not cool records releases Jonathan Kuss & the Corporation

Jimmy Johnson has made a name for himself in Rockford as the guy to talk to about recording your albums. Recently, Johnson has officialized his new label, not cool records, geared toward the alternative rock bands. This is good news for local and national acts, as Johnson as had a great deal of experience on both sides of the recording process—as a musician and as an owner of the Noise Chamber Recording Studio.

“not cool records is a byproduct of my distrust for labels, especially the majors,” Johnson said. “What I’ve been through as an artist and producer with labels has shown us what not to do.”

The label was initiated in 1995, by releasing Cheap Trick’s two-song CD, Gift. In the last nine years, Johnson has worked to develop an “artist-friendly” label, gathering bands and a crack staff of promoters, graphic designers and writers. He has partnered with local business owner Scott Twigg of Calibration Solution, and the two plan on releasing two to three artists a year.

Also employed at not cool records is Norbert Nix of Nashville, Tenn., who has worked in the music industry for 20 years and joins Johnson’s label as promotion adviser. He was the Midwest Regional Promoter and eventually director of artist development with Mercury Records. He established Refugee Records while at Refugee Management, and has worked on the road with famous performers such as Shania Twain and Toby Keith.

This doesn’t even touch on all that Nix has done in the spectrum of artist management and band promotion in the last 20 years, and Rockford can look forward to great promotion from our man in Tennessee.

Brent Shelton of Medicine Man will be doing graphic and Web design for not cool records, and Mike Tarrolly of Creative Pig Minds and promotion director for WKRN 2 Nashville will be the staff writer. Both have been involved in local bands, Shelton in Essie Ecks and Fluid Oz, and Tarrolly in Brain Kingdom.

not cool’s next release is Jonathan Kuss and the Corporation of Rockford. The release date is scheduled for 10 p.m., June 25 at Kryptonite. Kuss has already begun his climb upward and beyond by landing his song “Lunatic” on the soundtrack of the disappointing, yet famous movie Dude, Where’s My Car? He plays mostly in Chicago, Champaign, DeKalb and Minneapolis, and has received airplay in the U.K. or USHe’s poppy, without being bubblegum. He’s rock ‘n’ roll, without getting too serious about it, and he’s upbeat—which is refreshing in a world filled with angst-ridden alterna-rockers. There is a $5 cover charge. Information: 965-0921.

For more information about not cool records, visit, or call Johnson at 815/509-7094.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!