The print edition of Last Plane to Jakarta is published every time a guy in Uttar Pradesh who identifies himself only as “Mohan” calls John Darnielle collect and says he’s going to do something drastic unless he gets his hands on some pretty seriously wordy analysis of records, cassettes or compact discs, preferably not blank ones. One time John tried to write about a blank cassette, just to see what would happen, and now he has one less finger to type with. Mohan’s tastes have run to heavy metal and early hip-hop lately, so readers of Last Plane to Jakarta should expect to be reading some more about those styles of music, though John insists that he will not be dictated to, even as he claims his entire enterprise is nothing less than the dictated will of a stranger halfway across the world. There have been six issues published so far:
#1, as far as we can recall, had a piece about the U.K. dance act called the Prodigy and another about an improvisational noise-jazz duo from Washington named Wood Paneling. It probably had more, but John does not actually have a copy of #1 himself. Somewhere between fifty and a hundred issues were printed.
#2 featured vastly improved design and pieces about Goodie Mob, the Afghan Whigs, Bright Eyes, Elliott Smith, Charlie McAlister, and Nothing Painted Blue. Last Plane to Jakarta is proud to have been among the first on board the Bright Eyes bandwagon, and among the earliest to jump right back off.
#3 had transcripts of long, involved orations about Peanut Butter Wolf, Spandau Ballet, Nigel Bunn, Monoshock, Pink Floyd’s “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” and My Bloody Valentine. This issue will probably be best remembered in the Darnielle household as the one where John began to get seriously unmanageable about this Spandau Ballet business.
#4 had a piece about heavy metal that conjured Blue Oyster Cult, Amorphis, and Grim Reaper, and other bits about Zaza, Pantychrist, Suede, and Low. That was a lot of one-word band names for one issue, wasn’t it? Yes, it was.
#5 championed the Jesus Lizard’s Bang as the bloody-knuckled genius of a singles comp it really was, and had other pieces on an Indonesian punk band called Parkinson, the Angels of Light, the Cheater Slicks, and the Supreme Dicks. You could call it the “Slicks and Dicks” issue, I guess, if you had nothing better to do, but Last Plane to Jakarta earnestly hopes that you do, in fact, have at least one better thing to do.
No back issues are available, since all issues were printed in very limited quantities. At some point we hope to collect all of them (except maybe #1, since who knows what that one was actually like?) into one handy volume, but this depends more on what our friend Mohan had for breakfast than on any more practical matters. As we do not believe that Mohan has access to a modem at this point in time, we would like to say for the record: damn you, Mohan. Someday we are going to rise up. Just you wait.