Various - A Second Tribute To Jandek: Down In A Mirror (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


A Second Tribute To Jandek: Down In A Mirror (2005)


Of course I've heard of Jandek! With the documentary about the enigmatic singer/songwriter two years ago, who hasn't? What? Have I actually HEARD any Jandek songs? Of course not! He's incredibly enigmatic! I'm just a boy hailing from Canada's little sibling -- I'm fairly content with our native son; you must realize, of course, that I'm addressing Mr. Bob Dylan. Well okay, Bob and Bruce. We can't forget The Boss, now, can we? And Neil. Mr. Young has quite a few albums on my iPod. And Tom Petty, and Paul Simon, and Johnny Cash -- well, you get the picture. I'm familiar with the regulars. But alas! I must review this Jandek tribute!

It's sort of hard doing this whole review thing not knowing how a Jandek song would normally sound like. I mean, the Jeff Tweedy cover sounds like Jeff Tweedy; the same can be said for Okkervil River, Mountain Goats, and Six Organs Of Admittance. The other groups I do not know, but I can assume that their songs would too sound like fairly general material from them.

A Real Knife Head? Ross Beach? Pothole Skinny? Know these artists? I know I don't. And though it's pretty cool hearing these songs for the first time, I think I'd like the Jandek versions better. From basic chord structure and lyrics, I sense a strong talent that doesn't seem like it could be hindered, even by a poor execution (though I'm not assuming that Jandek has a poor execution of his own material).

So what did I learn from this? Well, (A) Summersteps doesn't have the money to pay enough big names to do a tribute album where I'd recognize more than four artists, and (B) I'm fairly interested in this Jandek guy. So as far as I see it, tribute albums have two purposes: (1) Give hardcore fans a different take on their favorite artists' songs, and (2) give people exposure to new music though the way of artists they already know. I think this has accomplished the latter.