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I Am the World Trade Center:
What's in a Name?

story by tim mcmahan



Lazy-i: October 1, 2003

I Am the World Trade Center
w/ Mates of State, Victory at Sea, The Show Is the Rainbow
Oct. 3, 9 p.m.
Sokol Underground
13th & Martha

I Am the World Trade Center's Dan Geller wants what happened when they first played Omaha to happen again.

The gig took place in spring 2001 at the once-infamous mid-town house party headquarters called The Gunboat on an evening that also featured the second live outing for Conor Oberst's punk rock side project Desaparecidos.

"There was this party atmosphere that night," Geller said from his home in Athens. "Everyone just freaked out. All these people were on stage with us and one of the girls in the audience grabbed the vocorder and started singing. At one point I just gave up and jumped into the crowd."

For Geller and vocalist Amy Dykes, who makes up the other half of the duo, the goal is to turn every show into one big dance party fueled by their sexy club rhythms, tonal keyboard chimes and futuristic laptop bloop-bleeps.

"Our favorite thing is when people aren't looking up at us, they're looking at each other while they're dancing," Geller said. "We want it to be a party, and we'll go down into the crowd and join in if it's good. If you don't dance, you still get to see us jump up and down like idiots for 45 minutes, but if you bring the party, we bring it back two-fold."





Their latest CD, The Tight Connection, released last year on the Geller-owned label, Kindercore Records, is the soundtrack for every good house party that you can't remember but will never forget. Its 11 tracks bounce with the hip-moving thump-thump-thump that reverberates on the steamy, late-night, Gotham City dance floors. Dykes' soothing coo is a warm counter to the bright, digital click-clacks and synthesized strings that force you to move-move-move your body to the beat.

Not surprisingly, Geller says the suits from the major labels have been sniffing around, trying to steal him away from his own label, a jump he'd be happy to take for their next CD, expected in early 2004.

"Majors see our potential," he said. "We don't draw the regular indie crowd. Normal people really like us. Our demographic is really 20-something girls looking for that cool band that fills that gap in their lives. They identify with Amy -- she's a firebrand. There's this slight obsession with her from these girls."

And then there's the other IATWTC demographic: "We have a big stake in the gay market. They love us," Geller said. "All these people come to our shows -- girls, gay people, the hipsters -- and end up dancing their asses off."

The duo have been bringing the party since 2000, a year before the troubles in NYC would turn their curious band name into a notorious reminder of sad, scary days.

"I just realized this week that people who don't know who we are hear our name and think we're a hardcore band," Geller said.

Even two years after the event that "changed the world forever" people still get alarmed over their name, which was chosen as a metaphor for Geller and Dykes' personal and professional relationship. "I guess we'll always get those questions about our name," he said. "The questions were 10-fold less on our last tour then the tour before. We can't worry about it. It's our name and we're proud of it. We debated about changing it, but nothing else seems to fit."

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Published in The Omaha Weekly-Reader Oct. 1, 2003. Copyright 2003 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


"All these people come to our shows -- girls, gay people, the hipsters -- and end up dancing their asses off."