T-BONE BURNETT The True False Identity (2006)

The True False Identity (2006)
Adjective Options: Unnerving, Edgy, Weird…

Outrageously cool studio album from the great T-Bone Burnett. His first in 14 years is a mesmerizing racket consisting of multiple drummers, essential guitarist Marc Ribot and T-Bone’s droll, unnerving vocals & wordplay. Since his last album, 1992’s The Criminal Under My Own Hat, Burnett has been working miracles for other artists, offering up a welcomed sense of genuine Americana for numerous platinum soundtracks and performers. Many feel they’ve already been buying Burnett albums this last decade-and-a-half, since his producer’s credit on the covers moves units. For himself, however, Burnett seems to have little interest in commercial appeal, opting instead for a gritty, nearly surreal take on… what?…. weird new wave blues? You might need a new mp3 category for this one. Give a listen to “Palestine Texas,” below, for an edgy taste the adventurous among you will surely want more of. Criminally cheap @ Amazon, HERE.

Zombieland (5:57)
Palestine Texas (4:47)
Seven Times Hotter Than Fire (4:42)
There Would Be Hell To Pay (5:10)
Every Time I Feel The Shift (6:53)
I’m Going On A Long Journey Never To Return (5:21)
Hollywood Mecca Of The Movies (3:27)
Fear Country (6:15)
Baby Don’t You Say You Love Me (4:09)
Earlier Baghdad (The Bounce) (4:55)
Blinded By The Darkness (5:18)
Shaken Rattled And Rolled (2:41)


  • Emily Blur
    November 16, 2010 - 18:30 | Permalink

    "This version of the world will not be here long. It is already gone. It is already gone."

    Thanks. I needed that.
    Love, Emily

  • Capt. Willard
    November 16, 2010 - 19:43 | Permalink

    Thanks E. But, was that reassuring? Although I don't know, I suspect he's singing about End Of Days.

  • Pete
    November 16, 2010 - 20:40 | Permalink

    I first saw T-BB on the Rolling Thunder tour, to which he contributed great visuals; he's very tall and when he kicked like a Rockette you knew it was happening. I collected the Alpha Band, for whom I still have a soft spot, and several of his solo efforts, but not this so many thanks.

    You don't have a copy of his even earlier effort "The B-52 Band & the Fabulous Skylarks" do you? Does anyone? I have been intrigued by the song title "We Have All Got a Past" ever since I read it in a Christgau book but I've never heard it.

  • Capt. Willard
    November 16, 2010 - 17:17 | Permalink

    Find it HERE.

  • Capt. Willard
    November 16, 2010 - 22:18 | Permalink

    That was where I first saw him, too. I've pretty much just stuck with his solo work from the 80s on. His production jobs are virtually always good, but I've never heard The B-52 Band, myself.

  • Emily Blur
    November 17, 2010 - 11:19 | Permalink

    Hey Capt.
    It's reassuring to me, yes. People have been preaching about the End of Days for a long time. And T Bone has been doing it since his Alpha Band days. Mind you, I'm English, so my cultural understanding of this is likely to be slightly different than someone from the USA.
    Love, Emily

  • Capt. Willard
    November 17, 2010 - 14:33 | Permalink

    Just checkin'. Glad you're on board.

  • Murgs
    November 17, 2010 - 20:13 | Permalink

    Thanks for this posting.

    I first got into T-Bone with the "Trap Door" ep (a future posting?)…and once ended up backstage chatting with him at the old Jonathan Swift's in Cambridge, MA. He was looking for a ride to a friend's house post-concert and my car had unfortunately broken down on the way into Cambridge.

    He was also kind enough to sign a Willie Nelson album for me (I happened upon an in-store appearance and didn't have his then-current LP with me). A very good-humored guy, and always a great live performer!

  • Anxious Mo-Fo
    November 18, 2010 - 11:37 | Permalink

    I first saw T-Bone on the "Proof Through The Night" tour in the mid-80s. Loved those early albums (Truth Decay, Trap Door, the 1987 album), but wasn't impressed with his output starting with "Talking Animals."

    Listened to "True/False Identity" a couple times when it came out, and it didn't make much of an impression at the time, but I'll give it another spin. Thanks!

  • Loren
    November 19, 2010 - 05:10 | Permalink

    A frustrating artist. His middle period seemed to promise much, much more great things to come, but he seemed to shy away from the spotlight and his own music has retreated into a stylistic closet, while his work with other artists while always sympathetic can sometimes be too stylized. Maybe I just liked Proof Through The Night and Behind the Trap Door too much to appreciate what has come after (but, boy, listening to PTTN right now and the stories and the music, wow).

  • Miles
    November 19, 2010 - 05:18 | Permalink

    i first saw and met t-bone when he dropped the studios of the radio station i was working at with tonio k. in tow. he was promoting 'proof through the night' and played several tunes on the air. a real friendly and down to earth guy. well read, highly articulate, and quite funny too. later that night he played to a crowd of about 300 in a smallish club. a great set and good time ensued.

    just putting in my 2 cents worth.

  • weaka
    November 19, 2010 - 22:47 | Permalink

    Thanks Capt. Always loved you, always will (and glad to have found my way back to the home of Transmissions).

  • The Big Snake
    November 20, 2010 - 18:58 | Permalink

    If anyone had rips of those early Alpha Band albums, they would be worth posting.

  • W
    February 22, 2011 - 18:59 | Permalink

    Thanks for all the cool comments.

  • Anonymous
    February 22, 2011 - 19:00 | Permalink

    hi, new to the site, thanks.

  • buzz baby jesus
    October 16, 2011 - 11:26 | Permalink

    The only thing I’ve ever appreciated by TBB is his rendition of “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” from the trap door ep, which is near genius. There is something lacking in everything else I can’t put my finger on. I started listening to “Palestine, Texas”, and was already composing my positive response and planning to acquire when his voice came on and that was it.
    Maybe he’s too much of a scholar to be the real thing, which is the sound he seems to be going for.

    • Willard
      October 16, 2011 - 13:49 | Permalink

      He’s strictly a matter of taste type guy, which is interesting in itself because he could easily churn out some Americana and be guaranteed sales. Instead, he chooses to follow some odd muse, which I find attractive. I prefer his old albums and his mountain music, but I’ll listen to anybody purposely taking a different path. This one I happened to like.

  • October 16, 2011 - 16:22 | Permalink

    He kinda looks like some relative of James Cromwell in that cover shot.

  • LeSamourai
    April 11, 2014 - 21:20 | Permalink

    Thanks, Capt. Willard!

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