R.I.P. Jason Noble (Rodan, Rachel’s, Shipping News)

By Tom Breihan / August 6, 2012 - 12:12 pm

Jason Noble, who led a series of Louisville underground rock bands and helped bring the entire concept of post-rock into focus, died on Saturday morning in Bethesda, Maryland after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 41.

Noble first came to prominence as the lead guitarist and occasional singer for Rodan, a band who, like their Louisville peers Slint, stretched post-hardcore clangor to meditative locked-in instrumental lengths. After releasing one album, 1994’s Rusty, Rodan broke up, and Noble went on to found the more pastoral post-classical instrumental group Rachel’s, who released six albums between 1995 and 2003. As Shipping News, Noble and former Rodan guitarist Jeff Mueller also recorded four albums — the last of which, One Less Heartless To Fear, came in 2010, when Noble was battling the rare cancer strain Synovial Sarcoma. A number of artists, including Balmorhea and J. Robbins, recently contributed to the benefit compilation In Pleasant Company: A Mixtape For Jason, and proceeds from that will now go to Noble’s family.

Below, watch footage of Rodan playing live in Athens, Georgia in 1994.