Friday, August 8, 2008

The Start of a New Generation - The Kossabone Red


Here is the album and 7" for download - The Kossabone Red LP and 7"

Since Jesse Smith finally released a full-length album with his Gentleman Jesse and His Men incarnation (which is one of my favorite local releases in years), I thought it would be nice to post what I believe is his earliest recording here. In fact, the 7" does not even include him, as The Kossabone Red was just Justin, Chris and Nick at the time.

If you have never heard The Kossabone Red, they were part of the strange era of DIY punk/emo/whatever generated by the midwestern bands such as Cap'n Jazz/Friction/Braid/Promise Ring/Get Up Kids/etc. during the mid to late 90's. I saw them a few times during this period, and although they were pretty rough around the edges, they should be given credit for attempting what is pretty complicated stuff while they were essentially still high school kids. I know that I wasn't playing songs with such abrupt changes and structures when I was their age, I was more interested in being juvenile (which we thought was being clever). Also, it is important to note that so many bands took on this type of music during this time, and so few of them were really good at it. My favorite was of course Friction, due to the Car Vs. Driver connection, but I think Braid were the tightest at it, and probably took it as far as it could go during their time. It helped that they had a Black Flag-level of practicing/recording/touring to give them that level of tightness. Cap'n Jazz probably put out the best record of this genre, but they could be a mess live (at least when I saw them).

So these guys were around in the late 90's, and Nick played drums on the first 7" only, and their replacement drummer Jeph started Airoes and other various bands (sang in Portrait, played drums in Electrosleep International among other things from what I hear), while the trio of Justin, Chris and Jesse stayed together to play in Some Soviet Station (with Lee Corum on drums) and Paper Lions (with Josh Lott on drums) until the early to mid-00's when Chris and Justin moved to Athens and Jesse stayed behind in Atlanta to play in the Carbonas and started Gentleman Jesse and His Men. I saw Justin working at the Grit in Athens a few times, and he played with Josh Lott in a band up there called Teenage Meth Lab for a little while. Chris has been playing bass in Maserati (at least on tour), and the story goes on.

These guys have all made excellent contributions to the Atlanta/Athens local music scene, and represents another generation of kids coming up and pollenizing this group of bands, musicians, etc. as we get older and stay at home more.

Also, here is some additional information that Scott McFarland (aka Scott MC) commented on this post:

A bit more on the history of this band -Ripcord started out as a 3 piece - brothers Justin and Nick playing guitar and drums, respectively and Chris on bass. They all went to Roswell high school (but Justin might have been out of high school by then). I think it was Chris who gave a us a demo tape (or maybe their 7" (on legendary Crazy Man Records out of Roswell)). Gavin and I thought it was great so we booked them to play a show at the I DEFY (I have no idea who they played with). I think they later realized that there were a few other bands around the country called Ripcord so they changed their name to Kossabone Red. Right about the time of the name change Jesse joined the band. Jesse was in another band at the time called Pax 13 with his brother Lee on drums. I seem to recall Jeph playing with them for a minute as well.I think Nick got sick of doing the whole band thing and quit as drummer. That is when Jeph started to play with them. Nick never did another band after that but he is still around Atlanta going to the occasional show now and then. We decided to put out an LP but I had extremely limited funds so we more or less recorded it ourselves at Under the Couch for free, so I will take all the blame for the sound quality. Luckily I could scrap together enough pocket change to pay Lewis to come in later for a few hours to do the mix.One thing I do remember about that recording session is that it was the same Saturday afternoon that a bunch of local scene kids got arrested at a Yerkes. I think some of the footage from the protests made it on the local news.

So, like most punk bands, these guys broke up very shortly after the LP came out. Hell, it might have been before it came out because I don't remember ever doing a record release show. The LP got some great reviews and I think if these guys had stuck together and done just one tour more people would remember this record. The good news is that the core of the group (Justin, Chris, Jesse) stuck together for many years after that and treated us to several great bands (Some Soviet Station, Paper Lions, etc). I don't know if Alex only has a digital copy of the Ripcord 7", but I have a real copy in case you guys need the artwork. Also, the Kossabone Red LP did have an insert. PC Josh carried on the Atlanta DIY tradition of working at Kinkos so he hooked me up with 1000 full color copies. Kinkos more or less financed the majority of the Concurrent releases. I have a few copies of this LP sitting around if anyone wants one - just let me know.

18 comments:

  1. A great LP that is very much overlooked. Stickfigure still had copies a couple of years ago and couldn't give them away, so I bought loads of copies to distro in the UK. They always sold out quickly. I haven't listened to this in a while but I should dig it out again.

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  2. I am sorry. I am to blame for that emo ass cover art.

