Jay Reatard

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About Jay Reatard

For about a dozen years, from 1998 up to his tragic death in 2010, Jay Reatard was one of the most ferociously innovative garage punks on the planet. Born James Lee Lindsey Jr. in 1980, the singer and guitarist was still a teenager when his first band, the infamously christened Reatards, began tearing up Memphis’ legendary garage-rock scene with static-smothered anthems of angst and loathing inspired by their hometown heroes the Oblivians. Developing a reputation as a brilliant musician who could be violently unpredictable onstage, he would burn through a string of projects—including the synth-punk-informed Lost Sounds, Bad Times, and Final Solutions—before dropping his 2006 solo debut, Blood Visions, on In the Red Records. While the album unloads plenty of crude distortion, the brilliant tension between Jay Reatard’s darkly gonzo storytelling and growing knack for art-punk hooks made it a breakout hit. A deluge of singles soon followed, as well as 2009’s jangly Watch Me Fall, his second full-length and first for Matador Records. It seemed as if Jay Reatard was on the verge of mainstream recognition when an overdose claimed his life at the age of 29.

Lilbourn, MO, United States
May 1, 1980
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