Skip to main content
Use the right side menu to identify relevant boxes and place requests.

Jason Farrell collection

 Collection 0223-SCPA
Jason Farrell (b. December 24, 1969) is a musician, graphic designer, and filmmaker who currently lives in Los Angeles, CA., but also spent several decades as a part of the punk music subculture in the Washington, D.C. area. The Jason Farrell collection contains items that span the years 1985 to 2007; the bulk of the materials date from 1987 to 1998 when Farrell was a member of the bands Swiz and, later, Bluetip. The materials in this collection primarily consist of show fliers and posters that Farrell designed for his bands.

Dates

  • 1985-2017
  • Majority of material found within 1987-1998

Use and Access to Collection

The collection is open for research use.

Duplication and Copyright Information

There are no restricted files in this collection.

Extent

2.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Jason Farrell collection covers the period from 1985 to 2017; the bulk of the materials date from 1987 to 1998. The collection consists of posters, fliers, and ephemera related to Farrell's work as a musician, including his output with bands such as Swiz, Bluetip, and Retisonic.

Biography

Jason Farrell (b. December 24, 1969) is a musician, graphic designer, and filmmaker who currently lives in Los Angeles, CA., but also spent several decades as a part of the punk music subculture in the Washington, D.C. area. Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in the suburb of Bethesda, MD., Farrell joined the local punk and skateboarding subcultures as a teenager. Following a brief stint in the mid-1980s as a guitarist/bassist for the band Bells Of, Farrell made his initial mark as the guitarist in Swiz, a hardcore band that existed from 1987 to 1990. Swiz was notable in the D.C. punk scene at the time for straddling a line between the melodic, yet experimental, strain of punk that had come to embody much of D.C.'s then-current punk scene and the more punishing, aggressive hardcore sound that still was prevalent in American punk.

Following the break-up of Swiz, Farrell eventually founded the band Bluetip in early 1995. The band played a brand of punk that was simultaneously tuneful and abrasive, which was consistent with other peer bands from the D.C. punk scene like Fugazi and Kerosene 454. Bluetip saw Farrell stepping forward to sing lead, in addition to his guitar duties, for the first time. Following three albums on Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records, as well as hundreds of performances around the world, Bluetip disbanded in January 2002.

Newly settled in New York City, Farrell then founded the band, Retisonic. Expanding on Bluetip's sound, Retisonic released a handful of EPs and an LP during the band's brief time together in the mid-2000s. Although the members of Swiz had already reunited once before in the short-lived mid-1990s band Sweetbelly Freakdown, another partial reunion arose in the late 2000s with the formation of Farrell's latest band, Red Hare. Red Hare brought Farrell back together with three of his longtime collaborators -- singer Shawn Brown (Swiz, Sweetbelly Freakdown, Dag Nasty), bassist Dave Eight (Swiz, Sweetbelly Freakdown, Bluetip) and drummer Joe Gorelick (Bluetip, Retisonic). Red Hare continues to both record and perform and stands as Farrell's latest contribution to the punk culture that sprung up from the Washington, D.C. area decades before.

Farrell, who graduated from the University of Maryland in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in advertising design, has also provided graphic design and art direction for nearly two hundred releases from punk labels such as Dischord and Jade Tree Records, along with design work for his own musical projects. He has also written and directed several short films and commercials, as well as music videos for artists like Flag, Bonnie Raitt, and Ted Leo.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into six series:
  1. Swiz
  2. Fury
  3. Bluetip
  4. Retisonic
  5. Other Projects
  6. Oral History Recordings

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Purchase from Farrell and subsequent gift of Vincent J. Novara, curator of Special Collections in Performing Arts, received in March 2016.

Related Material

D.C. Punk and Indie Fanzine collection, Special Collections in Performing Arts, Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, University of Maryland.

Sharon Cheslow Punk Flyers, 1979-1991, Special Collections in Performing Arts, Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, University of Maryland.

John Davis Collection, Special Collections in Performing Arts, Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, University of Maryland.

Bluetip, Dischord No. 101, compact disc, Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, University of Maryland.

Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital, Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, University of Maryland.

Salad Days, DVD, Hornbake Library Media Services, University of Maryland.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.
Title
Jason Farrell collection
Status
completed
Author
John Davis
Date
April 2016
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library Library

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States