After Squirrel Bait broke up in 1987, David Grubbs started a new band, Bastro, only the name wasn't Bastro at first. I was at Bastro's first show-- at CBGB's in 1987-- and right up through the day of the show, Grubbs' band was listed in the CB's ads under a different name; I'm forgetting now, but it was something Big Black-ish, like Racer X or something. Then Grubbs got onstage that night and muttered, "Starting today, this is Bastro," and that was that.
For that first show Bastro was just Grubbs and a drum machine, although a girl came out and joined him on violin for one song (which didn't work out too well). Grubbs was very obviously influenced by Big Black at the time, to the point that he even had the foil sticker from the body bag version of "Headache" on his guitar. Most of Bastro's songs were fairly elementary Albini knock-offs, though there was one song called "Circumcision" that I liked a lot. It was a cover of another Louisville band called The Endtables, but I'd never heard of The Endtables, so when Grubbs introduced the song I thought he'd said, "This is a song by Antietam." Right up until Joe Stumble posted The Endtables EP on his Last Days of Man On Earth blog a year or two ago, I thought "Circumcision" was some great unreleased Antietam song.
I made a tape of Bastro's set, which came out pretty good and so I traded it around a bit-- I don't have a copy anymore, but someone out there might still have it. One other thing, which was kinda funny: the Volcano Suns were also on the bill that night, and brought along "I Hate The Bait" t-shirts just for the occasion.
It was maybe a year after that show that Bastro's first record came out, "Rode Hard and Put Up Wet"; a couple of songs that were on the live tape I had made were also on the LP, but it was just okay. After that, Bastro released a single with a real live drummer, "Shoot Me a Deer"/"Goiter Blazes", and that was a seriously awesome piece of rock.
Oh, yeah, this:
"Shoot Me a Deer"
(these files are now listen-only)