Clubs & Concerts

Half Japanese, Lud, Polyorchard

When: Thu., Oct. 24, 8:30 p.m. 2013

Jad Fair and his brother, David, made their debut as Half Japanese 36 years ago and have released 13 studio albums since, the last in 2001. Their songs mimic life: They're odd, jarring and strangely hopeful, occasionally hard to follow but sometimes utter nonsense. Jad's nasal voice is an acquired taste, stuck somewhere between John S. Hall's manic speak-sing and Tiny Tim's helium trill. But the idiosyncratic vocals work within the context of Fair's nutty lo-fi naf-punk. His lyrics range from humorously unabashed sci-fi meditations to straight-faced bluster on "Last Straw" and the comic "My Sordid Past," which opens over a slinky jazz-punk groove: "I was a male prostitute for the FBI/ Your sister paid me $480." Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum plucked them out of semi-retirement (they play annually in Westminster, Md.) for 2012's All Tomorrow's Parties festival. After some tour dates this month, they'll start recording a new Half Japanese album. —Chris Parker

Price: $12

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