It’s been a tough couple of months in the world of music.
We have seen some truly wondrous artists shuck their mortal coil and leave the world a poorer place in their absence. So today is all about honouring these individuals.
This is Black Monday. Enjoy.
Sometimes it is said that the good die young and that comment could easily be attributed to Jay Reatard.
If anyone in the last twenty years held the flame of garage punk to their heart it was this young man. Initially enamoured with the racket that The Oblivians made he soon outstripped his heroes and in a short, but prolific, career he most certainly made a mark.
I’d guess that few people who profess to love garage rock or punk rock will be unfamiliar with his material, but just in case there is the odd one or two who haven’t gotten around to checking him out the all I can say is it’s better late than never.
For some unknown reason Vic Chesnutt never seemed to get his hooks into me. I heard the odd track here and there and half thought 'yeah, that's mighty fine' but it was never enough to give me the nudge towards taking a leap into his back catalogue.
He sort of floated about in the periphery of my consciousness I suppose.
Then on Christmas day, when he finally managed to be the architect of his own demise, I got to talking with friends about his merits as a songwriter and ended up with a copy of his latest album.
This was when it hit me. The guy was a freakin genius with his no frills and brutally honest approach to his music. In hindsight I have no idea why it never registered with me before, but here he was stripped bare and really talking to me.
Since then I've become some what of a fan and like anyone who arrives late to the party I could maybe be described as a zealot regarding all things Vic, so I'm duty bound to make an introduction and here it is.
Probably best known for his position within the Birthday Party Roland S Howard brandished his discordant guitar playing style like a invitation to war. At times it seemed like he was out there alone pushing the boundaries, but before the Birthday Party he was plying his trade with Nick Cave in The Boys Next Door and once again although the fans will be well aware of this I'm working on the premise that some aren't.