Manhattan Tuesday is the first live Jandek album to embrace the muffled spaciousness of a live recording. This double-disc sounds like a bootleg, and in light of the ghostly pace of the performance, the hazy low-end feels like a deliberate, aesthetic choice. Slow motion waves of funeral drones ebb and flow in the foggy fidelity, shrouding bursts of drum rolls and rattles under layers of echoing resonance.
The lyrical content of each song is a survey of social anxiety and existential jitters. The Representative from Corwood hovers behind a Korg synthesizer, howling away over plodding organ sounds. His voice whines and weaves a chain of dark philosophical inquiries. Song lengths range from seven to 20 minutes, and no one track is any more or less hypnotic than the others. These seven numbers, recorded at the Anthology Film Archives in September 2005 are appendages of a larger composition, titled Afternoon of Insensitivity, (but Afternoon of Insecurity would be a more appropriate title).
This is also the first Jandek recording where the fingerprint of another, recognizable musician, guitarist Loren Connors, effects the overall compositions so profoundly. Manhattan Tuesday takes shape as a collaboration that gives direction to Connors' drifting washes of sound, while bringing Jandek’s obtuse ways to a discernible point. Matt Heyner (bass) and Chris Corsano (drums) lay down a slow, rhythmic foundation, but their contributions are only the frame around the haunting merger of Connors and the Rep’s respective takes on abstract musical expressionism.