Original recorded lineup adds reunion shows in South Korea, Japan and UK
OCTOBER 3, 2011: Renowned independent label Temporary Residence Limited today revealed details of the much-anticipated deluxe reissues of the entire studio recordings of pioneering and highly influential post-punk group Bitch Magnet.
“Bitch Magnet created this amazing equilibrium between heaviness/prettiness and density/space. These juxtapositions were explored by a ton of bands at the time, but
Bitch Magnet wrote songs.” – Mac McCaughan, Superchunk and Merge Records co-founder
The triple-LP and triple-CD sets will include five previously-unreleased early versions of key Bitch Magnet songs recorded nearly a year before the sessions for the band’s landmark second album Umber: “Punch and Judy, “Joan of Arc,” “Big
Pining,” “Joyless Street,” and “Sadie.” Those five songs were newly mixed with John
Congleton (Explosions in the Sky and St. Vincent) in October 2010. The reissues will also include a rediscovered “louder” mix of Umber’s classic leadoff track “Motor” – an artifact the band had forgotten about until Mike McMackin, who recorded Umber, unearthed it from his personal archives.
Two non-LP tracks recorded during the sessions for the final Bitch Magnet album Ben Hur, “White Piece of Bread” and “Sadie,” are included on the reissues as well. All of these tracks, as well as the band’s three albums, were remastered from the original analog tapes by Alan Douches at West West Side Music. Both CD and LP reissues will contain a trove of rare Bitch Magnet photos, posters, and flyers.
Additionally, Bitch Magnet announced it will perform two shows in Asia next month, at Club FF in Seoul on November 5 and at Shibuya O-Nest in Tokyo on November 7. These will be the first shows Bitch Magnet has played since December 1990, and the first that the band’s core trio lineup has played since the spring of 1989.
After performing at All Tomorrow’s Parties in Minehead, UK on Saturday, December 10, Bitch Magnet will co-headline The Garage in London with a reunited Hot Snakes on December 13. The band is planning additional December shows in the UK and Europe, and details will be made available on the band’s Facebook page and through its @bitchmagnet Twitter feed.
Bitch Magnet was formed by guitarist Jon Fine and bassist/vocalist Sooyoung Park at Oberlin College in 1986. Drummer Orestes Morfin joined shortly thereafter. Upon the release of its debut Star Booty in 1988, the band garnered rapturous reviews and established itself among the top tier of America’s independent music underground. The band’s reputation grew with subsequent tours of the US and Europe and the release of Umber (prominently included by Mojo magazine on its list of “Lost Albums You Must Own”) in 1989 and Ben Hur in 1990. The latter two have been frequently cited as a key inspiration for what would become known as “post-rock,” a term that continues to baffle and amuse the band.
Along with their contemporaries in Slint, in the years following its breakup Bitch
Magnet has been recognized as a significant influence on generations of aggressive and musically complex bands, including Don Caballero, Mogwai, Rodan, June of 44, and Battles.
“Probably more than any other band, Bitch Magnet sent me in the direction I took with the music I have tried to make,” said Battles’ Ian Williams, whose band’s invitation to play at All Tomorrow’s Parties coaxed Bitch Magnet out of retirement.
The street date for the reissues is December 6. The complete track listing for the reissues, along with an MP3 of the remastered version of Ben Hur’s fan-favorite “Mesentery,” follows.
LP / DISC 1 (Ben Hur, plus extra tracks)
Ducks and Drakes
Lookin’ At The Devil
Spite y Malice
White Piece of Bread*
LP / DISC 2 (Umber, plus extra track)
Joan of Arc
Goat-Legged Country God
Punch and Judy
Motor (louder mix)**
LP / DISC 3 (Pre-Umber recordings and Star Booty)
Punch and Judy**
Joan of Arc**
Sea of Pearls
(*: non-LP track. **: previously unreleased)