Tiny Mix Tapes is sad to report the passing of Louisville musician/fulcrum Jon Cook on February 9, 2013 after a long illness. He was 40.
Cook was a consummate musician, a multi-instrumentalist (bass, guitar, drums) and founding member of storied post-hardcore bands Crain, Cerebellum, and Experimental Pollen, as well as holding the drum chair at the outset of Rodan’s existence. Cook also had a memorable supporting role as part of the cast for the Southern underground rock saga Half-Cocked (1994), the first act of which took place in his “Rocket House” crash-pad/punk mansion. Known for his forthrightness, Cook was instrumental in booking out-of-town bands as a teenager and had already exerted an influence on the city’s punk scene by the time he finished high school.
Working through a number of interrelated ensembles throughout the late 1980s, Cook, guitarist Tim Furnish, and drummer Will Chatham formed Crain in 1989, though the lineup would change (and expand) several times. Drawing from equal parts DC post-hardcore and a distinct, regional drawl of art-sludge, their crackling debut album Speed was recorded by Steve Albini and released in 1992 on Automatic Wreckcords (reissued in 2005 by Temporary Residence). As a trio with bassist Jason Hayden, they released the more sprawling effort Heater in 1994 (Restless) and disbanded two years later.
Cook continued to be active in Louisville’s music scene, including such outfits as Spider Crutches and Weapons.
The final Crain lineup (JC - vox/gtr, TF - gtr, Todd Cook - b, Tony Bailey - d), in all their glory, is featured in this video.