Help me ID this TAL background song!
October 18, 2012 7:34 PM   Subscribe

Help me ID a particular song that appeared in this episode of This American Life.

The song in question in playing in the background of the first part of Act One in Episode 37, "The Job That Takes Over Your Life." You can hear it best at the 4:39 mark. Sort of a slow, acoustic surf rock tune. I tried playing this clip into Shazam and turned up nothing. I have nothing else to go off, so this is my Hail Mary. Help!
posted by deathpanels to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is pure guesswork, but I know TAL uses a lot of Calexico in their pieces. Could be an old Calexico tune. It sounds in their vein. Good luck!
posted by hamandcheese at 9:41 PM on October 18, 2012

Calexico only had one album out in 1996 (as Spoke, later reissued as Calexico in 97) and it's not one of the tracks on that. Have you tried shazam or similar?
posted by Happy Dave at 4:13 AM on October 19, 2012

Yeah, I tried Shazam to no avail. The problem is that there's not enough audio without the voiceover, so I'm guessing Shazam is getting confused.
posted by deathpanels at 5:57 AM on October 19, 2012

It really does sound like Calexico. Are there other Calexico-like bands from this time period?
posted by deathpanels at 6:12 AM on October 19, 2012

This American Life used to have a page on their website about music commonly used on their show. Since the episode in question is from the first or second year of the show, the music might be mentioned thereon.
posted by Sunburnt at 6:52 AM on October 19, 2012

I went through all my Americana / Alt-Country albums pre 1997 but I couldn't find the particular bit. I could swear I heard it before, but it might as well have been during my TAL marathon a few years ago.

It could be Howe Gelb, unfortunately the only pre-97 Howe Gelb stuff I have, are 3 Giant Sand albums (Glum, Backyard Barbecue Broadcast, Goods and Services) it's not on any of them.

Yo La Tengo might be another direction to go in, but I don't have any of their releases. Maybe you can find some more associated acts on this YouTube playlist.
posted by starzero at 2:07 PM on October 19, 2012

Also, I've emailed TAL a few times about a few things and they're really good about responding. I bet you they could track this down for you if you ask nicely.
posted by hamandcheese at 11:54 AM on November 8, 2012

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