I saw ½ Japanese, who featured Jad Fair on vocals and guitar, open for the Dead Kennedys when I was 17. Based on that performance, I was firmly convinced they were the worst band on Earth. Later, I was shocked to discover they had a 7" single out! I mean, someone was stupid enough to put out a record of that? They just made a buncha noise, and, out of six people on stage, only one of them appeared to know how to play his guitar, and he looked all of 14 (he, Mark Jickling, was actually quite a bit older than me)!
I didn't know at the time that the single,
Spy, was from a full-length album, Loud, now on CD with the b-sides from the aforementioned single plus the also excellent Horrible EP. Or that Loud had been preceded by a couple of 7" records, a couple of cassettes, and a triple-LP box set, 1/2 Gentlemen/Not Beasts!
Jad and his brother David founded ½ Japanese in 1974. David wrote the majority of the songs in those early years, so I guess that's why Jad started doing solo releases. Jad's solo songs gravitate mainly towards love, mostly unrequited, and monster/horror movie themes; today's song,
Another Silent Night, is one of the former. Musically, the album veers from noise collages to frantic anti-rock to beautiful sadness. As far as I know, it is the only of his solo albums to never see reissue, in CD or any other form. That's a damn shame.
NOTE: There was a follow-up, of sorts, to this song called
1,000,000 Kisses on the 1988 ½ Japanese album Charmed Life.