Marquee: Jay Reatard

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The second half of this decade has been exceptionally fruitful for Jay Reatard, even by his own prolific standards. Since ditching his various bands and aliases (The Reatards, Lost Sounds, Angry Angles, etc.) to record as Jay Reatard, the snarling Memphis maestro has coughed up more powerhouse pop-punk tracks than anyone.

Poring through the hearty collections Singles 06-07 and Matador Singles 08 - bookended by 2006's Blood Visions and this year's Watch Me Fall - the most striking thing about Reatard's catalog is the way he so deftly carries the torch for pop's tradition of juxtaposition: pairing emotions on the upset-infuriated spectrum with masterful melodies and rambunctious energy.

Like the bastard child of the Buzzcocks and the Clean, he shifts shape from snot-rocket pop ("See Saw," "It Ain't Gonna Save Me") to capricious kiwi ditties ("Another Person," "Wounded"), never straying from rigid rhythms and vocals delivered with the delicacy of a giant picking a flower.

There's an unmistakable singularity about his output, all the more apparent on stage. There, the subtle flourishes of his recordings blur into monstrous power chord blasts, delivered rapid-fire with nary a word in between.

That's presumably still true even though Reatard recently hired a new band after his longtime associates quit. After hearing him berate the sound guy at a show in Athens earlier this year, it's not surprising to hear he's hard to work with.

The Black Hollies and Bryan Scary will open Sunday's show.

Jay Reatard

When: 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22

Where: The Summit, Campus