Bedhead gets the box set treatment (Stranglers cover); new track from Exit Verse (Geoff Farina of Karate)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:26 pm September 18, 2014
The austerely designed Bedhead set. The band's artwork was always appropriately minimal, I guess to match their rather stripped-down sound.

The austerely designed Bedhead set. The band’s artwork was always appropriately minimal, I guess to match their rather stripped-down sound.

by Tim McMahan,

Here’s one appropriate for Throwback Thursday…

Record label Numero Group is releasing Bedhead – The Retrospective Box Set, described as “the complete studio recordings of Dallas, Texas, slow-core pioneers” reissued on vinyl, both as stand-alone albums, and as part of a gorgeous box set.

Bedhead were always one of my favorite bands, emerging as a so-called “slow-core” savior after the sunset of Galaxie 500, a band who they initially most closely resembled (along with VU). They grew past that, adding some of the same driving/building dialogue that fueled bands like The Feelies oh so many years before.

On their best tracks, Bedhead music has the same cathartic feeling as traveling through a cave for hours before finally breaking through to daylight; or running alone in the back of a marathon, covered with sweat and fear and uncertainty, on the verge of collapse, only to fall into the outstretched arms of a loved one after crossing the finish line. I’ve heard it described as “build music” i.e. music that starts quiet and builds to a ferocious climax. Had I ever formed a band, it probably would have sounded like Bedhead.

The box set includes their debut WhatFunLifeWas, 1996’s Beheaded and their finale, ’98’s Transaction De Novo. I already own all three, but on CD (though I own one Bedhead EP on vinyl). The honey pot in the box is an additional two vinyl LPs (one disc) worth of rarities that include all the singles, EPs and outtakes.

Outtakes like the band’s cover of The Stranglers’ “Golden Brown,” which they recorded but never released. According to the notes, the band “had the idea to record it with drummer Trini Martinez’s uncle, Trini Lopez, singing the classic drug-tinged song. As distance and circumstances led to those plans fizzling (people used to have to be in the same room as the master tape to record a part, kids!), the band ultimately decided to record the vocal track themselves, life moved on, and this amazing cover got lost to the winds of time.”

Here it is now:

After Bedhead broke up in ’98, the Kadane brothers, who made up the core of the band, went on to form The New Year, which continued in the same vein. The brothers’ latest project, Overseas, also involves David Bazan and Will Johnson of Centro-matic..

Anyway, the Bedhead box set comes out Nov. 18. Check out the trailer below.

Another blast from the past that made news this week is Geoff Farina, formerly of seminal band Karate. He’s resurfaced as the frontman in Exit Verse, a band with fellow Chicago thoroughbreds, drummer John Dugan (Chisel, Edsel), and bassist Pete Croke (Brokeback, Tight Phantoms). Check out the band’s first single from their upcoming (Nov 17) debut on Earnest Jenning Records, “Seeds”:

A little trivia to pull these two items together: Bedhead follow-up band The New Year included drummer Chris Brokaw (of Codeine and Come), and after the break-up of Karate in 2005, Farina went on to record two albums with Brokaw in 2010.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


  • Sorry, anal, but “Galaxie”

    Comment by dane — September 18, 2014 @ 1:39 pm

  • Yep. Changed. Thanks.

    Comment by tim-mcmahan — September 18, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

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