A few years ago we had the great honor of working with Corwood Industries to produce the first ever Minnesota performance of Jandek. Dave Perron from Free Form Freakout also assisted in this production, and he was instrumental in lining up the perfect musicians for the job. The show was possibly the greatest live performance that Jandek has ever given. We could sense that would be the case when our jaws were dropping during rehearsals. The look on Shyboy Tim and Dave's faces in this picture says it all:
So nerdy, but the show was brilliant. The entire experience surpassed any expectations we had about the evening. Because of this, it was a tremendous surprise when we were again asked to produce a Jandek performance, but this time in Minneapolis at the Cedar Cultural Center. A new setting, new musicians, and an entirely new experience. It didn't take much to convince the three of us to work with Corwood again.
The entire situation in Minneapolis was different, but working with "The Rep" from Corwood was a delight. Both experiences verged on spiritual, and that's not even hyperbole. Time stopped and everything seemed hightened. It was weird, but at the same time we'd drop everything to live through it again.
It has been a few years since those shows, and as of today Corwood Industries (Jandek's record label) hasn't issued either of the performances. It's a real shame, because they were eye openers. That Mankato show in particular could win some serious converts.
Both Minnesota concerts were filmed for documentaries by Ashkan Soltani and Craig Mattarese. The one about the Mankato show is called Tuning The Pulse, and the one about Minneapolis is called I Know You Well. Ashkan has just made the films available on Vimeo for rental or purchase, and these documentaries are currently the only way you can experience these productions. Here are trailers for both of the documentaries:
When you rent or purchase I Know You Well you will get Tuning The Pulse as a bonus feature. While I Know You Well is longer and features quite a bit of footage featuring that is unprecedented in the world of Jandek, the shorter Tuning The Pulse is more intimate and emotional. Part of this may be because the camera is right there on the stage at rehearsals collecting insights on how a Jandek performance is conceived and executed, but much of its impact comes from the inclusion of the final song performed at the Mankato performance in 2012. The song, which remains untitled and unreleased in any other form outside of this documentary, was intense and uplifting, and it served as a stunning conclusion to this powerful show. It is to the filmmaker's credit that they included the song in its entirety, especially since it is half the running time of the film. This one song is worth the price of admission, and it very accurately represents just how astonishing that show was.
Go to Vimeo and search for I Know You Well to get the full-on Jandek-in-Minnesota experience!