I first got introduced to Jay Reatard through one of his amazing, now defunct bands: Lost Sounds. A friend of mine had suggested their record after a conversation I had with him regarding my love of '70s arty provocateurs Magazine. "Have you heard Lost Sounds," he said. "They're the only band aside from Magazine with keyboards that I'm really into." Needless to say, I went out and got a copy of the Black Wave double LP and then, after only one listen, I tracked down every Lost Sounds record I could find. Sadly, Lost Sounds broke up shortly after dropping their masterpiece, their self-titled LP.
When I heard Jay was planning on releasing a solo LP I immediately jumped on the opportunity to have a song from said record for the then-upcoming SJ comp CD. This was without even hearing it! Larry at In The Red records sent me a CDR of the Blood Visions record and upon listening to it I knew we had struck gold.
Start to finish, Blood Visions is a modern masterpiece and, subsequently, so is every record Jay has released under his solo moniker. Straddling a line somewhere between raw aggression and pop, Jay's songwriting has the unique ability of finding a way of both pleasing and tormenting every part of the brain that receives and processes music. Good songs are ones that need no additions to improve them. They sound as if they just appeared out of thin air in their completed form, as if they'd always existed. Most good bands are capable of a few of these gems. Somehow, Jay Reatard's warped mind is capable of loading up every record he releases with them.
As amazing as the records are, I had some doubt about how well the songs could be pulled off live. A true "solo artist," Jay plays every instrument on every release (ala Rikk Agnew) and I was worried that a backing band wouldn't be able to handle the difficult task of making these songs come to life live. The minute I heard the band's opening notes at Johnny Brenda's (where these photos where taken) all my fears were squashed. The Boston Chinks (Jay's live band) not only nail the songs, but surprisingly add to them. Not to mention the fact that the The Boston Chinks on Goner Records is also pretty damn amazing in its own right.
In brief: www.jayreatard.com/.
Band Site: Jay Reatard
Label Site: In The Red Records