Bedhead (band)

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For other uses, see Bedhead (disambiguation).
Bedhead
Origin Dallas, Texas
Genres Indie rock, slowcore, post-rock
Years active 1991 (1991)–1998 (1998)
Labels Direct Hit Records, Trance Syndicate, Jetset Records, Numero Group
Associated acts Macha, Steve Albini, The New Year
Website Bedhead Official
Past members Matt Kadane, Bubba Kadane, Tench Coxe, Kris Wheat, Trini Martinez

Bedhead was a Texas-based indie rock band active from 1991 to 1998. Members consisted of Matt and Bubba Kadane (vocals and guitar), Tench Coxe (guitar), Kris Wheat (bass), and Trini Martinez (drums). The band released several EPs and three LPs on Trance Syndicate, touring intermittently.[1] Bedhead's music was generally subdued, with three electric guitars and one electric bass guitar over sung or spoken vocals.[2] Allmusic dubbed the group "the quintessential indie rock band,"[3] and Tiny Mix Tapes gave their final album Transaction de Novo a perfect 5/5 score.[4]

In 1999, a year after the breakup of Bedhead, Matt and Bubba Kadane went on to form The New Year, a band with a style similar to Bedhead's.[1]

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

The roots of the band trace back to brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane playing music together as children in Wichita Falls, Texas.[1] They later began playing music together in Dallas, Texas.[1] Drummer Trini Martinez was the first addition to the duo's band in 1990, followed by guitarist Tench Coxe and bassist Kris Wheat.[5] The band was formed into Bedhead in 1991. After playing their debut show in Austin in early 1992, they released two early singles on Dallas-based record label Direct Hit Records, one in 1992 and one in 1993.[1]

WhatFunLifeWas (1994)[edit]

Main article: WhatFunLifeWas

In 1993 the band came to the attention of King Coffey, drummer of the Butthole Surfers and founder of Trance Syndicate Records, who signed them to Trance Syndicate shortly after hearing them.[1] Bedhead's debut album, WhatFunLifeWas, was released in 1994, to positive reviews. Sputnik Music gave WhatFunLifeWas 4/5 stars.[6] and it received 4.5/5 stars from Allmusic.[7]

Sputnik Music stated that the album's themes touch on loss and depression, "but with a sense of the profound. WhatFunLifeWas is a modest album; slow indie rock with a hint of the epic, that draws upon it’s broodiness to create a serenely personal atmosphere."[6] Allmusic noted the band's careful use of both loud and soft dynamics, stating "The various comparisons to the Velvet Underground, Joy Division, and Spacemen 3 all make a certain sense, but...Bedhead have much more of an individual sensibility...rather than simply rehashing."[7]

They released two EPs before their second full-length, Beheaded. The first EP was a live recording taken on March 31, 1994, titled 4songCDEP19:10. The group launched its first expansive tour in the middle of 1995, and released the EP The Dark Ages in February 1996.[1]

Beheaded (1996)[edit]

Main article: Beheaded (album)

Their second LP Beheaded was released on Trance Syndicate on October 24, 1996.[1] Beheaded received 4/5 stars from Allmusic,[8] with a positive review stating, "at the heart of the band is an indie rock sound that can be traced back to the most pleasant material of the Velvet Underground. A trio of guitars lays down unexceptional, strummed accompaniments; vocalists employ a reserved sing-speak; the drummer maintains a lazy pulse. However, with Bedhead these elements are so perfectly executed that the music seems to play itself. Beheaded represents another stop on the road to slow-burning, soaring, indie rock/pop perfection."[8]

Transaction de Novo (1998)[edit]

Main article: Transaction de Novo

Their last LP, Transaction de Novo, was recorded by Steve Albini and released in 1998. In a departure from their usual sound, Transaction De Novo featured more up-tempo, heavily distorted songs than its predecessors.[9][10] Transaction de Novo received 4.5/5 stars from Allmusic,[3] with a positive review stating "It's hard to imagine the group perfecting this sound much further."[3] The album received a perfect 5/5 score from Tiny Mix Tapes.[4]

After Bedhead[edit]

Final releases

Bedhead broke up shortly after the release of Transaction De Novo, in 1998. After their breakup, another Bedhead single was released in October 1998 on Trance Syndicate. This was followed by a final release on April 25, 2000: the EP Macha Loved Bedhead, a collaboration with Macha released on Jetset Records.[1] After the band ended, guitarist Tench Coxe went on to earn a PhD in Russian Literature from Columbia University.[11]

