Sunday, March 09, 2008

Take Five: The Beta Band

I’ve been revisiting The Beta Band lately. They’re another group that should’ve gotten more attention than they did. So here are a few picks from a great but under-appreciated group.

I was first exposed to them in 2001 when they opened for Radiohead at Red Rocks Amphitheater. By strange coincidence I watched High Fidelity two days later in which they were featured in one scene. Although John Cusack butchered their name. It’s actually “Bee-tah” and not “Bay-tah”.

Their repetitive textures and the slightly dead-pan vocals were often hypnotic. I spent many listens trying understand what the hell the lyrics were. Inner Meet Me is particularly maddening. I can decipher “You’ve been feeling that the light is on the ceiling and you can’t see past your noses.” Beyond that, I’m generally lost. I’ve seen lyrics websites that just gave up and put "????" over huge sections.

Sadly, the band is now defunct, but not before releasing a couple of albums for the few fans to enjoy. Although I don’t think anything matched The Three E.P.s, Heroes to Zeroes had some nice moments.

1. Dry the Rain

2. Lion Thief

3. Wonderful

4. Inner Meet Me

5. Push It Out

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