HALF MONSTER
JAD FAIR AND NAOFUMI ISHIMARU  :
JAD AND NAO:  HALF MONSTER   MISC007


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Austin, Texas – January 15th.
MISC. MUSIC proudly releases a new album by Jad Fair and Naofumi
Ishimaru.  The two sonic creators combine to form
JAD and NAO.  HALF MONSTER is the pair’s third collaborative release
(preceded by HALF ROBOT and HALF ALIEN).  
Jad and his brother David Fair are the founding members
of the seminal bedroom punk band, HALF JAPANESE in the late seventies.  
HALF JAPANESE released albums throughout the eighties and into the
nineties, even touring with NIRVANA on the
IN UTERO tour.  

Jad later released dozens of solo records and collaborations with artists like:
MAUREEN TUCKER, TEENAGE FANCLUB, JASON WILLET, the members of
SONIC YOUTH, and YO LA TENGO.
Jad is joined by Naofumi Ishimaru, the Japanese noise maker
who formed the impressive noise band YXIMALLOO in the eighties.
Together the two musicians make a wide variety of recordings.  

Some of the songs on HALF MONSTER are very direct lyrical songs, like the
spectacular Sugar Girl, about enjoying an ice cream cone with a girlfriend.
Lonely Song is a super catchy version of the
Daniel Johnston cover.  JAD and NAO are able to span the limits of the rock
and roll medium from the wildest and weirdest version of Chuck Berry’s: Roll
Over Beethoven ever recorded to the pure shining noise madness of NO
EVIL STAR.  In FOOD – PRO CON Jad seems to channel Dr. Suess in a diatribe
about his dietary preferences, which appear to include almost anything “hot
or cold” but “no spot - no mold.”  

The pairing of JAD and NAO provides the two musicians with an opportunity
to place two distinct sounds together which compete for your attention yet
somehow are both strong enough to hold together equally and still be a
listenable “song.”  If this is not feat enough, check Godzilla Invades Mars,
which Jad sings from Godzilla’s perspective and in the process quotes
Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistol’s Anarchy in the U.K., “he knows what he
wants and he knows where to get it, he wants to destroy a passerby.”  

JAO and NAO :
set the punk spirit of GODZILLA free in HALF MONSTER!

JAD AND NAO HALF MONSTER MISC007 CD
IN STORES JANUARY 31ST

DISTRIBUTION BY REVOLVER USA
JAD AND NAO "HALF MONSTER"   MISC007
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REVIEWS:
Jad & Nao

Half Monster (Misc. Music)

Recorded 10 years ago, Half Monster yields a whopping 45 songs, and
coming from Manor's Jad Fair, they couldn't be anything except the
disc's title. Joined by Japanese noise artist Naofumi Ishimaru, the Half
Japanese co-founder has assembled a jigsaw puzzle of sounds, with
the typical fodder: "Frankenchrist," "Godzilla Invades Mars," "Snake
Had Legs." A cover of "Roll Over Beethoven" is rendered barely
recognizable in Ishimaru's hands, though strangely charming.
Appearances from Half Japanese collaborators Mark Jickling and Gilles
Rieder give Half Monster its pop edge, Fair staying true to his themes of
love and food as well. Also true to the title, the ear-ringing influence of
Ishimaru adds a rougher finish, many tracks veering between drone
and stream of consciousness under a bubble of twitch and crawl. As
individual cuts, there isn't one that stands out; rather, Half Monster is a
whole listening experience, cultural exchange between left and right
brain.

- Audra Schroeder   AUSTIN CHRONICLE
Jad And Nao
Half Monster
Misc. Music
(2008, CD)

by Bret McCabe

A few gulped swallows of air strafe a glitchy loop of metal clatter and ramshackle
electronics. Drums stumble in the background like a toddler taking her first steps.
Those air gulps quickly become vocal smears that could be female, could be male,
or could be howler monkey. And 53 seconds later it's all over before you get any
sense of what's going on--and that's it. God Is My Co-Pilot's super-wonderful
Sharon Topper and Craig Flanagin show up for "1/3 American"--the title of those
opaque 53 seconds--on a new album for the first time in years, and what does this
guest appearance produce? Less than a minute of arrhythmic clamor that not only
doesn't even tease but barely even frustrates. Thank you, Jad Fair.

