Jason Noble, a principal member in the influential Louisville-based bands Rodan, Rachel's and Shipping News, passed away this morning in Bethesda, Md., after a three-year battle with cancer.
Noble served as the main vocalist and also played guitar in Rodan, who followed in the footsteps of fellow Louisville underground rock group Slint in purveying an idiosyncratic blend of dynamic, often heavy rock and largely instrumental exploration. The group's lone official album, 1994's Rusty, remains an influential snapshot of post-punk American indie rock in the 1990s.
After Rodan disbanded, Noble co-founded Rachel's, which eschewed vocals and a standard guitar/bass/drums lineup in favor of operating as a mini-chamber orchestra featuring viola, cello, piano and horns as well as drums/percussion, guitar and electric bass. The group released five studio albums, the last of which, Systems/Layers, appeared in 2003.
Noble and Rodan guitarist Jeff Mueller also recorded four albums as Shipping News, which occasionally echoed the louder work of their prior band.
According to a post from Noble's wife and brother-in-law on the CaringBridge.com Web site, Noble will be cremated in Maryland early next week. "A larger gathering to celebrate Jason's life" is being planned for sometime in the next few weeks.