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News: R.I.P. Jay Reatard

Jay ReatardThey didn't come much more punk rock than Jay Reatard.

Smashmouth punk rocker Jay Reatard died Tuesday night, according to his one-time label Goner Records. The news was confirmed by his hometown paper the Memphis Commercial Appeal and his current label, Matador. He was 29.

Reatard (born Jimmy Lee Lindsey) had been releasing loud, fast, scuzzy punk records since he was 13 years old. He played in bands such as the Reatards, Lost Sounds and Bad Times and became a fixture on the Memphis scene. He emerged as a solo artist with his 2006 album "Blood Visions" and became well-known for his live shows, in which he and his band crashed through tunes at a breakneck pace, never stopping for air, only pausing long enough for Reatard to shout the title of the next song and leaving the stage in a mess of feedback after sometimes as little as 20 minutes. It was always a flash of flying hair and flying V guitars. And it was always great, as much a musical adrenaline rush as one could get.

Reatard's recent albums also represented the best work of his career. His 2008 collection "Matador Singles '08" was proof that he was was more than just punk attitude, but that he also had a pop acumen to match. Last year's "Watch Me Fall" continued his evolution and hinted at even greater things to come. On a personal note, I saw him play eight shows over the last couple years and loved every one. And he was a funny and thoughtful interview subject, too.

(Some videos, after the jump.)

By David Malitz  |  January 13, 2010; 4:35 PM ET
Categories:  News  | Tags: Jay Reatard  
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