10/29/2012 Leave a comment
10/24/2012 Leave a comment
This is the first time I have heard this version of “Tiny Little Home,” which now appears as a Watch Me Fall bonus track. Jay recorded a demo back in March 2008 and I presume gave it the full Reatard treatment a short while later.
10/18/2012 Leave a comment
The modern classic “Day at the Shrine,” originally recorded and released on The Barbaras 7″ which came via Goner in 2008. The 7″ version is very quiet and lo-fidelity, but features the same kind of awesome pop magic that this Jay Reatard produced version has. This version is better!
Check it out via MTV Hive: http://www.mtvhive.com/2012/10/18/barbaras-day-at-the-shrine-stream/
10/11/2012 Leave a comment
YESSSS! This is very exciting news for KLYAM and Jay Reatard fans worldwide! On December 18 Factory 25 will be releasing the Jay Reatard documentary Better Than Something along with a bonus LP and/or book! I’m smelling a Christmas present…
The Kids attended the Boston screening of Better Than Something and a review can be read here: http://klyam.com/2012/09/03/film-review-better-than-something-2011/
09/18/2012 Leave a comment
Some lengthy Jay Reatard performances can be found on the great YouTube – you just gotta do some digging! Well I did the digging and here’s what I got:
The Reatards Live At Fallout Records (November 1999) – 25 minutes – Full in store recording. Jay apologizes for the band’s sobriety. The sound quality is a lil fuzzy (whaddaya expect?), but fans will recognize the tunes!
Jay Reatard Live In Australia – 36 minutes – Back when Billy was on drums and Stephen was on bass.
Jay Reatard Live In Dublin (November 2009) – 20 minutes – This is after Billy and Stephen quit and the Cola Freaks came into the picture as Jay’s backing band. I remember watching this a day or two before seeing Jay at the Wang and thinking damn, these guys got the hang of things quickly! Not to mention that it seems apparent that the addition of the new guys slowed things down quite a bit which I’d argue was for the better.
09/12/2012 Leave a comment
This is fucking awesome! In this video you can start to see the transition from The Barbaras to the Magic Kids. Love both bands.
You Tube description: “I asked the Barbaras to play a show with the Demon’s Claws that I booked in November 2007 at Murphy’s in Memphis….they said yes without realizing that Billy and Stephen would be on tour with Jay Reatard…..they played as a 3 piece and did only Beach Boys covers….here’s their version of Good Vibrations!”- April Novak.
And why not give ya a clip of these dudes performing “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” on the same night? Why not?! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFDvIEs3n2A&feature=relmfu
09/03/2012 1 Comment
Full Title: Better Than Something Jay Reatard
Director(s): Alex Hammond & Ian Markiewicz
Film Screening: Museum Of Fine Arts (MFA) – Remis Auditorium (Thursday, August 30, 2012)
Comments: Preliminary Happenings -
So, movie starts at 8 we arrive at the Museum of Fine Arts at 7:58, an unbelievable feeling of relief washes over me because in my mind we have two minutes to spare- buy the ticket, take the ride. Batta bing, batta boom. Well, unfortunately I’ve never been to the Museum of Fine Arts! Yeah “art” art and KLYAM don’t really mix, we’re tards after all. Needless to say we spent the next ten minutes or so searching for the auditorium. If one were to take a shot of us from the sky we would have looked like mice on speed rushing through a maze, scurrying to find the Remis Auditorium. At one point, I felt like I was being played. Jay Reatard at the Museum of Fine Arts; I never thought the words Jay Reatard and museum would ever find themselves together in the same sentence. But, here we are. Thankfully, with the help of some kind employees we found our way, only to discover four other mutants in attendance. WTF?! I was/am disappointed in you Boston music fans. Glen and I caught a nice seat in the second or third row – just like pretty much every other show we want to be as close as we can until we get too close for comfort. Then again, comfort is the last thing on my mind when it comes to Jay Reatard.
