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.
Pels ikke bjørnen før den er skudt. Or, don’t skin the bear before it’s been shot. That seems to be exactly what Jay Reatard’s old band members tried to do when they walked out on him in October. (But then again, that’s punk music, right?) Inconvenient timing (due to them being on tour at the time) seems to be the only downside from this situation as Danish band Cola Freaks are now officially on board the lo-fi garage punk project and have been trucking through Europe with him since. This seems to be a win-win situation, as he is finally visiting Columbus again (Sunday night at the Summit), now with a kick-ass European punch and seemingly quite happy about the new additions. He spent 10 days in October recording in the Freaks’ hometown of Aarhus and has gone on the record about it, saying, “It sounds exactly the way I wanted these songs to sound like live when I wrote them.” (Cue proverbial twisting of knife.) It’s a good time to be Danish, as Jay and the band will also be opening for The Pixies on their Doolittle tour that kicks off this weekend in Chicago. Oh, and now Reatard’s former rhythm section is apparently joining up with Wavves.
I guess I was half-right back in August about rumors that Jay Reatard was close to inking a major deal. Looks like he’s set to release 6 limited-edition singles on Matador next year, with a compilation of the singles to be released on CD and LP afterwards. The Matablog post:
We’re pleased to announce Matador will be releasing six limited edition singles in 2008 by the wildly prolific Jay Reatard.
Manufactured quantities of each single will diminish with each successive release. We’ve not figured out the exact scheme yet, but given our commitment to the customer-always-being-angry, rest assured the numbers will be lower than you’d like.
Who knows if Reatard will continue to be courted by the majors? I think he’ll like his new home just fine.