Putting it to bed

They rocked quietly, and now Bedhead ends the same way

But if the Kadanes record together again, they will not use Bedhead's name, despite the fact the name has tremendous national and international rep (even if Dallas long took the band for granted). After all, they counted Luna, Yo La Tengo, Bob Mould, and Come among their biggest fans and managed to sell out New York City's legendary Knitting Factory and San Francisco's Bottom of the Hill. (According to SoundScan, which doesn't count independent record stores, Bedhead sold more CDs in the Bay Area than in any other metropolitan area.)

"Because it's so inevitable and ubiquitous, a band disbanding should not necessarily be a sad event," Matt insists. "Bubba and I made music for over a decade before Bedhead formed; in some form we will continue. Tench is starting graduate school in the fall. Trini will accidentally build a house with his bare hands in the near future. And Wheat? God only knows. A statistic or a household name by the turn of the millennium. In any case, we'll all see each other, just not with strung guitars around or necks or drumsticks in hand. So does anyone want to buy a van?"

So sad.

See Jack run, see Jack record
Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks are also breaking up--sort of. Saxophonist Jacob Duncan and drummer Chris Michael are leaving the band--Duncan for Europe, where he will wander the land as an "itinerant sax player," says Steve "Little Jack" Carter, and Michael for New York. But that's nothing new for Carter, who replaces musicians more easily than Rangers general manager Doug Melvin supplants third basemen. For years, the Young Turks thought a revolving door was a percussion instrument.

But Carter is distraught enough over their departures to memorialize the musicians by taping one of their final performances with the band. So on August 7 at Dan's Bar in Denton, Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks will record their fourth album and make it a live one, for release on who-knows-what label to hit stores who knows when.

"I think the band is better live," says Carter, who insists this lineup is his most jazz-sounding to date (promises, promises). "With the studio stuff, you try to get everybody's hair to lay down and take all the cowlicks out and sometimes find a group portrait looks a little stuffy. Economically, we can go in and do it on site, and it'd be much cheaper. But it's also trying to harness the energy level. It's frightening, because it's without a net, but I've always wanted to do a live album. We'll see. Sometimes you make lemonade, and sometimes you make applesauce. You do the best with what you've got. We'll see."

If nothing else, the result should be fascinating: After three albums of harmonium-driven cabaret-pop, Carter says the new material relies far more on piano. He also plans to perform (if not release--he'll see) such crowd-favorite covers as "Is That All There Is?" and the immortal "99 Luftballons," which is surely not what Kurt Weill had in mind. Of course, if the covers suck, "it's not in my best interest to release them," Carter says. "I still do approach the songs on a case-by-case basis, and I've written a spaghetti country-and-western song for this record, because it's about the great drug battle between the Clinton administration and the international drug community." Oughtta rock.

Scene, heard
Word is Darlington, those cute little punk-rockers, are moving to New York--or so says the e-mail from Christy Darlington (or the artist formerly known as Chris Mess). This move will allegedly take place on November 1, with a seven-inch and possible full-length record to see release sometime at the beginning of the year for the Mutant label. Waytago, kids. But you can't use my truck.

Send Street Beat your dirty laundry to rwilonsky@dallasobserver.com.

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