Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jay Reatard 5/1/80 - 1/13/10

Indie rock has lost its hero. Over the past decade plus, Jimmy Lee Lindsey pushed the boundaries of punk rock. In the process, he made some amazing records. At only age 29, Jay Reatard had already amassed quite a prolific portfolio of albums, singles, and ex-bandmates. Everyone knows about his volatility when it came to bandmates as well as meddlesome fans. What could be called anger issues could also be considered defending his art. He did not suffer mediocrity lightly. His perfectionism and talent shown through more with every effort. He was simply the indie artist of the decade.

His work with the Reatards was limited but extremely fun and enjoyable. The Lost Sounds were a great experiment. The Final Solutions, Bad Times, Terror Visions, and Destruction Unit were all fine diversions that really just served as a filter that Jay sang through. With only two full length albums and a slew of singles, Jay was finally coming into his own as a solo artist. Blood Visions is a truly great album but the singles collections showed a different side of the Reatard. One of the truly saddest parts of his death is that he was so hardworking and that is how he became great. He experimented with his music for 11 years and was reaching his creative apex. And he was still only 29 years old. I'm a year older than him and I don't know that I've had as many original ideas as he had songs. But if Watch Me Fall is truly the last thing we ever hear from this brilliant artist, there are worse epitaphs.

Here is the last track off of Watch Me Fall, "A Whisper"

No comments: