Über Half Japanese
Jad Fair's spastic poetry and retardo-genius guitar playing are often found in their most accessible form on Half Japanese records. For the uninitiated, "accessible" by Jad Fair standards can be read as "just this side of coherent." Since 1977 Jad and (intermittently) brother David have been backed by a revolving lineup of underground royalty as they rip apart rock 'n' roll structures. At their best, on a song like "Charmed Life," the band sounds like Pussy Galore fronted by Buddy Holly. At their worst they still kick the hell out of anybody whose ever tried to deconstruct something as stupid as rock 'n' roll. A perpetual state of adolescent horniness marks the proceedings, with Fair inexplicably managing to sound genuinely innocent in the midst of furious, caterwauling Noise Rock. To the educated musician, Half Japanese is a nightmare; the joyful celebration of instrumental incompetence is the sort of thing that makes Berklee students purple with rage. But for folks who think "Sister Ray" is about as good as it gets, Half Japanese can be a revelation.