Friday, March 6, 2009
Here are both demos for download: Third Season Studio Recordings
Here is a live show from 1990 (flyer included above): Third Season Live at Visions 1990-07-20
Third Season is a band that I knew first from "The View" compilation, and until a few months ago, the only song I ever heard of theirs was "Poison in the Water" from that tape. Luckily, Steve Wishart and Kip Thomas have provided both demo tapes they made as well as a live recording from Visions back in 1990, which I have included here.
As you may know, Third Season was the band that the guys in Fiddlehead were in during their high school days, including Kip Thomas on drums (Fiddlehead, Freemasonry, Galanas Cerdd, Chocolate Kiss, Haricot Vert, The Forever War), Mike Haggerty on bass (Fiddlehead, John Brown) and Bruce Bohannon (Jumpstart, Fiddlehead, Freemasonry, Galanas Cerdd, Haricot Vert, Copa Vance, Monte Casino) on guitar. Instead of Geoey Cook, they had Jason Hall singing, which gave the band an entirely different feel. Steve Wishart, who gives his perspective below, and I both personally love his singing style, and thought he really added a great melodic element to their music. There was kind of a mid-period Dischord style to them, like the band Three or Soulside, that I really enjoy, and also a Morrissey/Michael Stipe element, which is really missing in the proto-emo music of the time. This Three/Senator Flux style was also along the lines of what Chocolate Kiss was trying to do later, and I remember Jason coming out to a lot of our early shows. So even though I never saw them play live, I think they are a great band of the 1989-1990 era, and especially considering they were in high school playing this stuff - it is really impressive.
Usually when I'm writing about a band that was before my time, I will contact old friends that have a history with the band and ask them to write something. My old bandmate from Car vs. Driver, Steve Wishart, has this to say about them:
I first meet Kip Thomas and Mike Haggerty at a Swiz, Shudder To Think, and After Words show at The Pit in the summer of 1989. I would see them regularly at shows over the next several months and chat with them a bit, but it wasn’t until early 1990 that I knew they even played in a band. My band at the time, Something To Prove, got invited to play a house show over in Dunwoody with Spiney Norman and a band called This. “This”, later better renamed Third Season, consisted of Kip Thomas on drums, Mike Haggerty on bass, Bruce Bohannon on guitar, and Jason (I forget his last name at the moment) on vocals. There are three things I remember about that show….1) My brother’s cheap cymbal kept flipping inside out during our set… 2) Jeff Ferguson yelling “Burning Thought”, a reference to the band he was in with Mike and Kip before as I would later learn…. and 3) This (Third Season) blew me away! James recently wrote about character building shows here recently, for me this Third Season show was one of those.
Third Season definitely took influence from the mid to late 80’s DC Dischord emo sound, but they put their own twist and uniqueness to it. They had a rich melodic powerful sound that was poppy at times and moody at others. Besides the well written songs and Bruce’s always amazing guitar playing, one of the features that stood out most about the band was the vocalist Jason. He had a soft almost feminine voice and did these really quirky dances while he was performing – some you could liken to a mime in a box. Not surprisingly, this didn’t make them very popular with the more macho hardcore crowd. As you can humorously hear on the live recording here at Visions, one of the more intellectual skinheads probably that hung around there at the time says into the recording mike “This band sucks.” But those of us who loved D.C. emo rejoiced at the existence of Third Season. And honestly, by the mid 90’s half the emo bands out there would have killed to have this type of sound and Jason as a vocalist as this style become even more prominent and popular.
I don’t know exactly how many shows Third Season played, but I know I saw every one they had in the Atlanta area – at house shows, Visions, Milo’s, etc. Their last show was on November 23, 1990, at the new Visions down off Buford Hwy. The original booking for the show was Crisis Under Control, Act of Faith, Chuckwagon (Craig from After Words new band), and my band Such As. Third Season showed up and asked if they could squeeze on to the bill and Such As obliged to give them some of our time. I remember them introducing several new songs at this show and that they were quite divergent from their previous stuff – much heavier and powerful. It’s clear that the band was heading into a new direction and they ultimately decided to ditch Jason for a vocalist that better fit their more aggressive and powerful sound. Just over a month later on December 30, 1990, at the Wreck Room - Kip, Bruce, and Mike introduced Fiddlehead to the scene with Geoey Cook replacing Jason on vocals.
Third Season, as well as Fiddlehead, were a big inspiration and influence to me. Unfortunately, not many people have had the opportunity to hear the brilliance of Third Season. For years I thought about putting these recordings out on Lunchbox so the rest of the world could finally hear this amazing band. Lack of finances and those that I did have going into current bands prevented that from ever happening. But here they are now for all to listen to and share, and hopefully some overdue respect for another great Atlanta band that never got its credit.