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Jay Reatard at the Marquee 

The attendance list of the Jay Reatard show at the Marquee tonight was like a who's who of the local music scene. I think everyone who's in a band in Halifax was there.

A History Of is high on my list of local bands that don't play enough, and they played an awesome set- their first with new bass player Mark Grundy, who spent the entire set with a giant grin on his face, truly an amazing feat. Guitarist Jeff Parker also looked stylish in extremely green shoes.

Tomcat Combat played a harder, more energetic set than the last time I saw them at their CD release in the summer, but then the Marquee calls for this more than the North Street Church. All of the opening bands I caught finished off their sets with lengthy last songs, which is good sometimes, I guess, but more often I'd like to see bands say, "This is our last one," and play something that's awesome, and 30 seconds long.

Things were fairly quiet downstairs in Hell at All Wound Up. I love the concept of a punk dance night, especially given that your usual dance options are Reflections or The Dome, and I hope this starts happening regularly, but the live music lineup really won out over laptops tonight.

Jay Reatard's set was heavy on the hair: between him and his bassist, there was probably a greater volume of hair than in the four opening bands out together. Jay Reatard plays punk music the way it should be played, hard, fast, and raining sweat over the crowd. I hadn't been a member of the Jay Reatard cult, but enough of my friends are that I was convinced. No crazy stage hijinks ensued, just an intense, high-octane set, noisy and over too soon. No encore- the stereo went back on the moment the clapping began to die down. That man can rock hard even on an acoustic guitar. Also, I think he has the same grey jeans as me. I love those jeans, but sooner or later I'm going to spill ink or red wine on them.

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