A solo project started in 2002 to release some of the indie folk songs I had been writing. I'm currently working on a new album and expect to release in 2019.

(6/4/14)

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Joel Jerome Special (3/27/16)

Joel sat down with us a few months back to share some classic material as well as a few new songs. We hope that you enjoy this special episode and subscribe to our channel for more amazing videos.

Directed by: James Ersted
Director of Photography: Justin Gaar
Edited & Colored by: James Ersted

Recorded & Mixed by: James Ersted
Mastered by: Chris Richardson

B Camera Operator: Helena Gaar
C Camera Operator: Melanie Schutzius

Set Decorator: Melanie Schutzius
Digital Animation & Titles: morgans brother

Produced by: James Ersted & Melanie Schutzius

Haunted Summer (9/29/15)

Haunted Summer playing "All Around" accompanied by Brendan Eder Ensemble. Part of a three song set to be released early 2016 on YouTube. Stay tuned!

Bridgette Seasons: Keys, Guitar, Vocals
John Seasons: Guitar, Keys
Bill Sanderson: Bass
Brendan Eder: Drums
Amie Ma: Clarinet
Sarah Robinson: Flute
Alex Hahn: Saxophone

Directed by: James Ersted
Director of Photography: Helena Gaar
Edited & Colored by: James Ersted

Recorded & Mixed by: James Ersted
Engineered & Mastered by: Chris Richardson

B Camera Operator: Jeremiah Hammerling
C Camera Operator: Melanie Schutzius

Set Decorator: Melanie Schutzius
Digital Animation & Titles: morgans brother

Produced by: James Ersted & Melanie Schutzius

Banta - 3 Feet From Gold (12/27/14)

Babies On Acid - Everybody Wants Somebody (6/4/14)

Paul Bergmann & The Fair Moans (2/6/14)

The first ever Lilac Session on 12/20/2013 with Paul Bergmann and The Fair Moans.

1999-2002

James Ersted: Bass, Vocals

Aaron Rock: Guitar, Vocals

Donovan Hurst: Drums

(12/4/13)

Farwest's first live show taped at Polly and Kacey's house sometime in the winter of 2001. Watch in high quality for better audio and to see the rain.

PUTTING A HAND OUT FOR CHARITY CASE

By Erinn Knight

It's strange to me that a little garage band could have such a big impact upon me. But I formed a lot of my philosophy of life during the mid-'90s, when Charity Case was an integral part of my existence.

Dissatisfied with my upbringing and with society in general, I was a long-haired and loud-mouthed rebellious teen, kind of a weird, hybrid hippie-metalhead. I was bored, disheartened, and on drugs, and still developing my musical tastes. I started hanging out with Charity Case, even though I couldn't play to save my life. Pat will tell you I can’t sing either.

Charity Case came together as I was finishing high school. That is to say, just before I dropped out because I was too strung out on meth. As I tried to free myself from that stranglehold, I gravitated toward the band initially out of curiosity and a real passion for new music. What kept me coming around was being introduced to a world that echoed my brutal perspective on life. Anti-conformity and chaos was the order of the day.

I knew Pat Sullivan from around kindergarten age. His twisted wit and quick humor was infectious. Nick Rosser was a kid you liked immediately, quick with a smile and seemed to have nothing to prove. He worked hard to learn new beats and combos. I never really got to know Uriah Wilkins. He seemed to be all about the music but avoided the party scene. Jimmy Ersted seemed a bit reserved to me at first. I wondered what he was doing there until he got on the mic, when he came alive. The lyrics, shedding light on injustice, challenging mainstream values, and questioning authority, echoed my own perspective in many ways. Themes like the adversity and pressure of high school, police harassment, and social conformity dominated the songs.

And from day one, songs like "Instant Punk" "Owned" and "Police Officer" resonated with me. I avoided the poppy mainstream punk of Green Day and Bad Religion before I even gave them a chance. Instead, I began to learn about bands like Black Flag, The Misfits, DK, and Minor Threat, as well as the Bay Area punk scene.

 I got to be a fly on the wall, sitting through most of the practices for a couple years, and I got to see them develop their talents. It wasn’t about getting famous – at least it didn’t seem that way. They eventually recorded at Studio Time and Trainwreck studios and released a few demos before putting out a split 7”.

Charity Case played mostly in Pat’s garage early on, and a lot of kids gravitated toward those gigs and the loose lifestyle we lived. The band progressed from the garage to play parties, school talent shows, basements, libraries, record shops, and small clubs. One of the best things about these shows was the all-ages aspect. When so many venues were inaccessible, kids could come and participate. I made myself a fixture at the shows. If I couldn’t play, I could live in the pit. Sometimes the mic made its way into my hands for a chorus. One memorable show, at the Cactus Club in San Jose, I watched a guy named David playing a new instrument – banging a plugged-in TV with an ax handle.

Summer 1995 was especially memorable, even for a guy with memory gaps from blackout drinking and sleep deprivation. We made it to a lot of weekend shows at 321 Gilman or Berkeley Square, as well as many San Jose and Cupertino venues. We spent time getting hammered below an overpass or behind an abandoned building before getting bloody in the pit. Taking a half-inch spike to the forehead is more enjoyable than it sounds! Some of the punks didn’t really know what to make of me, an outspoken hesher with a chip on his shoulder. I got into a few conflicts, but many were more accepting than I thought they’d be.

It was a nonstop party, complete with gigs, trips to Big Sur, passing out in cars or in the park, and German, Swiss, and Swedish visitors that summer. Inga pojkar vid Poolen! Driving home one night from a show, there was no water for the pocket bong. Not wanting to inhale ash – or worse – I collected enough of my spit to do the job. And nobody else was too proud to turn it down!

One time the cops caught us at Bedrock, an Almaden Valley natural rock formation that’s now part of a golf course. We each had a 12-pack and were well into them. Someone had built a fire, and John Law was drawn to it like a moth. I was the only one over 18, so I took off running when the cops’ backs were turned. I jumped off the rock into the inky black night and somehow avoided breaking an ankle.

I ran nonstop for over a mile before I stopped to see if I was being chased. I figured everyone would be arrested and taken home. I ran through the hills for hours, wondering what to do. I decided I could at least clean up the party at Pat’s house so nobody got in trouble. I walked up to find all the cars in the driveway. It turned out the cops made them pour out the beer and let them all drive home!

We seemed to drink a lot in places like that, a bunch of skater punks and one hesher getting a buzz on and finding our way. We often drank on school rooftops or in school fields, at the Secret Ninja Spot or at Top of the City. Some nights it got a little crazier than just a few kids sitting around drinking beer – a brick made it through a cop's window, or a billboard got painted – but mostly we were good kids, however disenfranchised.

Spending time with Charity Case gave me experiences I wouldn't have otherwise found on my own. Today, my lasting souvenirs are my hearing loss, a broader musical taste, and a wider world view. I rarely get bored with life, but when I do, I remember I lived a lifetime in a few years. And during those years there was Charity Case.

Get '94-'96 on iTunes (1/4/18)

A hardcore punk/grindcore label started in 1995 to help realease music from my band Charity Case, as well as other bay area bands.

OOMO1: Charity Case/Philbert Split 7"

OOMO2: Cathy Ames Tape

OOMO3: The Future Sounds Grim 7"

(No Less, Benumb, Cathy Ames, Redcare, Kanaan)

OOMO4: Charity Case '94-'96 Digital Download