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  3. Hey Andy - good to see your name pop up again! I remember doing a Chocolate Kiss interview for you a number of years back. Maybe I can find it somewhere. Hope everything is well over there and let me know if you have any post requests.

    Scott - I am thinking of doing guest posts for people like yourself, Phil, Kip, Matt, etc. If you have any stories or notes you want to share, send me an email. And where is the Spiney Norman demo? Your brother said he would send it as well, but nothing yet.

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  4. james, do you have a copy of the screeching weasel flyer? i would love to write about putting together that show...

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  5. i can write a story on how scott showed me how to use a mac, actually in apt13. haha.

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  6. I imagine that is the Screeching Weasel/Spiney Norman/Midget Farmers show. I have the video (of MF and Spiney), but no flyer. I have some Bob Medina Chocolate Kiss stories, so I might post those soon. Just email me with any stories you want to share.

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  7. don't forget pink lincolns played that show. probably the best grouping of band names on one bill ever...

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  8. Nick left the band after the 7". I never knew him so I'm not sure what else he did or where he went.

    Jeph played drums on the LP. He also sang in Portrait, was the second drummer for Electrosleep International, does Airoes and sings in Battlecat now.

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  9. Ah - so that was it. Somehow I knew that guy wasn't named Nick, but I'm so far removed from those bands that I made the stupid mistake and didn't realize there was a different drummer on the 7". My LP doesn't have an insert (was there one?), so it was another snafu. Thanks for the correction.

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  10. James, I made a digital copy of the Ripchord 7", I believe this was the name of the band before they changed it to KR.

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  11. Thanks Alex - could you post it on a share site or email me the songs/artwork? I would love to post it here, probably in the family of classic Atlanta 7"s.

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  12. A bit more on the history of this band -

    Ripcord started out as a 3 piece - brothers Justin and Nick playing guitar and drums, respectively and Chris on bass. They all went to Roswell high school (but Justin might have been out of high school by then). I think it was Chris who gave a us a demo tape (or maybe their 7" (on legendary Crazy Man Records out of Roswell)). Gavin and I thought it was great so we booked them to play a show at the I DEFY (I have no idea who they played with).

    I think they later realized that there were a few other bands around the country called Ripcord so they changed their name to Kossabone Red.

    Right about the time of the name change Jesse joined the band. Jesse was in another band at the time called Pax 13 with his brother Lee on drums. I seem to recall Jeph playing with them for a minute as well.

    I think Nick got sick of doing the whole band thing and quit as drummer. That is when Jeph started to play with them. Nick never did another band after that but he is still around Atlanta going to the occasional show now and then.

    We decided to put out an LP but I had extremely limited funds so we more or less recorded it ourselves at Under the Couch for free, so I will take all the blame for the sound quality. Luckily I could scrap together enough pocket change to pay Lewis to come in later for a few hours to do the mix.

    One thing I do remember about that recording session is that it was the same Saturday afternoon that a bunch of local scene kids got arrested at a Yerkes. I think some of the footage from the protests made it on the local news.

    So, like most punk bands, these guys broke up very shortly after the LP came out. Hell, it might have been before it came out because I don't remember ever doing a record release show. The LP got some great reviews and I think if these guys had stuck together and done just one tour more people would remember this record.

    The good news is that the core of the group (Justin, Chris, Jesse) stuck together for many years after that and treated us to several great bands (Some Soviet Station, Paper Lions, etc).

    I don't know if Alex only has a digital copy of the Ripcord 7", but I have a real copy in case you guys need the artwork.

    Also, the Kossabone Red LP did have an insert. PC Josh carried on the Atlanta DIY tradition of working at Kinkos so he hooked me up with 1000 full color copies. Kinkos more or less financed the majority of the Concurrent releases.

    I have a few copies of this LP sitting around if anyone wants one - just let me know.

    -scottmc

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  13. Speaking of Pax 13, I just found their demo tape. James - I have to get this to you to digitize because this is definitely the earliest Jesse Smith recording I bet anyone has.

    -scottmc

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  14. http://www.flickr.com/photos/12667835@N08/3977761662/in/set-72157614684434136/

    The Kossabone Red @ MacArthur Park. LR AR, August 1998 @ seemybrotherdance flickr

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  15. Hey Schthaxe - those photos are nice. I like all the Little Rock bands represented. I need to find more flickr pages like that. Kossabone Red photo has officially made the blog banner.

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  16. Wheres there '97 single release ignition/atrophy? You have the Failure and departure 7" along with there self titled but no ignition/atrophy. please upload it

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  17. Nassau-Suffolk Blueprinting Company has a well-equipped facility that offers various printing services such as large format printing, legal prep services and much more. We use the technology that makes it possible to produce full color copies.

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