1996: Chicago, Illinois John Humphrey and Scott Giampino form Cash Money. Drummer Giampino—who now books the Triple Door—worked at Touch and Go Records at the time, and the iconic label released their Black Hearts and Broken Wills CD in 1997. The band receives a cease-and-desist order in 1999 from hip-hop label Cash Money records—who claimed the name created “market confusion”—and are forced to change their name to Cash Audio.
“I mean really, some punk hard-ass African American rapper and two giant white dudes that play hard country blues,” recalls Giampino, still exuding exasperation. “Who’s gonna confuse that?”
1997: Detroit, Michigan Meg and Jack White become the first guitar-and-drum duo to launch themselves from the indie underground to the mainstream deploying a combination of cheeky controversy (Are they brother and sister? Husband and wife? Both?), a fetching peppermint-candy aesthetic, and deeply gritty, blues-based songs as hook-laden as they are abrasive.
1998: Athens, Georgia Gazelle Amber Valentine and her then-boyfriend Edgar Livengood take inspiration from the O.J. Simpson trials and form a sludge-metal pairing, Jucifer, releasing their debut, Calling All Cars on the Vegas Strip, on Crack Records. The couple set out on an endless tour that further solidifies Jucifer’s reputation for skull- crushing live shows, some of which include Cash Audio as the opening act.
“I loved watching that dude Ed drum,” says Giampino. “She was a white witch, and I never knew what to make of that. God, they were such nice folks.”
2010: Seattle Local pals Joel Schneider and Ethan Jacobsen unveil My Goodness, a duo with a moniker that makes them sound like a twee pop outfit, but a sound akin to sexual shrapnel. They head into Red Room studios with Chris Common this week.
October 2, 2010 Akron, Ohio’s the Black Keys— featuring vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerback and drummer Patrick Carney—come to the Paramount Theater in support of Brothers, an album that will likely top 99.9 percent of critics’ top-10 lists come year’s end. The show sold out almost six full months in advance, leading to Craigslist postings of tickets going for $100 and up.
“I dig the Black Keys,” says Giampino. “I am slightly bummed because, well, they are doing a lot of the things that we were doing and they are wildly popular. But I am psyched for them and love watching them live. That guy’s got a great voice that is way better than mine or John’s ever was.”