Sunday, December 27, 2009

JOHN'S BEST OF THE DECADE LIST! (51-75)

#51-75

JOHN'S BEST OF THE DECADE LIST! (26-50)

#26-50

Saturday, December 26, 2009

JOHN'S BEST OF THE DECADE LIST! (1-25)

This was super-hard to compile, but I'm pretty happy with the results. Below are my top 10 album of the past decade, and after the jump you'll find the rest of my top 75((along with a song/video from each to get you started). And while we're at it my top 3 films of the 2000's are as follows: #1- Zodiac, #2- Inglourious Basterds, #3- There Will Be Blood


TOP ALBUMS OF THE 2000'S:

01. The Sea And Cake "Oui" 2000


02. Jon Brion "Meaningless" 2001


03. Motion City Soundtrack "I Am The Movie" 2003


04. Saves The Day "Stay What You Are" 2001


05. The Dismemberment Plan "Change" 2001


06. The Strokes "Is This It" 2001


07. Outkast "Stankonia" 2000


08. Zwan "Mary Star Of The Sea" 2003


09. Coldplay "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends" 2008


10. Spoon "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" 2007



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Holidays!

However you choose to enjoy this time of year, IWTDI wants to wish you warmth and happiness. We've had a very busy year with lots of ups and downs. We're happy to have survived it! Mostly, we're looking forward to a little time off, and eager to come back in Late January with a renewed sense of vigor.

MEANWHILE, please enjoy this little holiday song that John and Rachel put together for you. The more or less traditional song called Coventry Carol has a very interesting history. If not for some luck and maybe a little divine intervention, this song may not have survived to this day. The short version is that back when the Vatican had outlawed English versions of the Bible, people would use "mystery plays" to tell Bible stories. This song was part of a play called "The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors" and is about how King Herod, after hearing about the birth of a new King of the Jews, sent out a decree that all male children in Bethlehem under the age of two be killed, also known as The Massacre of the Innocents. The song itself is a lament, sung by a mother about her doomed child.

Read all about it at the link below and listen by clicking on the player on the right sidebar.

http://www.lizlyle.lofgrens.org/RmOlSngs/RTOS-CoventryCarol.html

Listen, download, pass it around, enjoy it, and we'll see you soon!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

JOHN'S YEAR-END TOP 10 FOR 2009!

It's that time of year, y'all. I've been making these "top 10" lists for as long as I can remember. I was THAT kid. It's also the end of a decade, so yep, you'll be getting a "best of the 2000's" list from me soon as well. Also keep an eye out for a general IWTDI year wrap-up & forecast for 2010 right here on this website very soon...

But let's get to it! Let me preface by saying two honorable mentions that I didn't "get" at first but I'm just now starting to like more are Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors. Also, the best album I heard in 2009 actually doesn't come out until January 19th- Motion City Soundtrack's new album "My Dinosaur Life". Oh and the best movie I saw in 2009 was Inglourious Basterds- actually it's in my all-time top 10. OK!

JOHN'S TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2009:

#1. U2 "No Line On The Horizon"

For me, any U2 album is an EVENT, and this one happens to easily be the best they've released since 1993's "Zooropa". "No Line On The Horizon" definitely wasn't a singles record(apparently that one is coming in 2010), but each song sets its own mood- and the greatest moments are certainly the most daring, which hasn't necessarily been true of U2 over the past decade. I am very biased on this one- any year U2 releases an album, it will be in my top 10- but it's been a loooong time since these dudes have seen the #1 spot. "Cedars Of Lebanon" features what are some of Bono's greatest lyrics ever, give it a listen:



#2. Phoenix "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix"
Who doesn't love this album? What's there not to love? This is a triumph for a band that has been making some great pop singles under the radar for a number of years. Now they've made a perfect pop record. There's not a lot to say to do it justice, just listen:




#3. Bear In Heaven "Beast Rest Fourth Mouth"

This album kinda sounds like the soundtrack to murdering someone in the dead of winter on an icy, frozen-over lake. But they totally deserved it, so it's not TOO dark, dig? Joy and pop and mystery mixed with icy cold synths that creep you out JUST enough. I am currently in love with this record- it hasn't left my car CD player in weeks.



