Jad Fair tours Europe as Half Japanese, then a solo fraction of Half Japanese; releases personal ‘best of’ set on Fire Records

Jad Fair tours Europe as Half Japanese, then a solo fraction of Half Japanese; releases personal 'best of' set on Fire Records

One way or the other, to hear Jad Fair and Half Japanese is to have an opinion about Jad Fair and Half Japanese. If you love him, then you should be happy to hear that he’s going on a short tour in Europe, appearing in all the festivals you dream about attending if you lived abroad. If you’re an American who thinks that Half Japanese is just off-key vocals and spitting saxophone, then you will be relieved to know that none of your friends will try to enlist you to go to his show. (“It’s Half Japanese!! How can you not want to go?”)

Fair is scheduled to play most of the dates as Half Japanese, while another handful will be billed as “Jad Fair and Gilles Rieder” (who has been a Half Japanese member in the past, but whatever…). Now, we discussed the two options for Half Japanese fandom, but if in the event that you’ve managed to ignore the Fair brothers and all of Jad’s subsequent activity (alone or with Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub, Daniel Johnston, Moe Tucker, etc.), then this is news for you: in February, Jad released a ‘best of’ compilation in the UK, grandiosely entitled Beautiful Songs (The Best of Jad Fair). There have been greatest hits compilations before — namely one from Safehouse in 1995, a couple years after the release of the fawning documentary Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King (directed by Jeff Feuerzeig, who went on to put together The Devil and Daniel Johnston). The tracks on Beautiful Songs, however, were hand-picked by Jad Fair as his personal favorites (there are over 100, so he didn’t feel too modest). Such self-revelry might come off as narcissistic from anyone else, but I think we can excuse the man who sings “I’m Going to the Zoo” and “U.S. Teens Are Spoiled Bums.”

The tourdates that follow don’t include Half Japanese’s spot in the lineup at All Tomorrow’s Parties this December, curated by Jeff Mangum and including two-thirds of The Minutemen playing Minutemen songs, Young Marble Giants, and The Raincoats performing The Raincoats (TMT News). Fleet Foxes, The Olivia Tremor Control, Superchunk, and Scratch Acid are also on the bill — can it get much better? (Yes: read about the full lineup here.)

Half Japanese tourdates:

05.27.11 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Festival
05.28.11 - Paris, France - Festival Villette Sonique
05.31.11 - London, UK - Scala *
06.01.11 - Lyon, France - Festival Nuits Sonores

Jad Fair & Gilles Rieder tourdates:

05.30.11 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo ^
06.03.11 - Nice, France - Le Volume @
12.04.11 - Geneva, Switzerland - Face Z Festival

* The Lovely Eggs, Let’s Wrestle
^ Phat Trophies
@ Hifi Klub

• Jad Fair: http://www.jadfair.org
• Fire: http://www.firerecords.com

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