Album Review

Fair, Jad and Naofumi Ishimaru – “Half Alien” – [Sakura Wrechords]

abacus   7/24/2013   A Library, CD


40 mutant cartoon shorts from alien transplant Jad Fair and creature counterpart Naofumi Ishimaru. Fair founded the weirdo rock-pop band Half Japanese with his brother David in 1974 and went on to record a number of solo and collaborative projects. He’s worked with folks like Daniel Johnston, Richard Hell, Thurston Moore, John Zorn, Kevin Blechdom, Fred Frith, Eugene Chadbourne, Yo La Tengo, God is My Co-Pilot and many more. Here we have a series of his signature silly surrealist storytime adventures through oriental jungles, cosmic ghost towns and dreamy slophouses; battling demon monsters and squirming snakes to win pretty princesses and swinging monkeys. Suffer deliriously desperate love songs and paranoid noir nightmares side by side with Ren-Fair whirligigs and dilapidated nursery rhymes. Flop-funk roundabouts, fantastical freak-jazz collapse and rollicking rockabilly stumble-bumps. Tiki torture tunes, tropical western ballads, rickety blues marches and some ritualistic call-to-action. This album has it all! Sometimes gentle, sometimes abrasive, always quirky and curiously voyeuristic. Tickle your brain with a pipe cleaner through the ear with these fiddling flopheads.

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