#4. Polvo "In Prism"
Polvo basically inspired my first band to do what we did. Who would've thought that 12 years later, they'd come back and make their best full length ever? Yep, I said it. Nothing will ever top "Celebrate The New Dark Age"- my #2 album of all time- but that's an EP, so "In Prism" wins the LP category. There's some lulls on this album, but songs like "Lucia", "The Pedlar" & "A Link In The Chain" are some of their best ever. We got to play with Polvo earlier this year, so yeah, that's another thing on the list of "things I've done that the 16 year old version of me would never believe".



#5. Delorean "Aryton Senna" EP
There isn't a ton of info out there about this Spanish indie dance-pop band, but this is one of the best EP's I've heard in quite a while. Dear Delorean: please make a full length like this NOW.



#6. Paramore "Brand New Eyes"
Yeah, ok, settle down. I didn't think I'd ever put a Paramore album on a top 10 list either(although I've always thought that they write great singles), but "Brand New Eyes" is a classy album, with some real emotion and intensity crammed into simple powerpop-punk tunes. I even really enjoy some of Haley Williams lyrics on here. Fun fact: I believe this is on Joe & Curt's top 10's as well- plus even James said he really enjoyed what we made him listen to in the van on tour, which is...surprising. They've released two of the last songs I would've released as singles so far, but what do I know? This video looks pretty dumb at the onset, but watch 'til the end- shit gets fucked, y'all!:



#7. Set Your Goals "This Will Be The Death Of Us"
They don't make pop punk bands like this anymore, and that's part of what drew me in to Set Your Goals. It's like it's 1995 for these dudes. There's a lot wrong with this record- largely in some questionable lyrics(and the album needs about 90% less "gang vocal" overdubs)- but the utter lack of pretense(dig the video below) and awareness of current trends or fashions- makes Set Your Goals very endearing. Fun Fact again: these guys most likely make Rachel, Curt AND Joe's top 10 lists as well.



#8. Dananananaykroyd "Hey Everyone"
This Scottish six-piece are doing what so many mathy indie rock bands have done for the past decade or so, but they bring a strong sense of melody and kinetic energy that few possess. "Black Wax" is one of the best singles of the year:



#9. Animal Collective "Merriweather Post Pavilion"
Way too much has already been said about this album. You already know about it. I liked it. That kinda surprised me. That is all.



#10. Micachu "Jewellery"
Micachu creates a perfect blend of noise and melody that makes for some extremely catchy abstract pop music. "Golden Phone" wins:



Thanks for reading, y'all! I think it should be obvious I am not trying to get a job at Pitchfork doing this shit. I put no effort into these descriptions- I just want you to go listen to this music- and I want you to tell me YOUR top 10!!! Comment away with them, please!

Love,
John

Thursday, December 3, 2009

DIVE PARTY!

Dear World,

We are so excited to be coming up to our third anniversary of rock! For those of you who don't know your anniversary traditions, that's the LEATHER anniversary! We like the sound of that.

Looking back, we've done a lot of stuff over the last three years. Two large scale, national tours. Shows with some exceptional talents like Conor Oberst, Cursive, Joan Jett, These Arms Are Snakes, Portastatic, etc. We've released two full length records and two EP's. And we've struggled through some very tough times, focusing hard on keeping it all together even as relationships within the band have taken hits. None of this really makes us special. Every band goes through much of the same stuff we have. It's just a good time to pause and reflect.

Yes, it's been FREAKING AWESOME for the most part. But we've been working hard with no real breaks for three years and we've decided to take January off! Yes, for the month of January, you won't have us to kick around. We'll be ready to hit the ground running come February, though, and we will rock your socks off some more!

THAT SAID, we will be playing our last local show until February THIS FRIDAY NIGHT at the Diversions party at the Local 506. It starts at 10, and it won't cost you a dime to get in (but you should buy beer and tip heavily!). Aminal will kick things off at 10, followed by IWTDI, and Lonnie Walker will bring it all home! It's going to be a blast, so get there early and stake out a spot in front of the stage so you don't miss anything! It's the party of the year!