The New Year, Overseas

The Kadane brothers went on to form The New Year, and signed onto Touch and Go Records.[1] While still playing with The New Year, in 2012 Bubba and Matt Kadane formed Overseas with David Bazan of Pedro The Lion and Will Johnson of Centro-matic. Their debut album was released on June 11, 2013.[12]

Style[edit]

Bedhead's music was generally subdued, with a polyphonic sound based on the interlocking of single-line melodies played by three electric guitars and one electric bass guitar (often played with a capo), nearly always using clean (undistorted) tones, prompting comparisons to the Velvet Underground.[2]

According to Allmusic, "What distinguished [Bedhead] was the way it combined [indie rock]'s modest ambitions with careful song construction and rock & roll's sense of grand dynamic excitement. This was the quintessential indie rock band because it delivered some of the best the genre is capable of: workaday vocals that actually work, gorgeous melodies (though uncommercial, this music doesn't have to be indigestible), and dynamics that could crush the listener."[3]

The group's vocals were often delivered in such a low key manner that they could be difficult to decipher.[10] This unusual sound was dubbed by some critics as "slo-core," referring to the slow tempos of many of the band's songs, though the band's members objected to the labeling in interviews.[citation needed] In reality, many of the group's songs only begin slow before building in speed, intensity and volume. Bedhead also experimented with time signatures less commonly used in rock music, by playing some songs in 7/8 or 5/4 meter.[citation needed]

Members[edit]

Past personnel
  • Matt Kadane (electric guitar, vocals)
  • Bubba Kadane (electric guitar, vocals)
  • Tench Coxe (electric guitar)
  • Kris Wheat (electric bass guitar)
  • Trini Martinez (drum set)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio and live albums by Bedhead
Year Album title Release details
1994 WhatFunLifeWas
1996 Beheaded
  • Released: Oct 24, 1996
  • Label: Trance Syndicate
  • Format: LP, CD, digital
1998 Transaction de Novo
  • Released: Feb 10, 1998
  • Label: Trance Syndicate
  • Format: LP, CD, digital
2014 1992-1998 Box Set
  • Released: 2014
  • Label: Numero Group
  • Format: LP, CD, digital

EPs[edit]

List of studio and live EPs by Bedhead
Year Album title Release details
1994 4songCDEP19:10
(live EP)
1996 The Dark Ages
  • Released: Feb 20, 1996
  • Label: Trance Syndicate
  • Format: CD, digital
2000 Macha Loved Bedhead
(with Macha)

Singles[edit]

Incomplete list of songs by Bedhead
Year Title Release Notes
1992 "Bedside Table/Living Well" 2 song single Direct Hit Records
1993 "The Rest of the Day/I'm Not Here"
1998 "Lepidoptera/Leper" Trance Syndicate, Oct 20, 1998

Compilations[edit]

  • 1995: Cinco Anos compilation (Trance Syndicate) - track "The Dark Ages"

Unreleased[edit]

Covers[edit]

Incomplete list of covers of Bedhead songs
Yr Song Covering artist(s) Notes
2008 "Bedside Table" Adem Ilhan Domino Records

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ankeny, Jason. "Bedhead Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  2. ^ a b "Bedhead: Cardiff". Brainwashed. Retrieved 2014-05-16. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d Bush, Nathan (February 1998). "Bedhead Review: Transaction de Novo". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  4. ^ a b Transaction De Novo: Tiny Mix Tapes
  5. ^ "Bedhead: Milk". Brainwashed. Retrieved 2014-05-16. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b Cooper, Kane (August 7, 2009). "Review: WhatFunLifeWas". Sputnik Music. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  7. ^ a b Raggett, Ned (1994). "Bedhead Review: What Fun Life Was". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  8. ^ a b Bush, Nathan (October 1996). "Bedhead Review: Beheaded". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  9. ^ "Sharps and Flats: Bedhead". Salon. February 18, 1998. Retrieved 2014-05-16. [dead link]
  10. ^ a b "Music Reviews: Vol 17, Issue 24". The Austin Chronicle. Archives: 1997-1998. Retrieved 2014-05-16.  Check date values in: |date= (help)[dead link]
  11. ^ Musicians with Phds (2010)
  12. ^ Thomas, Fred (2013-06-11). "Overseas - Overseas : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  13. ^ Wilonksy, Robert (May 16, 1996). "Rhyme and Reason". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  14. ^ Wilonksy, Robert (August 6, 1998). "Putting It To Bed". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  15. ^ Wilonksy, Robert (March 14, 1996). "Stabbed in the redneck". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  16. ^ Wilonksy, Robert (November 23, 1995). "Red Hot". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 

External links[edit]