Oakland, CA's Jim Yoshii Pile-Up began in 1997, when Paul Gonzenbach (vocals/guitar), Frankie Koeller (bass), and Ryan Craven (drums) began performing as a trio. The addition of guitarist Sikwaya Condon added much-needed new blood later that year, and the band took off, performing their unique brand of textured indie rock, including tender and harsh tones along the West Coast. Named in honor of Jim Yoshii, a high school friend of the band, the group released a self-titled EP on Yoshii's own Old Prospector Records in 1999. Guitarist Ian Connelly joined in 2000, and the band's first full-length, It's Winter Here, was released the following year on San Francisco's Absolutely Kosher Records. Condon soon stepped down as a full-time member of the band, opting only to contribute occasionally to the group. His full-time replacement was guitarist Noah Blumberg, who was first featured on 2002's Homemade Drugs CD, again on Absolutely Kosher. The album marked a definite transition in the band's history, as the members experienced dramatic changes during the album's assembly.