This record is as great as the story I'm going to tell about it is dumb, though I guess that's no different from any other day.
I'd bought the Baby Astronauts LP when it first came out in '86 and loved it, but then traded it in about a year later, though I at least made a tape of it. I found the tape-- now 20-something years old and looking all beat to hell-- while rummaging through my old duffle bag o' stuff a couple of years ago. The tape had no real information on it, so I had to pop it into the tape deck in the car to see what it was. The first two albums on it, "Bumper Crop" and "You're Living All Over Me", were pretty easy to figure out, but when I got to the Baby Astronauts tracks I was stumped. I started jammin' out in the car (really, dude, you shoulda seen me) to "I Hate This Song" and "Lost At Your Party" over and over, thinking, "holy shit, this is a great record," and while I could remember the song titles and picture what the record kinda looked like, I couldn't remember the name of the band for the life of me.
At first I thought it was Angry Red Planet, another band from the Midwest that released their own hand-numbered LP ("Little Pigs Little Pigs") with a do-it-yourself silkscreened cover around the same time Baby Astronauts did. Once I became motivated enough to do a Google search and figure out that the mystery band was indeed Baby Astronauts, I had to have the record again, of course. I eventually found a copy for pretty cheap, considering it was practically sealed and near-new, from an online store in Minneapolis (Landspeed Records). I say "practically sealed" because pretty much every copy of "All The Pancakes You Can Eat" comes sealed in a plastic bag already, since the bag itself is also part of the artwork. The front cover is 1/1000th of an original painting, and the lettering on the front cover is actually printed on the plastic bag that the record comes in.
Why "All The Pancakes You Can Eat" isn't ranked up there with all the other legendary Minneapolis records from the 80's is beyond me, because it's a great friggin' record. I'm guessing that Baby Astronauts operated within their local MRR-styled punk scene at the time, even though their song ideas arrive from more grown-up concerns (check out the politically-mocking intro to "I Hate This Song", it's hilarious) and their style veers toward indie rock on occasion. "Brain Surgeon" and "Fishing Song" in particular are almost Big Dipper-ish, with lyrics that nearly out-Volcano Suns the Volcano Suns-- believe it or not-- and the chugging tempo of "Lost At Your Party" is practically a hook in itself.
This also came out on CD as "All The Pancakes You Can Eat Plus Bacon", with a whole LP's worth of extra bonus tracks. I'm really curious to know what the Baby Astronauts cover of "Whole Lotta Love" sounds like, if anyone has a copy.
Baby Astronauts -
"I Hate This Song"
"Lost At Your Party"
"Just About To Lose It"
"What's In The Fridge?"
(these files are now listen-only)