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Albums Of The Week: Jad Fair | Film Music + 100 Songs (A Master Class In Songwriting)

Looking for 250 tiny songs from the Half Japanese leader? You're in the right place.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Can an indie punk legend create his most epic work a half century into his career?

As productive as Guided By Voices and Buckethead are, neither could match Half Japanese leader Jad Fair’s quest to release100 albums in 2021 during his COVID downtime — and he actually topped that goal with a whopping 160 albums. Now he’s whittled them down to a 100-song, double album set that’s a cornucopia of words / songs / sounds. The brief, juicy nuggets of songs were crafted by Jad alone, composing the sounds via the GarageBand computer program, supplemented by his recitals and booming vocal percussion.

Jad is a stunning study in contrast, with enough eerie ghouls to fill up the Shudder Channel and enough plaintive love songs to fill up the Hallmark Channel. There’s truly something for all tastes here and now you can soak it all up in one place.

Along with his sprawling collection 100 Songs, Fair unleashes yet another 150 songs on the album Film Music, a collection of brief instrumentals recorded in 2021 and 2023 with the express purpose of becoming potential celluloid scores, like Brian Eno’s Music For Films.

The DIY and lo-fi aesthetic of punk can be traced to Fair, who, along with his brother David, created the wonderfully crazed ensemble Half Japanese in the mid-’70s. More than 20 albums later, with Jad as the long-term leader and mainstay, its membership has included The Velvet Underground’s Moe Tucker, iconoclast musician Kramer and producer Don Fleming. Fair has also built up an enviable solo career, recording albums with Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub, Daniel Johnston, The Pastels and others.

In addition, he is also known as a renowned visual artist whose drawings and papercut works have appeared in galleries across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Even now, he’s embarked on the most productive period of his career and shows no signs of slowing down.”