Saturday, February 16, 2008

August 2, 1995

I saw Jandek perform live at the Lounge Ax! In my dreams, that is. There were upholstered seats at the Lounge Ax like at a movie theater. You weren't allowed to smoke in the seats, and C— was going around trying to make people put out their cigarettes. At a table up near the stage they were selling about three or four different Corwood Industries LP's. One of them was by Jad Fair, one was a Jandek album I didn't recognize, and I didn't get to see the other two. I don't remember the buildup to Jandek's appearance, but when Jandek actually came out on stage, Jandek was a woman! She was young, short, short hair, thin, boyish, wearing a thrift store type thin green print dress, shy but self-possessed. She had a backup singer (a woman with long red hair), and I think there may have been on a man onstage too but I don't remember. She sang one or maybe two songs and started to leave. The audience protested, and she responded by singing a children's song (something like "The Wheels on the Bus") for about thirty seconds then left the stage. The audience was plainly disgruntled but applauded to try to get her to come back out. A bunch of people stood up. Jandek did not reappear and gradually the applause died down and everyone sat back down in their movie theater seats. I stood up and applauded loudly to try to get the applause going again; a number of people turned around and looked at me, and only a few people joined me applauding. My arms felt very heavy and weak and I was barely able to hold them up and hit my hands together. C— came out on stage and made some kind of announcement about trying to get Jandek to perform some more. Several people lit up cigarettes, and the person next to me commented that now we were never going to get to see any more of Jandek, because C— (or someone) was going to have to go around and make sure everyone had put their cigarettes out before Jandek could go back on, but this was going to be nearly impossible. I was upset with the audience for turning against Jandek so quickly.

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