Bitch Magnet Performing “Ben Hur” at ATP This Fall!

Actually, that’s not true. Although it’d be miraculous if it happened.

I was lucky enough to see Bitch Magnet at least a couple times when I lived in Pittsburgh during the "glory years" (some would say "year") of 1990 and 1991. Much like lesser (yet still phenomenal) bands such as Nice Strong Arm and Bastro, Bitch Magnet were more massive in Pittsburgh than any place else in the country.

So when I left Pennsylvania for Georgia, I knew that Bitch Magnet lived in Decatur (a burb inside Atlanta) for a while, but even with that, their presence was minimal at best. I pushed them on everybody I knew to little effect.

1993 was a big year. I met an enclave of suburban Atlantans who’d moved to Athens. The Martians, the Fiddlehead guys and most importantly, Jerry Fuchs. Jerry wasn’t well known at the time (he was 18, ferchissakes), but he’s now played in Chk-Chk-Chk, LCD Soundsystem, The Juan McLean, Turing Machine, Maserati, Cloudland Canyon and Vineland (with Jon Fine from Bitch Magnet, not coincidentally). Bands that all massively benefit from Jerry’s motorik skills.

Still, to this day, I think he’s one of the best drummers on the planet. I have crystal clear memories of Jerry sitting in the passenger seat of my ’84 Jetta as we went record shopping in north Atlanta, playing Bitch Magnet’s "Umber" album and Jerry excitedly playing along with "Navajo Ace" on the dashboard. Whereas there are few that could play Orestes’s drum parts, Jerry nailed them. Even without a kit he was a master.

1993 also signaled the year I became good friends with the guys in Seam which featured the songwriting genius of Bitch Magnet’s bass player Soo Young Park. Another blog post goes into this band in detail.

Due to my inability to know what’s passing as "hip" nowadays, I can’t tell you if Bitch Magnet are fashionable in today’s lexicon, but if it weren’t for this band, nothing from Tortoise to Mogwai to Torche to Minus The Bear would exist. There’s no way.

So I’m including this video clip (which was the original impetus for me doing this post) and some rare recordings of Bitch Magnet. The first 2 tracks are from the Caff single that came out in 1990. Caff was run by somebody in Saint Etienne as memory serves. The other tracks are from a board tape of them performing in London in 1989 with Dave Grubbs (Bastro/Squirrel Bait) on guitar.

Go buy all of their albums.

Bitch Magnet – Ducks & Drakes (Caff Single)

Bitch Magnet – Sadie (Caff Single)

Bitch Magnet – Americruiser (Live in London ’89)

Bitch Magnet – Sea of Pearls (Live in London ’89)

Bitch Magnet – Valmead (Live in London ’89)

Bitch Magnet – Big Pining (Live in London ’89)

Bitch Magnet – Goat Legged Country God (Live in London ’89)