Let me preface this entry by saying that it has been a tragic day, both in and outside of the world of music, with Jay Reatard’s passing and the disaster in Haiti. I don’t mean to equate the two events or suggest that the death of one musician is on par with the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people due to a natural catastrophe. That’s ludicrous. But since this is a blog about music, I am choosing to focus on Jimmy Lee Lindsey, Jr., better known as Jay Reatard. That should not stop you from reading or watching news about Haiti, and it should definitely not keep you from visiting the web sites of organizations such as the Red Cross or Mercy Corps to determine how you can help.
As several media sources have reported, Reatard died in his sleep early in the morning. He was 29. I feel like I should add here that I am also 29, and it’s always especially weird when someone who’s only a few months older than you passes away. Then again, in my 29 years, I have no prolific list of shouting, sweaty punk singles that I’ve composed, nor a record label that I’ve created, nor a following that has chronicled my move from garage band jumper to solo artist. But for a guy who made an early single-minded jump into music at the expense of his high school education, those accomplishments couldn’t have possibly been enough, not even at his age. Reatard’s acidic yelp can be heard on dozens of EPs and LPs with bands such as the Reatards, the Lost Sounds, and at least four other groups. His final solo album, Watch Me Fall, was released last August. You can find out more about his unique and articulate perspective in the excellent short documentary below.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
- Jay Reatard ~ Watch Me Fall ~ Matador