120 Reasons To Live: Bitch Magnet

Nothing did more to further the cause of Alternative Nation-building than 120 Minutes, MTV’s Sunday-night video showcase of non-mainstream acts. For nearly two decades, the program spanned musical eras from ’80s college rock to ’00s indie, with grunge, Britpop, punk, industrial, electronica and more in between. MAGNET raids the vaults to resurrect our 120 favorite and unjustly forgotten videos from the show’s classic era.

#80: Bitch Magnet “Mesentery”

Slint gets most of the credit for figuring out the ever-churning guitar calculus that later became known and loved (by guys without girlfriends) as post-rock; however, Ohio/North Carolina outfit Bitch Magnet was working on the same problem around the same time. (The two groups are connected by Squirrel Bait, whose David Grubbs was briefly in Bitch Magnet; Slint had two members in Squirrel Bait.) We’d like to think the name Bitch Magnet steered listeners away from taking the band seriously, but there are giant holes in that theory. You never hear Anal Cunt complaining, for example. “Mesentery” is one of the band’s best songs, from 1990’s Ben Hur. In case you missed it or want to get a Mogwai/Battles/Explosions In The Sky-loving shut-in a Christmas gift, the Temporary Residence label is reissuing the Bitch Magnet catalog in December. The original lineup (including bassist/singer Sooyoung Park, who went on to form Seam) is playing some reunion gigs in Asia and the U.K. next month.

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