Review: The film opens almost abruptly with footage of Jay playing in France, all pumped up and ready to go, but his mic won’t work. He is screaming his heart out, but there is no sound. Finally when the vocals come through Jay mutters something to the effect of “glad, we have a fucking professional.” I can’t think of a more perfect way to introduce the story of Jay Reatard. This brief live clip and the painfully awkward, but hilarious interview that accompanies it, in many ways sums up Jay’s entire persona. He was going to do his own thing with total commitment and if you were not on the same page as him then you were just a creep. I must say this opening scene is brilliant in its own little way and a very wise choice from directors Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz. If you didn’t know Jay coming into the film then you know from this moment on that you are not watching some bullshit Behind the Music story on a David Cassidy wannabe, instead this Tard is the real deal. Now, just to give a little bit of background on this documentary, before Jay passed he put out his final LP Watch Me Fall on Matador Records and the label wanted to make a short video to promote the record. This little video transformed into an insightful portrait of the man from Memphis – far beyond anyone’s expectations. Waiting For Something was a Tard creep such as myself’s wet dream! For once, fans were able to see Jay Reatard, not just as some tough guy rocker, but as an actual human being. Fast forward a few months and fans and friends all around the world are devastated to discover that one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest practitioners passed away at the age of 29. Alex and Ian’s film Better Than Something builds off of their initial project and includes additional footage, interviews, and other appearances that put the overall story in a better perspective. I was obviously a tremendous fan of the first film, so going into this show knowing that there would be mostly new material, I didn’t know how this would factor into the overall quality of the documentary. In other words, I wasn’t sure how strong this new material would be: would it just be filler? Or would it develop the story of Jay even further? Well, my friends, it certainly was the latter. In fact I was pleasantly surprised at how awesome some of this new material was. Not to say I thought it would be pointless or what have you, but damn it was pretty cool. I mean there is some priceless, invaluable archive footage here. Great, great live videos of Jay performing at house shows with The Reatards and The Lost Sounds. Not to mention numerous other performances including some at various Gonerfests over the years. I also must note the sheer number of new scenes in this movie. For those that saw the last flick, please don’t think you pretty much already saw the movie before. There are new, fascinating interviews with Jay’s family (dad, mom, sisters) and through these interviews we get to see Jay through the eyes of the people that love him. I know that seems obvious, but honestly it is necessary because 90% of the time you either hear folks talk about Jay being a total miscreant or you hear people suck his dick off about how amazing he was and how many records he put out and so forth. His family doesn’t see him as this giant rock star, which he wasn’t anyway, but they simply see him as their son/brother- Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr.
Through meeting his family and tracing Jay’s Memphis roots, the audience gets to see how Jay came from extreme poverty and grew into an accomplished musician responsible for a vast, intimidating discography that dates back to his teens. With this in mind, every viewer knows Jay had to work his ass off to get to where he was at the time of his death, but I worry that some viewers might not understand just how much music he actually created with his previous bands and for how long they were active. For example, we see some stunning archival footage of Jay’s two prominent earlier bands, The Reatards and Lost Sounds on tour. And the way in which the filmmakers use this footage to tackle some of the main themes of Jay’s story such as his wild behavior and his aggression towards his peers is outstanding and appropriate. My only complaint is that viewers that don’t have a ton of knowledge about Jay and more specifically the underground “garage scene” that he was a part of, will they think “ohh, it’s cool to see these early videos of Jay before he took off and did his thing.” But, the truth is The Reatards and the Lost Sounds were well established bands for a while (7-10 years) and they were the main musical acts consuming Jay’s life/career. I just hope people don’t get the wrong impression. In other words, these bands were not mere stepping stones to his solo career, they are entities unto themselves. I don’t think the filmmakers intended any harm or anything like that, but I just think some clarification might have helped. Maybe more of a historical, chronological approach, explaining the significance of each band? I don’t know, perhaps that would fuck up the flow of the film, which is sound and consistently captivating. One of my other qualms with the documentary is the lack of narrative. I do appreciate the fact that Alex and Ian truly let Jay and those close to Jay communicate directly to the audience instead of having some random yahoos tell the story. That is a special touch which I think distinguishes this documentary. But, at the same time, I kind of feel like had Alex and Ian placed themselves in the picture then maybe we would have a more unified story. They do an excellent job of articulating the various themes of Jay’s life/story; I guess I am just looking for some sort of narrative like the one we see Todd Phillips deliver in the G.G. Allin documentary Hated (1993). In that film, Todd is not really visible on screen per se, but he provides a voice over that frames the narrative in an incredible way. Then again, I can totally respect them for choosing not to include themselves in the film.
Lastly, I want to make it a point that I enjoy this film very much, so do not get discouraged from viewing it because of some of my minor gripes! I like to leave reviews on a positive note, so let me tell you one of the best things about Better Than Something is the way in which the filmmakers let the interviews linger, often revealing some oddly thoughtful and/or comical comments from their interviewees. It’s like they kept in the stuff that most directors would toss in the trash can , deeming it as outtakes or deleted scenes. Some of my favorite examples of this are parts of conversations that are omitted from the first documentary Waiting For Something i.e. Eric Oblivian and Jay’s discussion of retired professional wrestlers such as Jake the Snake and Koko B. Ware. Firstly, I love this scene because I grew up watching WWF religiously. More importantly, this scene makes a great point about Jay. On the surface this appears to be merely humorous banter between two friends (and in a way it is), but within the context of the film, we realize that this is Jay’s way of laughing at all of the shit life is hurling at him. He points to the fate of Jake the Snake as a sixty year old man locked inside a character, wrestling his personal demons in front of a camera for the whole world to see. Being nearly half Jake’s age Jay declares that he cannot go down this road and just be another TV figure, another face on a magazine, another talented individual destroyed at an early age. Regardless of the outcome, I agree with Jay and I think we should see him in the same light, as a man above all of that “tragic rock star dies young” junk. Jay knew he was more than that. Better than something.