Fair's music is about defying expectations. And here the co-founder of Half
Japanese--the finest export ever from Uniontown, Md.--once again teams up with
Naofumi Ishimaru, the Japanese artist behind the sublime performance outfit
Yximalloo, for yet another distillation of completely reorganized rock, gloriously
discombobulated pop, noisily melodic spoken-word sound poetry,
harnessed-wreckage doohickeys, and other mirthful treats that slip through the
fingers of nouns and adjectives. Half Monster--Fair and Ishimaru's third release and
Fair's, like, 4 billionth overall--is what Fair fans have come to adore about his
projects. Songs built out of one/two gratuitously simple ideas--roiling drums
chasing twangy guitars, a jazz big-band drum solo dancing with bird-call
whistles--are played with a skipping-class glee and given Amy Hempel-meets-Roald
Dahl ingenious titles, such as "Snake Had Legs" and "Food--Pro and Con,"
respectively. These lyrics' subject matter feels practically survival-instinct impulsive,
and their transformation into song connects to that primal inner brain that innately
understands the maxim: happy equals, well, happy.

As always, the album is a Fair extended-family affair. Longtime Half Jap members
Mark Jickling (guitar) and Gilles Rieder (drums) provide some pound and shimmy,
and frequent Fair collaborator and the True Vine Record Shop raconteur Jason
Willett mixed the majority of what's here. And since these effervescent brain bombs
rarely break the two-minute mark, Half Monster packs 45 tracks onto one CD. If the
woodwind belches and groans of "Big, Not Teeny" aren't doing it for you, just wait a
minute.

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'Half Monster' is the collaborative work of Jad Fair and Naofumi Ishimaru; a wildly diverse,
obtuse even, album of succinct works, forty-five tracks in all, that is as challenging as it is
extraordinary.  A bit like Zappa meets Stockhausen, 'Half Monster' is driven mainly by
percussive onslaughts embellished with angular and often industrial sounding electronics
and guitars. This is definitely one for the open-minded experimentalist out there; this
takes 'alternative' to 'alternative' destinations!
'Half Monster' maybe pretty spiky and tangential but somehow Jad And Nao make it work
with their zany assault on the senses - pushing at normality, pulling at convention, poking,
prodding and pawing at compositional guidelines and pounding harmony and discord into
one angular entity. Fascinating but testing, 'Half Monster' aint no sell-out to commerciality,
far from it, 'Half Monster' takes risks, it bends rules, it casts itself firmly and squarely into
'cult' territory and sits there waiting for Mr.Strangely-Strange or Mr.Oddly-Normal to come
along, discover its quite normal outer skin and sample its bizarrely weird inner delights.

Jad And Nao's conjoined and deformed brainchild, 'Half Monster', is as unusual as it gets
and yet, somehow, it pulls you in - there's a winching device concealed within its 'hood'
that hooks on and gently, unknowingly, starts to draw you into its heart. Not exactly
infectious but certainly a work that begs to be re-visited, 'Half Monster' is very hard to
describe, you have to experience it to really understand what's going on. Yes, it's an
experience rather than just a musical interlude - 'Half Monster' can be as fulfilling as you
want it to be but, it can also be as repellent and you let it be. Like the physical behaviour of
two magnets but in reverse, you being one, 'Half Monster' the other - if the poles oppose
you'll be repelled, if the poles concur, you'll be attracted, if the two poles remain flexible
about an axis you'll remain undecided, one day you're in, the next you'll keep your distance.

'Half Monster' by Jad And Nao includes a few surprises in the form of unexpected 'covers'
that you'll probably not even recognise the first time around - so obtuse are they!! On the
whole, 'Half Monster' by Jad And Nao is a trip of discovery and adventure but, that trip may
just turn out to be a bad one if you're not totally committed to the journey. Wild stuff this,
not for everyone, not to be treated lightly, a weirdly adventurous work to separate the
'men' from the 'boys'! Not easy listening, not really commercial but somehow it works in the
stark spotlight of musical experimentation and in the brazen, full-on alternative world.

Peter J Brown aka toxic pete (www.toxicpete.co.uk)
TOXIC PETE UK
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