Jay Reatard

PDX Jay Reatard, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40

Painted with reference from a photo by Tom Oxley for NME

My close friend Marty Andseron showed me Blood Visions on his mom‘s back porch looking over Tryon Creek. Its frustration, honesty, and seconds of beauty rocked my world! The verse or chorus to any given song is often just the title of the track forcefully repeated over and over but Jay Reatard had a way of making each phrase hauntingly catchy. Its not an album thats always easy to listen to but its unique, interesting, creative and altogether unforgettable. It reminds me that theres so much creativity that comes out of limitation, and that sometimes the only way to really address whats roaring inside you, however messy, is to drag it out through sheer will and repetition.

Listening to Watch Me Fall, Jay’s final album, on the other hand, was completely different. Parts of it are so sonically beautiful that I think its his best and most listenable. That said, the lyrical content is too fitting for someone who died shortly after and so young. The first time I heard Watch Me Fall was a melancholy experience i’ll never forget (though a banal one that happened over a long drive). I loved and still love listening to it, but for me it serves as a dreary warning of what too much solitude can bring.