Those Bastard Souls - “The Last Thing I Ever Wanted Was to Show Up and Blow Your Mind” (Debt & Departure)
Here’s the last Jeff Buckley-related thing I plan on posting for a while; I didn’t want to include it in the actual One Band // One Week coverage since it’s more of a footnote/epilogue.
I doubt that any rock death of the last 20 years rivals Cobain’s for the sheer number of tribute songs inspired, but Buckley’s probably comes closer than most. Naturally, approach and quality vary enormously based on artist and approach. Hole’s only-slightly-Buckley-informed “Boys on the Radio” might get my vote as the single best song of the bunch, but Rufus Wainwright’s “Memphis Skyline,” P.J. Harvey’s “Memphis,” and this lesser-known song by Those Bastard Souls are in the running, too.
Those Bastard Souls were started by Grifters frontman and David Shouse in 1995 as a side project with a rotating lineup (sometimes including Joan Wasser, Fred Armisen, Red Red Meat’s Matt Fields, and The Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd). After his friend Buckley’s 1997 death, Shouse decided to create a more formal lineup with Fields and Wasser, who was romantically involved with Buckley when he died. They enlisted Wasser’s Dambuilders bandmate and Shudder to Think drummer, Kevin March, and Buckley’s guitarist, Michael Tighe, to record Debt & Departure and tour.
Debt & Departure isn’t exactly an album-length elegy, being composed partly of re-recorded songs from Those Bastard Souls’ first album, as well as a drastically remade Grifters song, “Spaced Out.” But new songs like the title track, “The Wake of Your Flood,” and “The Last Thing I Ever Wanted Was to Show Up and Blow Your Mind” make it clear that the band members were coping with their friend’s death without leaning on him as subject matter, aside from the lovely “Hallelujah” call-out in “The Last Thing …”
They only released the one album, with Shouse soon moving on to The Bloodthirsty Lovers, Wasser beginning her solo career as Joan as Policewoman, Tighe moving on to several projects with fellow ex-Buckley bandmates, and March playing with Guided by Voices, among others. But, as you can hear from this song, Debt & Departure is well worth seeking out.