New Tunes from Jay Reatard

jayDid everyone know that I love Jay Reatard? Okay, so if you follow ATH, it’s pretty clear that I’m a huge fan, and I had promised not to throw his name around for a bit, but I can’t help it. Jay is re-opening his past, meaning he’s relaunching Shattered Records so that everyone can get their hands on his extensive back catalog. Not to mention, he’s offering a subscription to a Singles Club for $75. And, and, he’s giving away a new tune.  Here is that new track!


Download: Jay Reatard – You’re Gonna Lose [MP3]

Jay Reatard – Matador Singles ’08

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Surprisingly, Jay Reatard is releasing all the songs off of his latest seven inch series on Matador Records in an easy to use CD format, not to mention the fact that you will actually be able to get your hands on this compilation, rather than bidding the hundereds of dollars required to acquire the 7 inches.

Okay, so there might be some bias in that first paragraph, but now that the CD version of the 7 inches has been made available, does it live up to the adoration for those Jay Reatard fans out there?  Yes, and no.

Opening the album with “See/Saw” is a good choice, as it is one of the two best songs on the entire collection.  It’s full of that classic pop sensibiliity that the band incorporates into their garage-punk sound.  It’s a good introduction to the collection–but the band has to step it up from here in order to win over the listener on this compilation.

But, the band doesn’t really go much further on the album, aside from “Always Wanting More,” which is one of the better songs the band has created. It’s easily the most pop driven effort that you will find here; this is the best formula for creativity with concerns to Jay Reatard.

Aside from those two highlights, there isn’t a lot of quality offered on the rest of the complilation. Sure, you get a cover of Deerhunter‘s “Fluorescent Grey,” but even that isn’t the most remarkable of covers.  There are also a lot of flaws, such as the quality of the vocals.  It seems that the lo-fi recording process could have been a little more fleshed out here.  Sure, it’s got that 7 inch quality, but is that what you want on CD?  It’s an entirely different medium, and the vocals sound nothing at all like they did on Bloodvisions.

So at the end of the album, you have to judge the compilation as one would judge a complete album.  As far as complete albums go, most will find that its a fairly poor effort.  Some extreme high points, but nothing as consistent as the band’s last full length.  In fact, you can find lower moments here, then anywhere else in the band’s catalogue (extended and as Jay Reatard).  It seems that as prolific as this man has become, that it might do him well to take a break.  He might get more from spending a little time in the studio writing and mixing, and we, the listeners, might get more as well.

Still, as a different medium, as the collection was orginally intended and produced, it was pretty glorious; this despite the fact that various record stores–I’m looking at you Waterloo–hoarded the 7 inches for their employees, or even for eBay sales, which will cost you two arms and a knee-cap to get the final 7 inch.  So as compilation it fails, other than providing you with an easily transferable format to carry with you, but as a collection of 7 inches, go Jay Reatard!

I Got Jay Reatarded Last Night

It’s less than twelve hours since I walked away from the scuzzy walls of Red Seven, and still my ears are ringing from the sheer level of noise that I gladly witnessed, as rock n’ roll returned once again to my life. It’s funny, I listen to a lot of music, but its seems rock has become less of a staple in my music dietary supplements. I would like to extend my gratitude to Jay Reatard for reaffirming my belief in it’s greatness – even with possible hearing loss.

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Jay Reatard @ Red Seven–8/3

This Sunday we will be fortunate enough to get to hear the garage rock of Jay Reatard.  He’s made lots of music news with his hard to come by set of 7″ series on Matador Records, and he will take the stage in our hometown at Red Seven.  If anything, it should just be a good old fashioned rock n’ roll show–just don’t get punched in the face. That means keeping your hands and feet in the bus at all times.

Pick up your tickets.

Also, you can hear University of Minnesota’s Radio K stream some in-studio performances by Jay if you hit this spot.

Deerhunter Covers Jay Reatard

I love Jay Reatard, and I spent my day Tuesday, desperately trying to get my hands on the new 7″ from Matador. That 7″ hits Waterloo Records on Tuesday, but quantities are going to be limited, as the rest are already sold out. The 7″ is a split, with Jay covering a Deerhunter song, and Deerhunter covering his “Oh Its Such a Shame.” Give it a listen. 


Download: oh_its_such_a_shame.mp3

In other news, buy your tickets for Jay Reatard at Red Seven on August 3rd .

Jay Reatard – Singles 06-07

Rating: ★★★½☆

About a year ago I stumbled into Jay Reatard, well, his record, Bloodvisions. Since that day I have eaten up every piece of news I can find on the man and his band. Out of nowhere news hit me that In The Red Records would be releasing a compilation of all his old singles from various 7″s. I don’t have the money to bid for such things on eBay, so I opted for the more economical solution, buying this here compilation.

The compilation is seventeen new–well, new to me–songs, but you need to examine the tracklist first. The listing includes four different versions of songs that made their way onto Bloodvisions. The songs that might sound familiar to you are “Bloodvisions,” “Oh Its Such a Shame,”Turning Blue,” and “It’s So Easy.” You will also find that the song “Haunting You” from this very compilation sounds really familiar. In fact, if you changed the name to “Nightmares,” you would already have this song. So, you have 12 new songs, but this is all accompanied by a DVD featuring 4 live shows, which are all worth the your viewing.

Do these singles compare to the greatness of the full length? I think that depends on what exactly you are looking at when you listen to this album. Is this your first Jay Reatard experience? If so, then you might find this unique blend of lo-fi garage rock with perfect melodies simply refreshing. It’s hard not to find something to like with this band.

However, if you have previous Jay Reatard experience, you might find this collection of songs kind of a miss. The production quality is the first thing that I noticed that was different. It just didn’t pack the same punch that Bloodvisions brought you. The vocals sometimes appear more muddled than usual. Then you come to the older versions of the songs on Bloodvisions and the only one that really surpasses or equals the newer version is “Haunting You,” which was changed to “Nightmares.”

There are some interesting new twists, such as the keyboard infused “Another Person,” which brings in the bouncy melodies that typically adorn a Jay Reatard song. Also, the bluesy “Hammer I Miss You” is also an interesting touch.

All in all, this is a worthy collection for either listener, Jay Reatard newcomer or diehard. As the newcomer, you get a proper introduction to the rock stylings of Jay Reatard, which we all know is necessary when few bands are making solid rock music nowadays. For the diehard, you get to look into the past of one of your favorites. This album is really a stepping stone for any and all listeners.

Jay Reatard Singles Compilation!

My favorite garage-rocker, Jay Reatard, is said to be distributing a brand new collection of singles this coming Tuesday, June 17th, via In The Red Records. The track listing has four old songs, which means we’ll get 13 brand new Jay Reatard songs, well, sort of. All the songs come from various 7″s, but if you don’t have those, this is brand new! It also comes with a complimentary DVD of four Reatard shows, which might help win you over to the gloriousness of Jay Reatard! According to Jay’s website, he will apparently be showing his face in Austin at Red 7 on August 3rd.

Download: Jay Reatard – Blood Visions [MP3]

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