20 Watts


Editor’s Pick #78: The Outside World by Tim Martinez
March 2, 2009, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: ,

JandekAre you tired of the same hackneyed pop songs you hear on the radio? Does listening to rap make you feel claustrophobic? When you hear indie rock do you want to pull out all your hair and jump out a window? If the answer to any of these is yes, then I have a treat for you.

Musical mastermind Jandek recently announced the releases of his 55th and 56th albums, London Tuesday and Skirting The Edge. If you’ve never heard of Jandek, you are not alone. He is a relatively obscure and bizarre outsider musician from Houston. His music does not conform to any traditional tuning, but relies on vague and strangely passionate lyrics. 

His most recent album Skirting The Edge does not meander musically from its many predecessors. However, Jandek spews out an unusual 23 minute number called I Know My Name. Like most of the songs in his catalog, this song forces the listener to confront a paradoxical life that pits the body against the mind. If you enjoy music with easy answers that induce toe-tapping fun, this album is not for you. The ambiguity and lyrics will keep you guessing as the cacophonous guitar strumming will harshly guide you through the mysterious world of outsider musicians.

I strongly encourage those looking for something new to order any one of his albums. Or at the very least, check out this song from Jandek’s debut album released in 1978.

-Tim Martinez, copy editor

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