Half Japanese
Guy Lochhead, 19/07/10
Founded by Jad and David Fair in 1975, Half-Japanese took punk’s DIY ethic to an extreme that resulted in some of the most abrasive, amateurish music ever published. The brothers refuse to learn ‘how to play guitar’. This is intentionally ‘outsider’ music. This self-consciousness upset those who think outsider art must come from (and become) an impossible, fetishised otherness. The band is annoying, it’s true, but they are important for producing a sort of post-outsider-music outsider music that renders fans of the form not just as immobile, frustrated sponges, fearful to engage for affecting and contaminating what they love, but rather as enthusiastic participants in another, complementary genre. Jad Fair will write a song about anything you want for $300. I was going to include ‘1/2 Gentlemen/Half Beasts’, but I don’t want to pay the huge amounts of money that record sells for now, as I think that would contribute to the phenomenon the record is commenting on. I will instead include a printout of ‘How To Play Guitar’ by David Fair.

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