To celebrate this event, the kickass Jordan Lawrence et al, met up with all the bands and shot video of some scaled down performances. They are embedded below in order of the bands performing. Thanks Jordan for all of your hard work! We hope you enjoy. We'll see you Friday and then who knows? You might have to visit us in our relative points of convalescence if you want to see us before February!





Wednesday, November 18, 2009

IWTDI & The Design at Lincoln Theater!

Hey folks, sorry it's been so long since we've updated this thing. The tour left us pretty worn out, and there have been some slackness mixed with non-band-related issues and all sorts of other stuff. We'll get back on track directly!

This Thursday, November 19th, we will be rocking it out with The Design! The show is at 8pm at The Lincoln Theater in Raleigh, NC. Also playing are Skywire and Silver. We're really looking forward to this show! Make sure you come out and see the festivities, and make sure you come up and say Hi to us!

Monday, November 2, 2009

WATCH US LIVE ON SESSIONS @ STUDIO B!

Last week we stopped by the NBC 17 studios on the day we got home from tour and recorded a live performance for Music.MyNC.com's Sessions @ Studio B - watch & enjoy the video below!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

THANKS!

We want to take a moment and thank everyone who came to our CD release party last weekend. We had a blast, all the bands kicked ass, and well, Mike Casey should be burned at the stake!

The big tour starts tomorrow! We will try to blog from the road, and some of us might even create our own blogs so you can gfind out what we're doing, thinking, and whining about at any given moment. Should be a blast! Tour dates are right here:


I%20Was%20Totally%20Destroying%20It
Quantcast

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cup of Tea!

Cup of Tea is easily among the most honest song on the record, if not among the most metaphorical. If you've been reading recent reviews of Horror Vacui, you are well aware of what the song means. I prefer to delve into what I think of the song.

Cup of Tea is incredibly delicate. Being the ferocious, open mouthed drummer that I am, I found it no small task to plant roots in the delicacy of these three and a half minutes.I recall the advice of my band mates, "chill!"

I am absolutely smitten with Rachel's versatility as a singer. When I hear this song, I'm not sure if I am supposed to console her or put her out of her misery. What's certain is that she is not afraid to apply her feelings to her songs. The early verses exude vulnerability, but by the end of the song, her tone has changed to something far more pleading. As usual, John's vocals fit perfectly, matching the softness in the beginning as well as the forcefulness of the vocals toward the end of the song.

Making a record isn't like painting by numbers for us. We don't know exactly how songs will turn out when they are first introduced to the full band. This one started out with Rachel, a guitar, and a verse or two. John uncannily applied a catchy and emotional chorus, undaunted by what the song was actually about. By the time we listened to the playback in the studio, it was one of our favorite songs.

Come out to the CD release party, get a copy of the record with your admission, and feel free to talk to us about Cup of Tea or whatever else you want. We look forward to seeing you!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lonnie Walker!!!

The first time I heard Lonnie Walker was the first time I played a show with them, and I don't remember paying a lot of attention to them that night, honestly. Something about seeing a band play Americana-based rock music in a well known punk/metal/whatever venue like The Brewery didn't add up to me, and I was probably the only one in the building that didn't go crazy over them.

Man, im stupid. I should have watched their set. Ear Farm got it right, Lonnie Walker is most definitely one of the best bands in North Carolina.

I can't quite place what it is about them that I like so much, but after listening to their cd, I was hooked. When people (or music journalists, at least) talk about them, they seem to always mention Bob Dylan or Bright Eyes, among others. But I don't really listen to much Dylan, and I never really got into Bright Eyes. Something about Brian Corum's hooks just draw me in so much more than a lot of the bands/artists that he and his bandmates are compared to.

When we first started throwing around ideas for our CD release show, Lonnie Walker was one of the first names that came up, and they actually ended up being the first band (other than ourselves, of course) that was confirmed for the show. As soon as we had them on the bill, I knew the show would be epic.

Obviously its not just Ear Farm and I that think they are amazing: they were also chosen as one of the News & Observer's Great 8 in 2009, and Terpsikhore Records offered to put out their cd before the band was even fully formed. Plus, sometimes they have a dude onstage with them that paints a huge picture during their set. Is there anything cooler than that?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Des Ark!

