Song Of The Day 10/1/2014: The Alpha Band - "Interviews"



Before They Were Famous - Producers Edition: T Bone Burnett the producer has been behind so many albums I hold in such high esteem that I get really frustrated over the unavailability of much of his own music. You can get his solo albums on Columbia and Nonesuch fairly easily, but you can't find his stuff from 1980 to 1983 on any of the approved outlets. We're talking his solo debut album Truth Decay on Takoma, and his astounding output for Warner Brothers, the EP Trap Door and the album Proof Through The Night. Rhino released those last two in full a few years ago, but they only produced 5,000 of them, with no digital presence for lackeys like myself whatsoever. A few of these songs resurfaced a few years ago on Burnett's solo compilation Twenty Twenty, but they were re-recorded for some reason. Maybe there were licensing or rights issues. Maybe he didn't think the originals were up to snuff, which is crazy talk. I'm sure the reasons are either very good or so baffling I'd want to change the subject.

You sure can't find any of the albums Burnett did as one third of The Alpha Band, which was sort of a breeding ground for the themes and templates he used in his own music. The Alpha Band also contained David Mansfield and Steven Soles, and was formed after all three had spent time as musicians in Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue. Getting your hands on any of the Alpha Band's three albums usually involves dealing with men in unkempt overcoats and rusty money clips (or just looking around on file-sharing sites which is a tactic I'm not supposed to approve but feel okay in acknowledging its existence) but it's highly worth it. "Interviews" was the first track on their first album. Rhythmically speaking it resembles to T Bone's solo track "Humans From Earth," and features the Texan's standard ironic observations on media culture detached from spiritual essence, or at least unable to purchase it as easily as one can get an Alpha Band album these days.
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