Indie rocker and graphic designer Jon Bolden started writing and playing songs while going to school at Marietta College in Marietta, OH, a tiny town situated on the shores of the Ohio River. There wasn't much of a music scene in Marietta, but this did little to discourage Bolden. He started playing and recording songs soon after he moved there, gaining a cultish online fan base with his humorous indie pop tunes and earning a local following with his eccentric live shows. He released a couple albums in 2003, Goodbye Emo Kid and Mixing It Up, Vol. 1. One of the songs on the second release, "I'm So Awkward," spread like wildfire on the Internet shortly after it was released. He continued to write songs and released an EP with Pat Hanlin in the following year called Jon Holden/Pat Hanlin Split EP. The EP was followed by a full-length album in 2005, entitled I Need Money Before I Graduate.