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Joe Christmas

Indie Rock
Mabelton, Georgia, USA

“Joe Christmas formed in the spring of 1992, except, back then we called ourselves 'The Subliminal Neckties.' Our first show was our high school talent show. We played a song called “You're Special To Me,” a take-off on a Mister Rogers song of the same title. We didn't win the talent show but instead discovered how much we enjoyed being on stage together. So, we kept banging away, making ever more noise, practicing every week and driving our parents to the brink. By the following spring, in junior year, we had been unleashed onto the local Atlanta music scene to the appall of many and the joy of a few. In April of 1993 we changed our name to Crayon and got some louder amps and new pawn shop guitars. Then we recorded our first ep and sold it at school and shows. Things kept rolling along. The next fall we discovered a band from out west who were already using the name 'Crayon' so we had to come up with a new name. In AP English we were reading A Light in August by William Faulkner when Zach's girlfriend, Katie, suggested we rename the band after the novel's central character, Joe Christmas. We talked about it. Our friend Jason Dempsey had just started playing drums with us and he thought it'd be unique. We agreed. It was settled. More shows. Recorded second ep, Oatmeal with Chris Colbert engineering and producing. Played some festivals. Went off to college in separate towns and thought the band was pretty much over. Then, a record deal offer from indie label Flying Tart Records. We gladly accept. Then, Jason abruptly leaves the group weeks before we are to begin recording our first album. Russell meets Philip Brown at college. Philip rocks the drums. Two weeks before recording is to begin, Philip joins the band. We practice three times and then head off to Nashville to record with Chris Colbert and Steve Hindalongat the fabled Neverland Studios. These sessions plus one track off the Oatmeal ep ended up comprising our debut record Upstairs, Overlooking. So, Alex Parker, owner/operator of Flying Tart Records, decides to call up Brandon Ebel of Tooth & Nail Records and tell him about our record. Alex sends him a copy of the final mix. Brandon likes the record and Eben from Blenderhead suggests that Brandon sign us. So, Tooth & Nail Records snatch us away from Flying Tart Records and Upstairs, Overlooking is released in the summer of 1995. We played at Cornerstone Festival that year and had a wonderful time. We met other T&N bands and became fast friends with the amazing Roadside Monument. In an attempt to impress and confuse some girls in our hotel lobby, we told them we were MxPx. They'd never heard of MxPx. After Cornerstone Festival we went home and practiced and wrote more songs. In the fall we went back to college and kept playing on the weekends. We drove to Mississippi one weekend and a man in a truck pulled a gun on us. As spring approached, recording time was nearing once again. This time we went to Chicago and recorded our sophomore effort, North to the Future with Bob Weston at Electrical Audio. It was an incredible experience and we were very happy with how our record turned out. After recording we embarked on a two month tour/vacation that took us all the way to Vancouver, B.C. and then down to L.A. Our last show of the tour was at the first Tooth & Nail Festival. Every single Tooth & Nail Records band was there and it was awesome, even though we were only allotted fifteen minutes of stage time, as we were the first band to go on. After the festival the long drive from California to Georgia began. Our friend Maria hitched a ride with us. We drove straight, taking turns at the wheel, and made it back home in a scant 54 hours. The next thing we knew…” (from the band's old MySpace page)

Discography

1994 Oatmeal
1994 Worsted
1994 Coupleskate (7-inch) Flying Tart Records
1995 Alright Joe Play Da Blues!… Joe Xmas Live
1995 Upstairs Overlooking Tooth & Nail Records
1996 Dreaming for the Gold (7-inch) Tooth & Nail Records
1996 North to the Future Tooth & Nail Records
1996 Split with Kincaid

Oatmeal

1994 Independent

Jason
Ryan
Zac
Russell

  1. Goodbye
  2. Sonnet 61
  3. Babyshoes
  4. Gwendolyn
  5. Slick Chicken
  6. Rock-n-Roll Star

Worsted

1994 Independent

  1. Sonnet 61
  2. You're Special to Me
  3. Can't Help Falling in Love
  4. Green Grass Grows from My Head
  5. Indo-Tengo
  6. Eye
  7. Goodbye
  8. The Hushagens Song
  9. Bedroom Suit
  10. Yoke of Lack
  11. Green Grass…
  12. Pain
  13. Lady of Spain
  14. La La La
  15. Distorted Minds
  16. I'm an Epileptic
  17. Tie Your Strings Before You Run

Coupleskate

1994 Flying Tart Records

  1. I Love Rock-n-Roll
  2. My Name is Not John Travolta

Alright Joe Play Da Blues!... Joe Xmas Live

1995 Independent

  1. East Coast Angle
  2. Best Wishes
  3. I'll Bet You Do
  4. Slick Chicken
  5. Couple Skate
  6. Scrabble Girl

Upstairs Overlooking

Dreaming For the Gold

1996 Toothe & Nail Records

  1. Hesitation (They Knew the Song by the Dance)
  2. Doral

North to the Future

Joe Christmas / Kincaid split

1996

  1. Two Ways a Thousand Times

Compilation Appearances

Fluffy Vs. Phantasmic (1995 Flying Tart Records)
10) Baby Shoes

Starball Contribution (1996 Flying Tart Records)
11) You're Special To Me

Christmas in Heaven (1996 Flying Tart Records)
14) Christmas in Cobb County

A Tribute To Stryper (1996 Flying Tart Records)
15) (Waiting For) A Love That's Real

MySpace Bonus Tracks (2006)
17) Hollywood
18) Chinatown
19) Your Golden Dream