I was a founding member of Des Ark. Yep, you heard right. It all started on a gorgeous June night in 2000, at a house show put on by Eric Crespo(at the time in a fantastic band called Question Rig, but you might know him now as Portland, OR’s Ghost To Falco) in Burlington, NC.

My band at the time, Strunken White, had been playing a lot with Aimee’s mind-blowing two acoustic/one electric guitar ensemble, known as Rubeo(good luck finding any recordings, kids- their 7 inch is one of my prized possessions and those two Rubeo tracks are a couple of all-time favorite musical moments for me)- and we shared yet another bill that night in Eric’s basement, along with his Question Rig. It was looking at the time that Rubeo was coming to an end: that night in Burlington they were reduced to a 2-piece, just Aimee and Beth Hoskins- guitarist Robin Landy had been heading in a different direction and had less and less time for the band(Robin now plays in a 2-piece called Silian Rail in San Francisco with my old bandmate from io, Eric Kuhn- just to give you an idea of how incestuous this music world can be if you’ve been doing it as long as someone like me). That night in Burlington, in the Crespo family driveway, I asked Aimee & Beth if they would like to start a band with me on drums. We got together for the first time the following week.

We called ourselves Pequeno for a bit, we were a quartet with Matt Tomich(The Scaries, Sorry About Dresden) on bass for a bit longer, but by the end of the summer of 2000, we were playing shows as a 3-piece around town at GO!, house parties, etc- as Des Ark. I have some amazing boombox practice cassettes with fantastic ideas by Aimee and Beth- gorgeous interlocking guitars and melodies that no one will ever hear- I still go back and listen to these about once a year and get all nostalgic and wonder how such cool shit could end up on the cutting room floor. These things happen when working with talents like Aimee Argote.

Alas, the first incarnation of Des Ark played around Chapel Hill for the remainder of 2000 and on into 2001- staying busy, drinking beers while watching Felicity, attempting to play Playstation games but getting distracted by the vibrating controllers, using band practice as an excuse to hang out and talk shit, etc. In mid-2001 I told Aimee I had decided to move to San Francisco with my new band, io, but that I wanted to make sure Des Ark kept going so I suggested our buddy, Tim Herzog, who often ran sound for us at GO!, take over behind the drums. That summer, I switched from drums to bass, because I wanted to play as many shows with these friends as possible before heading west in the fall. Tim took over behind the kit, things got loud, Beth and I both decided to bow out at the same time- Des Ark became a 2-piece, Aimee & Tim fell in love- the rest is pretty much history. I guess you could blame me for the rough personal times that ensued once I left NC, or you could thank me for doing so- because without it there might not have been a “Loose Lips Sink Ships”

I left a lot behind when I moved out west, but leaving Des Ark and not being able to stay so close with Aimee and Beth was always a big regret. Such a big regret that the week I moved back to NC in 2005, Aimee and Beth and I started jamming again- it didn’t last long due to all our wacky schedules, but it was proof of how important those beginnings in 2000 had been to us.

Flash forward to now. A LOT of people have come and gone through the Des Ark ranks, through many different incarnations. I’ve seen almost all of them, and been in a couple of them. Let me tell you- nothing beats what we’ve got now, and what you’ll see on October 10th at the Cradle. We’ve got Aimee, of course- seasoned and focused like never before- she’s driven and passionate as always, her newest material bringing back those guitar melodies & intricacies that made me love that early Rubeo and Des Ark material so much. On drums: the powerhouse that is Evan Rowe. The first time I saw him with Maple Stave I simply said to him “I think you’re the best drummer in NC right now”. And I’m pretty certain there is no drummer around here more enjoyable to watch- dudemans limbs wave around like Jello but there is nothing flimsy about the attack that they provide. And lastly, Noah Howard- the greatest secret weapon you could ever ask for. Hmm, should I mention Noah was my bandmate for 5+ years? In Strunken White, that little band I mentioned at the beginning of this essay. He was there, standing with me the night I asked Aimee and Beth to form Des Ark. Eight years later, he joined the band. Again, incestuous. But man, Noah completes it. Never has their been a guitarist more well matched for Aimee- this truly is the trio Des Ark was always meant to be. I really hope this one sticks, I’ve got a feeling it will.

