Jad Fair

Jad Fair

Jad Fair at Villette Sonique 2011, Parc de la Villette, Paris
Background information
Born (1954-06-09) June 9, 1954
Coldwater, Michigan, United States
Genres Indie rock
Alternative rock
Instruments Vocals, guitar, drums
Years active 1977–present
Labels 50 Skidillion Watts, Iridescence, Paperhouse, Alternative Tentacles, Thick Syrup Records
Associated acts Between Meals, Half Japanese, Daniel Johnston, R. Stevie Moore
Website www.jadfair.org

Jad Fair (born June 9, 1954) is an American singer, guitarist and graphic artist, most famous for being a founding member of lo-fi alternative rock group Half Japanese.


Fair was born in Coldwater, Michigan.[1] In 1974, he and his brother David formed the lo-fi group Half Japanese. Since then, Half Japanese has released nearly 30 records.[2]

Besides Half Japanese, Fair performs and records as a solo artist, and collaborates with artists such as Terry Adams, Norman Blake, Kevin Blechdom, Isobel Campbell, Eugene Chadbourne, DQE, Steve Fisk, Fred Frith, God Is My Co-Pilot, Richard Hell, Daniel Johnston, J. Mascis, Jason Willett, Monster Party, Weird Paul Petroskey, R. Stevie Moore, Thurston Moore, The Pastels, Phono-Comb, Steve Shelley, Strobe Talbot, Teenage Fanclub, The Tinklers, Moe Tucker, Bill Wells, Jason Willett, Adult Rodeo, Lumberob, Yo La Tengo, and John Zorn. Because of his constant output and his large series of collaborations, his discography is very large, and mostly consists of releases on small independent labels. In 1982 Fair released his first solo work, the single "The Zombies of Mora-Tau" followed by the full-length album Everyone Knew ... But Me one year later.

Besides his musical career he's also active as a visual artist, drawings as well as papercuttings. He took up papercutting to alleviate boredom while touring on the road.[3] Many of the album covers are made by Fair. Four books of Fair's art have been published. Exhibitions of Fair's paper cuts and drawings have taken place in New York, Tokyo, Glasgow, Austin, Paris, London, Houston, The Hague at the State-X New Forms festival and in Nantes at Le Lieu Unique together with Daniel Johnston.

It's Spooky is a 1989 collaboration album by Daniel Johnston and Jad Fair. Strange but True is a collaborative album between the band Yo La Tengo and Jad Fair. It was released by Matador Records in 1998. Song titles on the album were taken from outrageous newspaper headlines. In 2002 Fair recorded an album with R. Stevie Moore, titled FairMoore, described as "a lovely, heartfelt effort that shows both in top form" by Dave Mandl, who stated that it "brings together two fiercely original figures in the American music underground", the album consisting of Fair reciting his poetry over Moore's instrumental backing. Words Of Wisdom And Hope is a collaboration between Glasgow, Scotland's Teenage Fanclub and Fair, released in 2002.

In 2008 Vincent Moon made a short documentary called Paris lost in Texas, which is part of his The Take-Away Shows-series. In this short movie he visits Fair in house in Texas. In the same year experimental instrument builder Yuri Landman constructed for Fair a special 2 string instrument called the Bachelor QS. In 2011 Half Japanese reunited as a live band and toured through Europe. In 2011 Thick Syrup Records released the compilation album '78 LTD. This album features the track "36 Perfect Ways I Ching of Love" Fair made with Ken Stringfellow (Posies, R.E.M.). In 2012 Fair contributed to the Landman album That's Right Go Cats with a 22-minute vocal contribution on side A of the record. The Nantes based venue Le Lieu Unique has organised a large exhibition of graphical work made by Fair and Daniel Johnston in April 2012. In the same month Fair released a lost album called Songs from a Haunted House with Gilles Reider on Interbang Records.

In 2012 Jad Fair released on Joyful Noise Recordings a collaboration with French experimentalist trio Hifiklub, and German guitarist/producer kptmichigan. The band was originally assembled to provide the audio component to Jad Fair's art exhibition at Le Dojo - Nice in France, 2011.


In Half Japanese

Main article: Half Japanese



Compilation albums



With David Fair

With Daniel Johnston

With Kramer


In Mosquito

With Nao


With The Pastels


With Gilles Reider

With The Shapir-O Rama

With Teenage Fanclub



With Jason Willett



With Yo La Tengo

With Phono-Comb

Other projects



External links

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