Jon James has been actively performing since he was 12, and continues to this day in similar vein. Though he likes rock stars well enough, he aspires stubbornly to sideshow greatness. He is simply perverse in that way. He likes to dream about hanging out with Dadaists in the days of yore.
Jon hails from northern Illinois and currently resides in Minneapolis. Since the die was cast, Jon has been involved with approximately one zillion bands, and currently juggles playing with precisely six (Tina Schlieske, Ali Gray, Johnny Clueless, Patrik Tanner & The Faraway Men, Mish Mash, Brat Pack Radio).
When he comes up for air, Jon likes to work on solo recordings. AU CONTRAIRE is his sophomore album. Jon likes loud guitars and big drums, but he’s also a sucker for bizarre noise and perplexing language. If pop music is bubblegum, AU CONTRAIRE is more akin to black licorice. Yes, both emanate certain sweet notes. But the latter lurks within enigmatic shadows, redolent with concentrated essences both unusual and unfamiliar.
It is, in a word, acquired taste. But rest assured -- Jon has utmost faith in your sense of adventure.
In his tender youth, Jon was heavily influenced by Brit Invasion, Glam & Power Pop. As an over-schooled grown-up, he is now equally smitten with smart, melodic wordplay -- from Dylan to Bon Scott, Leonard Cohen to Kurt Cobain, Warren Zevon to Wayne Coyne, Tom Waits to Jack White. In fact, if you can corner him, he'll confess nothing shy of obsession with the written word; a steadfast conviction that lyrics are the heart of song. Some will tell you this is a crying shame, because it just so happens Jon is also a rather monstrous guitar player. They fear he is squandering potential glory. Try to ignore them. He is simply saving your ears so that you may revel in the laughter of your grandchildren.
Lately, Jon is conducting lots of research (read: wikipedia) on traveling medicine shows, the apothecary tradition, vaudevillian history, tin-pan alley, etc. -- any similar institutions of old where people toured on a shoestring, penned ditties, filled parlours and dabbled artfully in potion & persuasion. He is formulating a theory that some precise combination of these arcane arts might serve as a much needed shot-in-the-arm for our beloved music industry; rock-and-roll in particular, lest it become ossified and inflexible. Even if he's unable to distill a workable hypothesis, it's clear these themes will be featured prevalently in his next CD. Stay tuned ...