Cheers to Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz for bringing the story of Jay Reatard to the big screen! Your film is an astounding portrait of a man sadly most people never knew, hopefully your work will help Jay reach greater audiences than ever imagined, as I am confident it already has.
08/30/2012 Leave a comment
Artist: The Final Solutions
1) Deep Six
2) Bottom Of The Chain
3) I See You On A Path
4) Eat Shit, Hologram
5) No Final Solution
6) Need Me
7) I Can’t Sing Through My Fuzz Pedal
9) Disco Eraser
10) Russian Interpreter
11) Not Good
12) You Make Me Laugh
13) Die In The City
14) 40 Licks
Comments: Expecting Disco? You boring fucks! Well yes sir, Disco Eraser that is. The 2003 LP released by Jay Reatard side project- The Final Solutions. I bet you weren’t expecting a review in 2012 however. Why now you may ask. Well, this week KLYAM and friends will be attending the Boston screening of the Jay doc Better Than Something and I want to see everyone there! And if you are not a Boston denizen then hit up a local theater when the flick hits your town. So, in honor of this great event I decided to review a Jay record and with this being my most recent listen, why not? Here it goes…
I have always been one to judge a book (in this case an album) by its cover. Here we see five gentlemen standing outside a brick building just hanging around pounding back some Busch Lights. And that’s the feel of this record for me. It’s very much a “let’s get shitty and jam” kinda record. No real female touch involved. There’s an odd masculine (not macho) presence throughout most of Jay’s work and I certainly see it here. Just a bunch of dudes having fun and getting rowdy, but with instruments. Jay under the psudonym “Jimmie Jewlz” and his cronies (Quinn, Tommy, Justice, and Zac) mix together the raw, trashy sound of The Reatards with the more experimental, synth heavy style of the Lost Sounds (in fact fellow Lost Sound Alicja Trout co-produced the album with Jay). This is a fine piece of punk slime, the punk slime we champion on this site. Final Solutions definitely fill your little bellies with dark, vicious jam after jam. Nearly each song is under the two minute mark. The band cuts out any hint of filler, which truly makes the listener have a hard time hating this thing. And if you’re like me you already get a stiffy anyway when you hear most Jay recordings. Purchasing this record is the sonic equivalent of paying for a scantily clad woman to toss you around the room for twenty minutes, beating you mercilessly with each punch representing a new song. The opening track, “Deep Six” certainly wraps its noose around your neck and sets the tone for the rest of the record. Fast, futuristic, and instantly stuck in your skull. It smoothly translates into “Bottom Of The Chain” a powerhouse song that is extremely catchy and diabolical, leading us to the LP’s greatest moment, “I See You On a Path.” The latter is a true pop gem, and though this album has loads of hooks, this track is a standout that foreshadows Jay’s incredible talents as a pop musician (however Tommy is actually the main songwriter on this song). The “oohhhhhoohwoooo” vocals are insane! coupled with the simple drum work, it doesn’t get any better. Then of course there’s classic Jay mantras in songs such as “Eat Shit, Hologram” where Jay constantly declares “EAT SHIT!!!” Poor Hologram. One of my favorite tracks is the humorous, “I Can’t Sing Through My Fuzz Pedal,” which kicks off with some poorly recorded vocals that are naturally fitting. Not every song is a knock out, but like I said earlier these numbers are so brief, there’s not enough time to dislike them, you just go a long for the ride. There’s nothing earth shattering on this record and it pretty much sticks with the same sound/style, but it’s a fucking awesome sound and the whole band destroys. I will make one exception actually. The final song “40 Licks” feels pleasantly out of place- it’s like an 80′s pop song. It’s really cool though – not a pussy song – I assure you no wavers out there. I have a burning desire to sync it up with that club scene in The Terminator when Arnold finally finds Sarah Connor and he pushes through all the dancers in slo-mo! So yeah, a solid album from The Final Solutions – absolutely one of Jay Reatard’s greatest musical contributions, not quite as amazing as his later output, but certainly worthy of (high) recommendation. This shit has incredible replay power; I’ve listened to it three times while writing this review!
08/10/2012 Leave a comment
Been eagerly waiting for this announcement for a year! Better Than Something is screening at the Museum of Fine Arts:
August 30, 2012, 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
August 31, 2012, 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
September 1, 2012, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
September 2, 2012, 1:10 pm – 2:40 pm
Better Than Something by Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz (2012, 83 min.). Controversial and prolific garage rock icon Jay Reatard released more than 60 records in his 10-year-career as a solo artist and with bands like The Lost Sounds, Final Solutions, and Angry Angles. Eloquently interweaving interviews with friends, rare concert footage, and scenes from a candid week spent with Jay, this intimate portrait—shot only months before his death—brings us incredibly close to Jay’s complicated punk-rock world. Discussion with directors follows the August 31 screening.
07/17/2012 3 Comments
Damn, Alix Brown is one lucky motherfucker; she played in bands with Jay Reatard (Angry Angles), Bradford Cox (Wet Dreams), and Bobby Ubangi (The Lids). I’m so envious!