You really don’t need me to tell you that Des Ark is important or that they are one of the top bands in the region or that you won’t want to miss the onstage interplay between my dear friends Aimee, Noah, and Evan- because everyone else already has told you. And they were right. Come see for yourself Saturday October 10th at Cat’s Cradle.

-John Booker



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rat Jackson!

From the desk of Broseph Mazzitelli:

We folks in I Was Totally Destroying It are a lot of things. We are musicians. Some of us are students. Some of us work crap jobs. Some of us are really introverted, and some of us love meeting people. We all like to party, but to be completely honest, we're not very good at it. October 10th is fast approaching, and when you wish to throw an event of this magnitude, one that needs to party as hard as it rocks, you need help. We in the IWTDI camp however, novice party-throwers as we are, needed a special kind of help. That is when you call the Rat Jackson Band. Having Rat Jackson on your bill is like bringing a missile to the proverbial knife fight of CD release parties. Every band playing on this special evening brings the rock, there is no questioning that, but Rat Jackson brings the party like no other.

Rat Jackson plays a blend of what can only be described as garage rock grit meets boisterous bar rock swagger. The unholy love child of Andrew W.K. and The Hives, but injected with special steroids that made them somehow more epic. Steroids made, most likely, out of beer. This band is after all hot off the heels of the release of "Beer Y'all", a film documenting a nine day road trip on which members of the band and others visited 27 breweries. They also played some rock shows during their trip. They partied a lot. They removed the seats from their van. Why? Because seats get in the way of partying. (You can learn more about the film and pick up the DVD at http://beeryall.com)

This is exactly what I'm talking about when I insist that we have called upon the right people to make October 10th special. The second band of the evening made a documentary film about beer! Just think about what the world would be like if every bar band you ever saw, instead of playing Skynyrd covers, played rock music with the same self-aware braggadocio as Rat Jackson. Rock clubs, and subsequently the world, would be a little bit better places to be.

Rat Jackson are one of those groups that actually puts their band name into the songs they write. The thing however that sets them apart from other bands attempting that trick is that they actually pull it off. The entire Rat Jackson persona operates under the assumption that no band in the world rocks as hard, parties as hard, or looks as good as they do. So beware of standing too close during their set: you might end up agreeing with them. I think I do.

Lake Inferior!

The first thing you should know about Lake Inferior is that their music is dreamy, youthful, and triumphant.

The second thing you should know is that their drummer has a glass eye.

We saw Lake Inferior for the first time at Local 506 when we played with them for the Cancer Sucks benefit. The sounds they made wrapped around me like silk scarves and spider webs; they were beautiful, abundant, and a little eerie.

The vocals are boyish and endearingly self-conscious. Their melodies invoke memories of Talking Heads and The Modern Lovers. The rhythm section maintains simple but solid foundations for the shimmering guitars and ethereal synthesizers to ebb and flow around. There is fan fare and there are gang vocals, but they are genuine and they do not posture.

While some might argue that they are merely students of the Arcade Fire School of Anthemic Indie Rock, their songwriting suggests otherwise. Their modal tendencies are darker, the instrumentation is sparser, and the dynamics are not as grandiose or overblown. Lake Inferior is unpretentious and manages to be intimate even in their largest moments. Every song has a feeling of camaraderie; every word is weighted with the wide-eyed wisdom of a worldly twenty something.



We’re very excited to have them on board for the show, and we all think that you will love them. Because their drummer has a glass eye.

And apparently he takes it out at parties.

Monday, October 5, 2009

MAGIC MIKE CASEY!

"There's something about growing up your whole life with people telling you that most everything is impossible... getting to watch Michael do magic makes me glad I never believed them!" - Brian Venable, Guitarist, Lucero



I feel like I've known Mike Casey for years, and I'm not sure why. But that phenomenon may tie in with what makes him such a wonderful performer. You're comfortable with him the moment he engages you.

I marvel at the skills of someone who can make the impossible seem possible, and life on this big blue ball of confusion would certainly be worse without the wonder that someone like Mike Casey inspires. Even the most jaded person can't help but fall out when Mr. Casey goes to work.

