I'll use this post to round up links involving the sad news of the death of Memphis garage-punk icon Jay Reatard
at age 29.
* Pitchfork has
a couple of videos from live Reatard performances.
* Brooklyn Vegan was tracking rumors
of the death during the afternoon, as we were here at the CA, but it soon became clear that they weren't just rumors. BV also links to an interview with Jay
from October, as well as a collection of fantastic photos
from a 2008 show in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
* AV Club
also links to an interview, this one from last January
, right before Jay's Matador debut, Watch Me Fall
* The Los Angeles Times
has a condensed bio that covers all the bases, including Jay's unfortunate flirtations with controversy:
The troubled performer, whose entire band quit in October over an
undisclosed dispute and whose rising star was occasionally besmirched
by negative publicity over stage violence, leaves behind a legacy of
energetic, angry and often melodic recordings with a variety of bands.
In fact, another one of those controversies had popped up just a day or two before Jay's death. This one
involved a feud with New Jersey band Liquor Store.
* As Lydia from Earsucker.com
points out, music site Prefix had very unfortunate timing in naming Jay's Watch Me Fall
as one of the worst album covers of 2009
* Says Carrie Brownstein
on NPR's Monitor Mix blog:
It's a sad day for music because we lost a guy who made the kind of
songs most of us -- in our heart of hearts -- really love. We love it
because before we got all worldly and esoteric in our tastes, all we
wanted was for our music to rumble and roar, to give us that teenage
* Celeb Stoner digs up
a 2008 interview with Jay after a show in Boston. In the video, Jay talks about getting started in music as a teenager, and he talks frankly about using drugs.
UPDATE: Plenty more links to get to on the day after Jay's death.
* Creative Loafing
, the alternative weekly newspaper in Atlanta, has a roll of images of the always-photogenic Jay playing an in-store show with his former band. As well, some comments about Jay's final record, 2009's Watch Me Fall
It was his breakthrough record that saw his songwriting move beyond the
confrontational Ramone's style speedy and abrasive melancholy punk
blasts, to a more refined blend of noisy pop songs. Nevertheless, he
was an irreverent performer known for the frenzied energy he released
during his shows. On-stage he couldn't get through his songs fast
enough, while his band mates fought desperately to keep up.
* MTV has reactions from the Pixies, with whom Jay recently toured, and Beck, whose "Gamma Ray" Jay once covered
. Says Bradford Cox of Deerhunter:
"He was transgressive and honest. His flaws were something he focused on
and overdubbed and distorted until they made you forget who he really
was: a person with feelings and a good heart. He loved music and worked
hard from a young age to pursue it. He was a self-made and unmade man.
I am truly sickened to see him go."
* A news site from British Columbia digs up another old interview
that occasionally sounds eerily prescient in parts:
"You know what? I'm gonna fade away. I'm gonna be that person. I'm
definitely not gonna burn out. To burn out, you have to have this big
f**kin' fire and this big explosion.
"It's not gonna happen for me. I'm gonna slowly dwindle into more
obscurity than I ever started off with. I want to be Amadeus [laughs]."
* Denver music blog Westword presents "Video Evidence of Jay Reatard's Ass Kicking Life," including a clip from Gonerfest 6 in Memphis.
Cranking out songs of furious energy and blinding brevity, confounding
expectations at every opportunity and generally kicking the shit out of
everything around him, Jay Reatard was one of the most promising
rockers, not just in punk, but in all of music.
* Photographer Jacob Blickenstaff, whose work is on display at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, posts some of his stunning pictures from 2007's Gonerfest 4, along with links to today's NPR and New York Times pieces. The Times piece, by the way, contains a quote from a Spin magazine review of Jay's Watch Me Fall that sums up why his untimely death stings so much:
"Few indie-rockers have ever been on a roll like this."