Lost Classics: Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments “Bait And Switch”

They’re nobody’s buzz bands anymore. But since 1993, MAGNET has discovered and documented more great music than memory will allow. The groups may have broken up or the albums may be out of print, but this time, history is written by the losers. Here are some of the finest albums that time forgot but we remembered in issue #75, plus all-new additions to our list of Lost Classics.


Bait And Switch // Onion/American, 1995

Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments “singer” Ron House (formerly of Columbus, Ohio’s Great Plains) bellowed and wailed—even occasionally carrying a tune—on this razor-sharp-yet-unrefined debut LP from arguably Cowtown’s best band. Writing songs equally charged with humor and vitriol (“Blow it up before Steve Albini makes a speech,” he ranted on “RnR Hall Of Fame”), House, serving as a cantankerous Mick Jagger to guitarist Bob Petric’s surly Keith Richards, created an incendiary near-masterpiece.

Catching Up: The Slave Apartments’ lease ran out in 2000, but all remain in Columbus. (Three-fourths of the original group reconvened for a show in 2006.) House, assistant manager at the legendary Used Kids Records, enjoys (in his words) “playing punk pontiff to Columbus’ healthy scene,” while Petric occasionally slings axe locally. Drummer Ted Hattemer mans multiple instruments for Moviola, and bassist Craig Dunson—MIA for the reunion—has played with Thee Invaders and Skillet Lickers.

“Cheater’s Heaven”: