Monday, May 12, 2008

Pretty Smart On My Part

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:

Bastro -

"Shoot Me a Deer"

"Goiter Blazes"

(these files are now listen-only)


Brushback said...

BONUS! Here's an extra track from my original cassette version of Bastro's "Diablo Guapo" LP (Homestead, 1989), which was recently re-issued by Drag City on other, more respectable formats:

Bastro - "Tallow Waters"

gabbagabbahey said...

Cool! I'll be sure to check these out. Always up for some ex-Squirrel Bait/Louisville/etc

Speaking of Homestead Records, I'm posting the (Baked Goods) vinyl reissue of Dinosaur today, along with a show review from Dino Jr. last night.

my ears feel a little damaged...

Brushback said...

I haven't seen them in a long while, but Dinosaur were always as loud as any band.

At one Dinosaur show I was at, back in the day, a fire alarm went off in the building and nobody knew until the song ended.

Brushback said...

The mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files (the "Tallow Waters" file I posted in an earlier comment has now just been deleted outright). For those of you who came to the party late, I will do my best to respond to any e-mailed requests for the original 7" files.

Here's the listen-only file for "Tallow Waters":

Bastro, Tallow Waters"

sambson said...

Dude! Once Homestead and T&G got wind of this awesome blog they ganked all that shit! Ah well. Them independents don't get no money from BMFI and ASSCAP, so we don't mind payin'. Great Blog for turning people onto stuff though!