We don't know many people as friendly, as talented, and as engaging as Magic Mike Casey, and we're beyond thrilled to have him perform at our CD release show this Saturday night at the Cat's cradle! Come around, say hello, and let Mike revitalize the child within. You will thank him for it!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Turn My Grave!

Anyone who has seen me play drums knows that I love it. Creativity and catharsis combine, my eyes get big, my smile stretches all the way across my face. And it's not for show. I really AM having that much fun up on stage!

I love playing drums in the studio, too, but it's not the same. In the studio, the German in me takes over, and efficiency rules the day. Not to take away from my love of the instrument, I'm not there to have a good time. We're paying for time, so I get in, get out. Get a good take, get on to the next song. In that sense, recording isn't quite as much fun as writing or performing songs.

To make life more fun in the studio, and to break up the tedium, I find myself listening to takes and trying to come up with ideas for how we can flesh them out, make them sound more interesting. Turn My Grave is an interesting case study in that. You'll notice there aren't a lot of drums. John stomps on the tambourine, making Turn My Grave one of the several songs in which I don't handle all of the percussion.

What I do get to play is the xylophone! And I love it! Ask anyone I've recorded with, I annoy the living bejeebers out of my bandmates always trying to play this or add that. This band is no different. Every once in a while I get an idea that works and I'm allowed to run with it. And that's my favorite part of recording.

Turn My Grave is one of my favorite tracks on the record, not because of the kickin' xylophone part, but more because of the way John and Rachel's voices go together, Curt's guitar interlude, and the big, roomy feel when the drums come in. This song is the delicate counter to Caterwaul's semi-grating urgency, a departure from the heavy-pop hooks, and a demonstration of our desire to elude pop-punk pigeonholes. You can hear it on the right sidebar. Keep checking back, as reviews are beginning to trickle in. We have a lot of unfinished business before our CD Release Party on 10 October at the Cat's Cradle!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bootleg Magazine!

Many many thanks to Brian Tucker at Bootleg Magazine for their review of Horror Vacui:

Horror Vacui digs deep, far into places most are familiar with – failed relationships and failed personal constitutions. On the surface Horror Vacui is sonically similar to IWTDI’s fantastic self titled debut and last fall’s Done Waiting EP. Horror Vacui is up-tempo, moving and exhilarating. It’s also far more dynamic than its predecessor that concentrated mostly on catchiness and powerful hooks. It made for something incredibly fun and relative, but it bore few skeletons.

Horror Vacui does. It’s filled with songs about mistakes and complaints, a confessional during and after the fallout of a relationship. What’s under the surface is harder to absorb than the sugar coated high wire act the band puts on. After taking it in lyrically the album shows its layers, making the album more relatable, more effective, than one might have intended. Pain makes for great art at the sacrifice of its creators. Horror Vacui is no different, as it was constructed around a romantic relationship on the outs. But the album bears no finality; it’s as much about the storm as how two people deal with the aftermath of it all.

The album is rich with needing and needling, of trying to communicate without actually doing so. On ‘Former Boy Wonder’ vocalist John Booker bears confession as he sings “Through trials and blunders/As a man I'm not enough.” It’s rare that we get anyone to fess up anymore, let alone in the gut wrenching frankness Booker gives here. I haven’t heard anyone say there weren’t man enough this way since Kravitz’s full album apology Mama Said. On ‘Cup of Tea’ you feel for Hirsh when she sings of trying and regressing, “Cause you're my cup of tea/And it may burn my tongue, the flavor might be wrong/But I guess it's what I want/Yeah, stuck with what I’ve got.”

Booker and Hirsh go back and forth on ‘Caterwaul’ and Booker declares in a muted speaker-toned voice “And I cannot find an emotion/To keep us safe from the wolves at the door.” It’s a frantic, nightmarish number built on crazed, tribal drumming and near psychotic keyboard playing. ‘Done Waiting’ and ‘Come Out, Come Out’ are standout tracks here and ‘Come Out, Come Out’ pleads for untamed youth and exploration, easy on the nautical metaphors and strong on wants and desires. Hirsh sings blatantly, “I want to be young/To be a wreck and wrecked upon/I want to get out/And be a ship without the anchor.” To be a wreck and be wrecked upon says so much more lyrically than prurient lyrics by the Katy Perry’s of today. ‘Come Out, Come Out’ comes off like a party anthem blend of Bow Wow Wow and The Replacements where the narrator wants for experience, of freedom on the sea but unaware of the wrecks already sunk there. But it’s the acoustic number ‘Turn My Grave’ that finds the band exploring, not relying on sonic extremities, and finding tenderness in their singing strengths.

