He looks around. There's a low cot dressed in threadbare sheets and what looks like a piece of packing foam for a pillow. Above the cot, a poster is pinned to the wall: the word GUITAR set over a photograph of a guitar. A naked light bulb hangs from the ceiling and is circled madly by a bat-sized moon moth. Flickering mad moon moth shadows.
     Over in the corner, what looks like a potty. A faint noise, like the inside of a seashell, proceeds from it. Sounds like it opens onto a vast empty space.

     Jandek is wearing only a pair of home made boxer shorts. He has a teabag tied to each of his nipples. Got My Mind Set On You plays on a record player at the wrong speed.
     'You must have passed out there for a moment, Cowboy. Moon air kind of thin by Earth standards, huh? No shit. Can I make you a cup of tea?'
     The astronaut chokes on fear.
     A kettle whistles. Jandek pours boiling water into two mugs. The mugs have pictures of guitars on them, the word 'GUITAR'.
     Jandek places the mugs a certain distance apart from one another atop a coffee table comprised of a broad plank of moon wood and a couple of moon breeze blocks. He bends over, sticking his ass into the astronaut's face. Rank smell of gasoline. Goose flesh visible. Jandek's teabags dangle from his nipples into the mugs of hot water.
     Jandek looks over his shoulder at the astronaut. 'Look, no hands.'
     He puts his hands on his hips and slinks his bony ass from left to right before the astronaut's face.
     'Yowww, got some steam in my face there, Cowboy. It's tears. I've got... I tied the little strings to my titties... Milk and sugar?'
     Jandek puts a spoonful of moon dust into the tea and stirs it, but not with the spoon, he uses his finger.
     'And Milk?'
     Jandek takes a milk carton from the fridge. He smiles at the astronaut as moon dust pours from the carton.


Please listen to Jandek. I love Jandek very much. Please listen to Jandek. This is me speaking, not part of the review.

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