Saturday, August 10, 2002

EMPIRE STATE HUMANS: Our puzzlement over I Am The World Trade Centre has been sorted out for us, thanks to becky and this piece from Magnet:
I Am The World Trade Center: The Tight Connection
Dan Geller and Amy Dykes had no idea what the name of their musical collaboration would one day connote. When the released their debut, Out Of The Loop (a collection of coy, laptop-recorded pop), last summer, the world was a different place. One national tragedy later, the duo continues undeterred, name intact. Whether Geller and Dykes felt the need to step things up to justify this bold decision is unclear, but The Tight Connection grooves to a somewhat different beat. From the opening synth squiggles of the album's first track, "The Postcard" (a new-wave/disco treatise on love's vagaries and hurt-so-goodness), there's a statement being made: A band with this name must have a purpose. The way-cute, we're-just-messing-around-with-our-computer feel of Out Of The Loop is missed, but The Tight Connection gives a crisper picture of the duo at work. Geller's beats and loops play beneath Dykes' new-found diva self-assuredness. That they have the confidence to cover - and nearly pull off - Blondie's "Call Me" speaks volumes. Sure, IATWTC may still be the prototypical indie-rock dance band (Geller co-founded the Kindercore label), but listen to the wistful "California Dreaming Again" and the funked-up "Dancing Alone" and try not to shimmy in your shoes.

Though I think the review raises as many questions as it answers - if they were called IATWTC before "the World Trade Centre" became a mass grave, why should the name suddenly mean the band must have a purpose? If we think back to September 10th last year, didn't the fact the Americans had chosen to call an oversized office block in New York The World Trade Center have a whole bunch of conotations all of its own? Isn't it possible that an artist who founded a label called Kindercore may have settled on their band name for pretty much the same reason Al Qaeda or whoever had targetted it for attack, that the name could have been seen as the ultimate arrogant declaration; the most obvious piece of Western Capitalism's symbolism?
Whatever, if it had been us, we'd have changed our name. Rule number one of band names is: never have a name that will obscure your art. And in I Am The World Trade Center, they've got a monicker which will black out the music for all time.

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