IWTDI throws many shots in the summer night air with their new album, but several echo the melancholy of fall, no matter how much punch they put in the recordings. It’s a great rock record, one that hits the heart as much as the adrenaline button. What’s better is that it fails to take sides, leaving the listener feeling for either party. Horror Vacui is a step forward for IWTDI, for its growth as musicians and for their personal measures.

Brian Tucker
Bootleg Magazine
Wilmington, NC
July 7, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thank You Deckfight!

Deckfight has put up a review of The Beached Margin/Done Waiting dual EP's! Thanks, folks, for the hard work you do!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Reason To

While finishing up the debut IWTDI record, John found himself wandering around Warrior Sound, strapped to a guitar. It was at that moment that "A Reason To" was born.

Finishing up the first record wasn't like the end of our more recent recording process. We were writing new songs pretty soon after finishing our self titled debut (We played Get in Line, available here, at our CD release party). Either "A Reason To" wasn't ready, or new songs were coming in so quickly that John worked on the song mostly by himself until much later. We had long since finished recording the first chunk of Horror Vacui when the rest of us got to hear it.

As soon as we started working on it, we knew that it would definitely be included on the record. A more straight up pop song, "A Reason To" features more of John and Rachel's sweet harmonies. The catchy melody and the driving sound of the song has made it a staple in our live performances for the past several months.

Of course *I* like the song, but I am particularly fond of the second half of the second verse and the bridge. And we're ready for the Wilson-Phillips comparisons, assuming I'm not the only one who hears a similarity. As always, we're more than excited to share this song with you in advance of our kicking CD Release Party on October 10. You can listen by going to our player in the right sidebar.

And keep your eyes peeled! Subscribe to the blog or check back frequently. We will be focusing on the great bands we'll be playing with at the CD Release, featuring pictures from our trip to Long Island, catching up with the Sponsored Songs Program, and much more!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Live Action!

I Was Totally Destroying It from Mann's World on Vimeo.



Many thanks to Karen Mann for shooting and posting video of our recent show at the Rollergirls afterparty! Karen has been a fixture of the local music community for years having been in the seminal gal-punk band Chew Toy and writing for the Independent Weekly and now her fantastic blog. Thanks, Karen for kicking all that ass!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Ocean!

As you know by now, the new IWTDI record is called Horror Vacui. Also known as cenophobia, Horror Vacui is a fear of open spaces. This week's featured song, the album closer, while not the title track per se, might as well be. Perhaps we could call The Ocean the albums descriptive track!

I will probably say that every track we preview is one of my favorite tracks. Duh! That's why we're featuring them! So let me skip that declaration and go right into why I like it. I think the dynamics of this song are more apparent than in many others. I absolutely love the intertwining and overlapping of vocal and instruments. Everything is simple in this song, but it all goes so well together. There's a lot of flow to this song.

My favorite part of the song starts at 2:07. We really tried to create an eerie interlude for this already somewhat eerie song. The band might disagree, but I find the combination of Rachel's piano, the stick-tocks (I made that up!), and the creaking and moaning to be dare I say moving. It was meant to be creepy, maybe even some sort of descent into madness, being trapped in the one situation you find most disconcerting. By the way, those creaks = my fat ass leaning back and forth on my drum stool. Don't tell anyone.

The Ocean is a fitting ending for the album, both sonically and thematically. Just like with the other songs, we loved making it! We hope you enjoy it as well! Click on the player on the right sidebar to play the song! Also, Beneath You All The Way is now available at myspace!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Look Out Brooklyn!

We want to thank everyone who came out to Tir Na Nog last night and helped us celebrate the beautiful brutality America’s rollergirls. All the bands were great, and the folks at Tir Na Nog were generous and accommodating as usual. Good times were had by all!

