Teenage Fanclub & Jad Fair
Words of Wisdom and Hope (Alternative Tentacles)
by Jon Sarre
Half Japanese frontman’n’seminal indie rock legend/geek meets up with Scot shoegazers who were famous for, like, five minutes (if you were a Spin staffer) back in the early 1990s, and the results, as expected, are quirky guitar pop freaked up with Mr. Fair’s sense of absurdity/inanity. I’ve never figured out if Jad Fair’s goal is to make us laugh or think or be happy or feel good or somethin’ else that didn’t come to me earlier cuz I ain’t no savant, idiot or otherwise, but this is somethin’ ya can smirk along to if yer so inclined/in a good enough mood to do so. If yer in a bad mood, I guess it’ll just irritate you. Right now, I’m just sorta hungry (not eatin’ll do that to ya), so I’m thinkin’ of where I should eat and Jad’s talkin’ ’bout popping popcorn for the choir and gettin’ out of the mire, some off-handed Jim Morrison reference, to be sure and the first song, “Behold the Miracle,” has got keys that sound like another Morrison, Van, and his “Gloria.” Elsewhere, he mentions monsters and vampires and zombies, but not in some Roky Erickson paranoia way, but more like his buddy Daniel Johnston’s magnum opus “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” like kiddie show cartoon monsters we shouldn’t take too seriously, so we shant. I doubt the Teenage Fanclubers really did.
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