As most of you are hopefully aware by now, Louisville has long been a breeding ground for sheer musical brilliance. Many a local act has had national, and international, triumph and there isn’t a finer example than Jason Noble. Noble got on board with Rodan in the early 90s, in a time when the scene in Louisville was flourishing. Rodan is a group that Billboard Magazine has lately dubbed as one that ‘followed in the footsteps of fellow Louisville underground rock group Slint…’ with a principally instrumental presence and often ‘heavy rock’ sound.
While I loathe such labels, being compared to Slint is a very flattering statement for any band with a remotely comparable ‘sound’. Underground hardly accurately depicts Noble, or Slint, as both reached international acclaim with Slint even regrouping for some global appearances in 2007. The point here is the remarkable and encouraging influence Noble had on people around the world. Since his diagnosis around 2009, there has been a local annual benefit here in Louisville and I’m certain it will attempt to carry on such a legacy for years to come.
In the age of social media, I’ve spent the last few days pouring over the acknowledgements, articles and tributes and they have been astounding. The outpouring of love has come from many friends on Facebook (who had the honor of personally knowing Noble), national magazines like Rolling Stone and Billboard, more ‘genre specific’ blogs and e-zines like Flavorpill, Pitchfork, Paste, and our own Louisville MUSICulture, and even more from bands like The National and Superchunk. One thing that resonates from everything out there is the astonishing positive influence Noble had from not only a musical perspective but also simply from a human perspective. ‘Jason never said a bad word about anyone…’ is probably the one of the most popular ways of describing his character.
In this world we live in, such an unabashed level of character is very tough to come by. Having given my first eulogy this year, for that of my mother, I do know that losing someone who has had such constructive and encouraging presence in one’s life is most difficult. I also know that the time we are fortunate enough to have with such people is preciously cherished, and should be celebrated as much as possible. With that, go buy this tribute to such a rejoiced member of Louisville music. Celebrate it, celebrate Jason Noble, and celebrate your time with those around you. You won’t regret it.
Photo Credit: Al Gore’s internet