in it’s heyday ruds was the scroungy neighborhood dive with cheap pints and regular rock shows. in his heyday jandek was an inscrutable musical recluse with a penchant for releasing records that sound like emanations from my autistic great-uncle’s haunted attic. he is renowned amongst the world’s music dorks as a sublimely atonal messiah. nuf said.
now rudyards charges $4 for a lone star (think £4 for a bottle of tennents) and decent rock shows are occasional and nostalgic. jandek has shed his hermit’s mystique and has now played all over the world with other curious musicians. however, until yesterday he had avoided playing in his hometown, houston, where the whole foods employees stalk him while he buys groceries and his co-workers remain in the dark about his weird musical exploits. (many a well dressed old guy at the show was wondering aloud at the popularity of their friend whilst the young’uns shook their asses up front.)
when i heard about the show i expected anticlimax. finally the houston dorks would get a begrudged peek at their hero now that he’d played all the worthier cities. my friend coach vowed to learn him not to come out of hiding with an asskicking. coach’s unruliness has often landed him in jail, so i trusted that there was a measure of truth in this threat, though i suspected it would amount to little more than slurred stageside taunting with annoyed glares from the artsy folks.
anyhow, none of that happened. jandek showed up with a funk drummer and a slap-bassist in a shoulder padded suit. the ensuing hour of funkadelic improv took us so by surprise that we had no choice but to drink up and shake it up front. katie and pookie and i threw confetti eggs and got down with the pasty kids we expected to be heckling. it was hilarious. the bassist later said he thought he was on candid camera or punk’d. he’d never heard of jandek before and never met him until they showed up to play.
coincidentally, the jandek show was at 4pm and i played a show at 8. i was still so dizzy by then that will had to carry me over his shoulder to the car and load all of our gear by himself. he was so blissed out from the afternoon that he didn’t mind at all. i had a reverb halo over my head.
so, naturally, i’m still in bed recuperating and sending weird transmissions to my friends who are far away.