David Grubbs (born September 21, 1967), guitarist, pianist, and vocalist, was a founding member of Squirrel Bait, Bastro, and Gastr del Sol. He has also played in Bitch Magnet, The Red Krayola and The Wingdale Community Singers.
Squirrel Bait was a 1980s Louisville, Kentucky punk rock group that released a 12" EP and an album on Homestead Records. Grubbs's next group was Bastro, which released two albums on Homestead. In 1991 Bastro morphed into the more avant-garde Gastr del Sol.
This project soon became essentially a partnership between Grubbs and Jim O'Rourke. The albums released by the duo (including Crookt, Crackt, or Fly, Upgrade & Afterlife, and Camoufleur) have been described as a visionary and theoretical deconstruction of the songwriting process.
Since the partnership's breakup in 1997, Grubbs has released numerous solo and collaborative records, mostly on the Drag City label. In 2000, his album The Spectrum Between was named “Album of the Year” in the London Sunday Times.
He operates his own label, Blue Chopsticks, which has released both new and archival recordings from Luc Ferrari, Derek Bailey and Noël Akchoté, Workshop, Van Oehlen, and Mats Gustafsson. He has appeared on recordings by Tony Conrad, Matmos, Palace Music, Pauline Oliveros, and many more.
Grubbs is also known for his collaborations with writers Susan Howe, Rick Moody, and Kenneth Goldsmith as well as with visual artists including Anthony McCall, Angela Bulloch, Stephen Prina, and Cosima von Bonin.
Grubbs's soundtrack work includes music with Matmos for Thierry Jousse’s feature film Les Invisibles. He has composed the soundtracks for Angela Bulloch’s installations Z Point and Horizontal Technicolour, and Hybrid Song Box.
4, and his music appears in two installations by Doug Aitken. Grubbs’s sound installation “Between a Raven and a Writing Desk” was included in the 1999 group exhibition “Elysian Fields” at the Centre Pompidou.
Grubbs has also contributed music to the Red Krayola’s soundtrack to Norman and Bruce Yonemoto’s film Japan in Paris in LA as well as to Augusto Contento's film Strade Trasparenti, Braden King and Laura Moya’s film Dutch Harbor: Where the Sea Breaks its Back, and John Boskovich’s film North.
Music by Gastr del Sol appears in the P.B.S. television series The United States of Poetry, Hal Hartley’s film The Book of Life, and Doug Aitken’s film The Diamond Sea. Grubbs composed music for Karl Bruckmaier’s radio adaptation of Peter Weiss’s Die Ästhetik des Widerstands, which was named “Hoerbuch des Jahres 2007” (Audio Book of the Year) by Hessischer Rundfunk.
From 1997-99, David Grubbs was a part-time instructor in the Liberal Arts and Sound departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently an assistant professor of Radio and Sound Art at Brooklyn College, CUNY, and director of Brooklyn College’s graduate programs in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA).
Grubbs received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago. His criticism has appeared in Conjunctions, Bookforum, Texte zur Kunst, and Purple, and from 1999-2007 he regularly contributed music criticism to the Munich newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
In 2006 he was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.David participated as drummer 23 in the Boredoms 77 Boadrum performance which occurred on July 7th, 2007 at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn, New York.
Grubbs lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Cathy Bowman, and their son Emmett Bowman-Grubbs.
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