We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
As abstruse one-word band names go, Bedhead was pretty apt. The Dallas quintet’s woozy dirge was suitably shaggy to capture the feeling of waking from deep sleep, but shot through with moments of the shimmering clarity that come only after the alarm’s been thrown across the room. That clarity came courtesy of brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane, who strung together guitar lines with jigsawlike precision over a graceful—if glacial—rhythm section. After that band dissolved peaceably in 1998, it wasn’t long before the brothers regrouped as the New Year with members of fellow slo-core outfits Come, Codeine, and Saturnine. With a sound not all that distinct from their genre predecessors’, the New Year’s two LPs, 2001’s Newness Ends and the just-released The End Is Near, showcase the pair’s intricate guitar and wobbly, confessional vocal styles, which bear an unmistakable trace of Ian Curtis. (Bedhead once covered Joy Division’s “Disorder.”) If not quite original, it’s all agreeably comfortable, like being an unemployed slacker in the mid-’90s all over again. The New Year plays with Tone at 9 p.m. on the Black Cat’s Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $8. (202) 667-7960. (Chris Hagan)