Jad Fair and Daniel Johnston It's Spooky

It is not often that a human being can stay spiritually young while existing in a world of social pressures and expectations. Somehow, Jad Fair and Daniel Johnston have managed to not only stay young but remain very, very young. Originally released in 1989 on Fair's own 50 Skidillion Watts record label, this meek collaboration provides a glimpse into an autistic-like world of creativity. Many of the tracks begin with childish innocence and then turn trippy and acidic, in LSD terms that is, which could be the preservative that has permanently kept these two artists' music as a sort of aural equivalent of a colouring book. The mix of piano and drums are loosely constructed with paste and white glue, and their helium-filled voices, when in unison, make them the post-punk burn-out equivalent to Archie and Edith Bunker, singing their songs of comfort and despair while being on a sinking ship. As the world moves along and ages, the two are more concerned with realistic events, like one's first day at a new job that is nothing short of awkward, or fantasising over Frankenstein's importance on our planet. Six bonus tracks grace this reissue, including covers of Burt Bacharach, Butthole Surfers and the Beatles. Perhaps the most interesting inclusion of bonus material might be the home video of the Roky Erickson-esque Johnston performing "Don't Play Cards With Satan" with a grim church-sounding keyboard that becomes a truly moving and intensely personal look into the unique and gloriously fragile mind that is Daniel Johnston. (Jagjaguwar)