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The National Acrobat

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The National Acrobat formed in late 1998 around primary songwriter and guitarist Evan Patterson, guitarist Robby Scott, bassist Ty Kreft, vocalist Casper Adams, and Phil Stosberg, one-time drummer for Kentucky straight-edge flag-wavers Onslaught. Taking their influences from D.C. punk and hardcore, contemporary noisecore acts like Deadguy, and more traditional metal and adding odd time signatures and Adams' bizarre lyrics, the band quickly earned a reputation for their engaging, humorous, and often confrontational live performances. Their shows were emotional, intense, and fun-filled all at once. They released their self-titled debut CD in June of 1999 through a small label that Kreft and Scott formed together. After playing in support of the record, dissent in the band's ranks resulted in the departure of Scott (who went on to join notable Louisville powerhouse By the Grace of God) and Kreft. Scott was replaced by Evan Patterson's brother Ryan Patterson, late of the bands Automatic, the Enkindels, Metroschifter, and Firesign. The elder Patterson's inclusion in the band fueled them to new artistic heights, as well as helped establish them in the national scene, thanks to his show booking experience gleaned from years of playing in other bands. This lineup released the For All Practical Purposes Is Dead CD in May of 2000, with the Pattersons handling bass duties and crediting them to Dale Nixon, a pseudonym used by classic hardcore and punk bands the group enjoyed, such as Dag Nasty. Eventually, Stephen George filled the bass position, as the band played the Midwest and Northeast with their friends in groups like Isis and Burn It Down. Their next release was the It's Nothing Personal 7" single in October 2000, recorded with members of Elliott assisting. The band's next release was put out by Status Recordings in December of 2000. Can't Stop Casper Adams was a playful title designed to parody the Enkindels' Can't Stop the Enkindels. It was the band's defining work and sadly, their last, as internal tensions caused them to split up around the time of the EP's release. Ryan Patterson and Evan Patterson went on to form the band Black Widows in 2001 with members of By the Grace of God. ~ Ryan J. Downey

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1998 in Louisville, KY

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