Annual Jeremy Frederick tribute show reunites a few of Dayton’s favorite bands

By Gary Spencer

Photo: Shesus (above) joins former local mainstays like Ohio Casket and Oh Condor at Blind Bob’s Dec. 17; photo: Scott Bodine

One amazing thing about music is the way it touches people’s lives, especially when others get to know its creators intimately. This couldn’t be more true than in the instance of Jeremy Frederick, a Dayton-based musician who kicked around town in numerous bands throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, including Sunken Giraffe, Cigarhead, Lazy, Let’s Crash, The Dirty Walk and Human Reunion. While Jeremy is remembered fondly for his music, it was his boisterous, yet big-hearted personality that drew love and reverence from fellow musicians and audiences alike, and it seems like everyone has a funny story about the man.

“I knew of Jeremy through both seeing him perform and also as the animated spectator he was at shows, always yelling weird and hilarious things from the crowd,” says Tim Krug, a local musician who played with Jeremy in Human Reunion. “We became friends, and he quickly changed from this larger than life character I’d see around town to [being]like a brother to me.”

“I have countless stories that could fill a book,” says local musician Tyler Trent, who also played with Jeremy in Sunken Giraffe and The Dirty Walk.  “Some standouts are Jeremy pilfering the rolodex at Sub Pop Records headquarters and pranking Robert DeNiro, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Courtney Love. There was also the time he made fun of a Danny Elfman lookalike that, well, was actually Danny Elfman.”

Jeremy passed away unexpectedly in 2012 at the age of 39, and the news sent shockwaves throughout the Dayton music community.

“I think his giant heart just gave out,” Trent says.  “His absence was immediately felt.  He brought so much energy and love for Dayton bands at every show, so Tim Krug, Ian Kaplan, and myself thought the best way to honor his legacy was with an annual showcase of the music and musicians he loved.”

And with that, the annual Jeremy Frederick Presents: North of Nowhere South show was born, a tribute to the beloved musician that also serves as a way of reuniting the friends of Jeremy and bands from Dayton’s past that Jeremy loved himself. This year will be no different, boasting the two very special reunions of Shesus and Ohio Casket, each coming out of retirement for a special one-night only performance.

“Not only are Shesus and Ohio Casket beloved Dayton faves, they were also some of Jeremy’s closest friends—you can’t beat that,” explains Trent. “I contacted [Shesus guitarist] Michelle Bodine, she got a hold of the gang and they were in. Tim got a hold of the Casket peeps, and they were a unanimous yes. They all loved Jeremy and didn’t give it a second thought.”

Shesus is a girl-centric, punky garage rock outfit founded in 1999 that went on to become one of the most popular bands in Dayton until their breakup in 2005. Along the way, the group recorded two albums for Narnack Records and toured throughout the US, Europe and UK. They also recorded a Peel Session for the BBC at that time. This special one-off reunion will feature the core of the original lineup, filled out by John Schmersal of Brainiac and Enon fame, and Ian Kaplan from The Motel Beds as special guests.

“Some of my friends have been asking us to reunite for years now,” says Shesus guitarist Michelle Bodine. “John and Ian both volunteered to play. I really didn’t think it would happen, because everyone was living in different states and busy with their bands and families. We wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”

Ohio Casket is also making like The Blues Brothers and putting the band back together one more time in Jeremy’s honor. The Casket, whose music has been likened to groups like Built to Spill and Mission of Burma, that also formed in 1999 and regularly played around town with nationally touring artists at places like El Diablo Lounge, Canal Street Tavern, and Elbo’s, until the band was buried in 2003. Bassist Steve Bright believes that the North of Nowhere South series is a great way to keeping Jeremy’s spirit alive in the Dayton scene.

“I think they’re a fitting tribute because they seem to bring out a ton of old heads as well as younger people and everyone in between,” Bright says. “As Jeremy stayed active in local music for more than 20 years, it’s cool to see all of the various micro-scenes and groups that think of him as one of their own.”

Organizers will also have Let’s Crash, Human Reunion, and Cigarhead CDs and records for sale, as well as a limited number of silkscreened posters. Sales and proceeds from the door will be donated to the Isabella Frederick Educational Fund, a cause even greater than the memories and music promised by this wonderful event.

“All the money will be going to a college education fund that Jeremy’s mom set up for her,” Krug states, referring to Frederick’s daughter. “The only thing Jeremy loved more than music was his daughter, and I think it’s important to do this for her in his memory.”

Jeremy Frederick Presents: North of Nowhere South featuring Shesus, Ohio Casket, and Oh Condor takes place Saturday, Dec. 17, at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. in downtown Dayton. Show is 21 and over; admission is $5 at the door. Prroceeds benefit the Isabella Frederick Educational Fund. Show begins at 9 p.m. For more information, please visit

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Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at

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