“Memphis musician Jimmy Jay Lindsey Jr., better known as Jay Reatard, was found dead in his Midtown home this morning, according to family and friends,” beings a report on Web site Commercial Appeal. (Read the full story here.) The rocker was only 29.
Reatard performed at the Orange Peel last July to an enthusiastic fan base. He released a new album in August of 2009, called Watch Me Fall. (Read about it in Pitchfork.) The album went on to be named number 13 among Spin Magazine‘s Best Albums of the year. If the album title isn’t eerie enough, tracks like “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me,” “Wounded” and “Can’t Do It Anymore” seem downright ominous — though Reatard’s upbeat, fast-paced post-new wave style in anything but gloomy. The musician’s Web site has no mention of his demise.
Little is currently known about the circumstances surrounding Reatard’s death. Blog site Peep writes, “Following Twitter rumors this morning the Memphis Commercial Appeal confirmed this afternoon that Reatard, 29, was dead. According to the report he was found dead around 3:30 a.m. in his bed.” (Read the story here.)
Spin.com adds, “Details regarding his passing are scarce, but just days ago Lindsey Tweeted that he was feeling sick.” (One such tweet reads, “If I don’t get well soon I’m gonna eat myself into pig champion/tad territory.”) The article adds, “Memphis’ Goner Records, Lindsey’s onetime label home, posted about the death on their website: “It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our good friend Jay Reatard. Jay died in his sleep last night. We will pass along information about funeral arrangements when they are made public.” (Read the full story here.)
Here’s a video by alljackedupyo from Reatard’s Asheville’s show. The videographer notes, “Jay Reatard performing at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC 07.07.09. All the press and critical acclaim he has received in recent years is well warranted, as he and his band put on an excellent live show.” The songs is “Hammer I Miss You.”
—Alli Marshall, A&E reporter