display | more...

Based in Denton, Texas, Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks is, while ostensibly an alternative rock band, actually more in the traditions of the German cabaret music of the 1920s and 1930s.

The quintet is led by Little Jack Melody, a pseudonym for a disaffected rock bassist who, inspired by a picture of Bertolt Brecht surrounded by various instruments, put together a quintet that would primarily play the instruments seen in the picture: tuba, banjo, clarinet, and harmonium, with occasional appearances of drums, stand-up bass, and/or piano.

The lineup of Young Turks has changed frequently; Little Jack and the songs are the only constants. Although primarily found performing in bars and at wedding receptions in the greater Denton area, they have occasionally toured nationwide and have put out four CDs as of this writing. The first three are studio albums; the fourth was recorded live and includes some of Little Jack's humorous stage patter and a few cover songs to fulfill their bar band obligations.

It's hard to classify their music, because at its best, it manages to simultaneously sound like something you've heard before and sound like nothing you've ever heard before. The beats range from the tango to the waltz; the lyrics, mostly written solely by Little Jack Melody, reference the Bible, Beethoven, Jack Kerouac, and all points in between.

On the Blank Generation (1991)

  1. Babylon
  2. Happily Ever After (West of Eden)
  3. Switzerland
  4. The Dance Lesson
  5. Song of Ishmael
  6. Beethoven Song
  7. A Waltz in Springfield, Missouri
  8. On the Blank Generation (The Cake Song)
  9. Lock Up Your Daughters
  10. Johnny Champion Visits Our Lady of Revenge

World of Fireworks (1994)

  1. J'ai Faim Toujours
  2. Bela Lugosi…The Missing Years
  3. Slouching Towards Bethlehem
  4. Song of the Night Café
  5. Nero's Song (There's No Place Like Rome)
  6. The Sky Is Blue and Sometimes Cries
  7. That Bastard Moon
  8. A Congress of Wonders
  9. Buccaneer Days
  10. The Last Words of Sigmund Freud
  11. Fashion Parade
  12. America (from West Side Story)
  13. Shetland Ponies to the Moon

My Charmed Life (1997)

  1. My Charmed Life
  2. Close, No Cigar
  3. At Night You Hear the Trains
  4. Kilroy Was Here
  5. Maggie With Green Eyes
  6. Thirty Pieces of Silver
  7. Samba Ordinaire
  8. Barbie and Ken
  9. I Am Living at the Villa Borghese
  10. Alabama Song
  11. Gone in October
  12. Mr. Horizon

Noise and Smoke (1999)
Recorded live at Dan's Bar, Denton, August 7, 1998

  1. Out of the Woods
  2. Intro
  3. Happily Ever After (West of Eden)
  4. The Dance Lesson
  5. A Bottle Full of Snake Oil
  6. Separate Vacations
  7. I Am Living at the Villa Borghese
  8. Intro
  9. Slouching Towards Bethlehem
  10. The Ballad of the Ladies' Man
  11. Bela Lugosi…The Missing Years
  12. J'ai Faim Toujours
  13. The Devil Gets His Due, or America vs. the International Drug Cartel
  14. Is That All There Is?
  15. Cum On Feel the Noize
  16. Alabama Song

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.