Jay Reatard

Jay Reatard
From January 14 to 25 I will be counting down the ten new acts I expect big things from in 2008. As always, it’s tough to predict just who will break through and who will fade into obscurity once the year ends, but really, the point of this exercise is to get you pumped about the artists I’m pumped about. Enjoy reading, and don’t hesitate to point out how right or wrong I was to us when 2009 comes around.

Okay, I’m about ten years too late if I’m trying to actually discover the magnificent Jay Reatard, but since folks finally (and belatedly) caught on last year with his scorching 2006 solo debut, Blood Visions, it’s time to pronounce 2008 as the year Jay gets us — excuse my political incorrectness here (blame the Black Eyed Peas!) — totally and utterly reatarded. (Nope, there’s no getting past how awful that sounds.) With the ink still drying on his contract with Matador, things are looking up for Memphis boy, who plans to begin releasing his limited edition set of six seven-inch singles through the label some time in March — with a CD/LP compilation of them all to follow shortly after, don’t worry. Now for some back story.

Born Jay Lindsey (no relation, he uses an "e” y’see), this prolific garage hound found his songwriting ambition in his early teens, making homemade demos and catching the ear of Goner Records’ owner Eric Friedl when he was only 15. From there he went on to sign with the label and form the somewhat renowned Reatards, who released five LPs and about twice as many seven-inches. He then formed the Lost Sounds as a side project, which quickly became his prime focus when he disbanded the Reatards. This band then went on to record four albums and a slew of EPs and comps — yeah, Matador better have that cheque book on hand at all times. To fulfil his inexhaustible obsession with writing, Jay also spent time in three other bands — the Bad Times, the Final Solutions and Angry Angles — before he set off to taste the sweetness of individuality. And when he was ready, In the Red were there to pick him up, releasing the aforementioned Blood Visions — an album with one of the greatest covers ever — as well as last year’s highly touted Night of Broken Glass EP. (Dude, has also released four other solo singles on various labels in the last two years — he’s seriously a machine!) A sucker for abrasive production, Jay’s unhinged personality turns killer melodies — that would normally find a home in some glossy pop punk song — into weapons of mass destruction, settling up a battle between the hissing ring infecting your left ear and the bubblegum hooks massaging your right ear. March just can’t come soon enough.

Jay Reatard "Night of Broken Glass”

Jay performs live in Vegas and kicks a dude in the face!

Some random dude named Mike subjecting his grandparents to Jay Reatard’s "My Family” and some vulgar dance moves