On Thursday in Columbus, the Wexner Center will screen the new documentary Better Than Something: Jay Reatard, a film about prolific Memphis punk-rocker Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr. aka Jay Reatard, who died in 2010 at the age of 29. What began as a series of 2009 interviews with Lindsey for a promotional documentary called Waiting for Something became a larger project after his death, as the filmmakers sought out Lindsey’s friends, family members and former bandmates to fill out the picture of a controversial figure, known for his on-stage vitriol as much as his hooks. (I remember him hurling at least two insults at crowd members during his show at the Summit just a couple months before he died.)
The A.V. Club describes the doc this way: “Better Than Something doesn’t really try to resolve the mystery of how someone could be simultaneously so productive and destructive. But given how briefly Jay Reatard was in the public eye, it’s a thrill to see so much performance footage in Better Than Something, as well as to hear multiple perspectives on some of the most legendary Reatard antics.”
The Wexner Center is also bringing in Eric Davidson, singer for the legendary Columbus band New Bomb Turks, to introduce the screening. Davidson wrote about Jay Reatard in his book We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988–2001. Davidson will also DJ and sign books from 5:30-7 in the Wex store.
Ace of Cups hosts the post-screening party with Angry Cougars, Slave Labia and Nervosas.