Friday, November 13, 2009

Hands-down one of the best live acts in the country, Jay Reatard and his band play Pearl Street this Wednesday 11/25.

In the late 90s, 15-year-old Jay, living right outside Memphis, played all of the instruments on a demo tape by his newly-minted performing moniker of The Reatards and sent it to Eric Fried from the Memphis punk band the Oblivians, who had used the Goner Records imprint on a couple of releases. He released a 7" of recordings by The Reatards, followed by a full length LP, Teenage Hate. After quickly building a reputation for an anything-goes live set, and releasing another excellent full length Grown Up, Fucked Up, Jay Reatard shoved what was previously a side project to the forefront and started raising eyebrows with something other than live mayhem: Songwriting and an ear for breaking ground.

His band The Lost Sounds, formed with then-girlfriend Alicia Trout, lasted a mere six years but left a recorded legacy that dwarfs, in size and quality, most bands that have been around for two or more decades. Sadly, it’s a legacy that remains underrated and overlooked, yet they predicted the visceral synth-heavy post-punk that bands like Brooklyn’s Liars would take to the bank. Today, the growing popularity of a band such as Blank Dogs only exemplifies the impact that the Lost Sounds had on the garage-punk underground of six or so years ago.

Jay’s first album under the solo name of Jay Reatard, Blood Visions was released in early 2006 and it went largely unnoticed until the excitement and vivacious outrageousness of the live act brought up the rear and laid the groundwork for Jay's growing national acclaim.

Hands-down one of the best live acts in the country, Jay Reatard and his band fuel a phenomenon by sheer force and efficiency: Shows frequently featuring 18 songs (or more) in 25 minutes (or less), often running through his catalog at double or triple speed, and announcing the next song title before the first song ended. Though lately they’ve been known to play as long as an hour and to take the occasional breath, the crowd-pleasing sense of panic and brutality remains. -Caroline Bastarache

Jay Reatard plays the Pearl Street Clubroom on Wed 11/25 at 9PM with Who Shot Hollywood and Rabbit Rabbit opening. Tickets Here.

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