Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stitched Portraits: Jandek

Jandek is allegedly the pseudonym of Sterling R. Smith who was reportedly born on October 26, 1945.  That's about all anyone can say with certainty about the man behind the long-running outsider art project that has been consistently releasing some of the most challenging and hauntingly personal blues music for over 30 years, all without the aid of traditional distribution or promotion.  His example inspired a fierce devotion in my friend, Charles, whose enthusiasm turned out to be infectious and has shaped much of the aesthetic behind our own band, Wind & Ghosts.

Jandek released his/their/its debut album, Ready For The House ,in 1978 through a P.O. box in Houston, Texas.  In the decades since, literally dozens of full-length records have followed.  Through it all, Smith has refused all but two interviews and has balked at being linked by name to the project.  However, as he seems to have come out of his shell a bit in recent years (even playing a number of sporadic live shows beginning in 2004), perhaps a little commemorative portrait wouldn't be entirely unwelcome.

Jandek, the man the myth, as he (supposedly) appears on the cover of The Living End (1989, Corwood Industries #0756):

For a complete catalogue and ordering information, visit or write to Corwood Industries yourself at  P.O. Box 15375, Houston TX 77220.  More information is available on Seth Tisue's excellent fan site ( as well the 2004 documentary film, Jandek On Corwood.

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