Run for the Shadows: Jack Name's Dazzling and Eccentric Light Show
by Dave Segal
on Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 12:55 PM
COURTESY OF DRAG CITY
Despite the bleach, Jack Name is the antithesis of plastic SoCal culture.
The year is absurdly young right now, but I'm calling it: Light Show by LA musician/producer Jack Name is going to be one of the rock albums of 2014. Its 12 tracks skitter and slither by in 29 minutes, but their strange tonal aura and off-center yet addictive melodic flavor demand repeat plays. Like some of the best releases from the Ralph Records roster, Light Show teems with subliminal details that may make sense only under the influence of mind-altering substances.
Jack Name is the nondescript alias of a sonic eccentric with sweet connections in LA's fertile subterranean-rock anti-scene; he's pals with Ariel Pink and played shows with the glo-fi progenitor before anyone gave a damn about him. Name also plays guitar for White Fence when that brilliant psych band tours. For the record, Jack Name's website is johnwebsterjohns.com, but nothing is sure in his world. "I'll probably have 20 more names I'll want to try on," Name says in a phone interview, his low, slow delivery at odds with his frenzied, high-pitched singing style. "There's no strategy behind it. It's just weird indecisiveness and a lack of respect for my lineage."
Name's résumé includes stints with the Charlemagnes and Fancy Space People—groups so low-profile they don't even have Discogs pages—and working solo as Fictional Boys and Muzz. All the while in his Rampart Village pad, he was working on the songs that form Light Show, which Ty Segall's Drag City imprint God? just issued.