SO

Even though we’ve been rocking for nearly three years, we have avoided traveling to the northeast. Booking New York, Boston, DC, etc can be really tough, and the tour can be expensive. Tolls, parking, security for your gear and lodging can drive a band crazy. Shows tend to be hit or miss. Crowds can be really ambivalent. One could reasonably argue that there’s no point in playing the big cities of the East at all unless or until there’s a big draw on the bill.

BUT

Here we go! We’ll be playing The Trash Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn tonight. Then we’ll be doing a two day stint in Amityville, Long Island. We will be at The Broadway Bar in Amityville Monday and Tuesday nights. These are apparently theme nights. Monday night we’re supposed to wear red, Tuesday is formal night. On one hand, it kinda sucks to have to think about wardrobe when you’re going out of town, but we’re gonna look GOOD!

We wanna give a shout out to our old friend Paul Cadena and his band The Sleeping for hooking us up with these Long Island shows. You may remember Paul from IWTDI predecessor En Garde. He’s an absolute sweetheart who went back home to Long Island a few years ago and took his rock skills to a whole new level. We’re looking forward to seeing him.

I will say this, for what it’s worth. I love Brooklyn. I’m not always very comfortable there, as apparently smiling at strangers is out of fashion, but there’s a great feel in Brooklyn, and I’m looking forward to hanging out there. But I’m MOST excited about Strong Island. I’ve never visited but I’ve come to have certain, shall we say expectations about the cultural offerings of this fine place. Don’t let us down, Amityville! The band is armed with cameras. We will report back!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Carolina Rollergirls!


Come out to Tir Na Nog tonight! There will be four bands rocking for you at The Carolina Rollergirls' Wicked Wheels of the East Tournament! Spend your afternoon and early evening watch one of the most exciting sports known to man. Then shower up and come on out to 218 S. Blount St. in Raleigh for some sweaty-ass rock and roll!

From the facebook event page:

Pink Flag will kick it off with their all-woman Punk-pop fun. West Virginia's The Demon Beat are next with Indie/bluesy Punk that wowed people back in July. I Was Totally Destroying It are in the hammock slot with their duel vocals and guitar Inidie-pop. Closing out the night is our road-tested heroes Red Collar with their passionate Blue-collar ethics backed by sweat drenched leave it on the floor indie/punk/rock. This night will rock your face off!

Five bucks gets you more rock than you could ever hope for, plus a special cocktail called "The Rolling Red Flag of The Demon Destroyer", designed by Nobel Prize winning mixologist Chris Tamplin. You WILL have fun or the rollergirls will hurt you. And not the way John Cougar Mellencamp likes it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Beneath You All The Way!

Horror Vacui was done, finished, in the can, ready to go! We had twelve songs. We were pretty happy with everything having done quite a bit of tweaking. We had spent months working on this record, trying to figure out which songs should go where, which songs should go on the vinyl. But it was done! I had four or five CDR's ready to send out to people for consideration, for advice, etc.

And then stupid Curtis wrote some lick, some part, and next thing I know, I come to practice and we have a new song! Normally a new song is great, but in this case we were just coming out of a songwriting phase that led to a couple dozen new tracks. We were trying to sort of move into a phase where we would focus on performing and promoting the new stuff, so the timing for a catchy new song was kinda bad. Instead of keeping the new song on the back burner until we record again, we decided to take a few days and hammer it out in the studio and see where things go.

Enter Beneath You All the Way. Obviously we liked the song and the recording enough to put it on the record. Not only that, but we liked it so much we decided to open the whole album with it! A pretty straightforward track, we had a lot of fun toying with it to see what we could do to make it stand out as a song that sets the tone for the album. I'm particularly fond of how Rachel sounds when it gets real quiet towards the end. Mitch and Al at Warrior Sound did a terrific job squeezing us in and making this song happen. We're really excited about sharing it with you, and we hope you enjoy Beneath You All the Way!

As usual, click the player on the right sidebar to play the track. Also, Come Out Come Out has been posted to myspace, so feel free to listen again here or cruise on over to myspace!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Windows Media Guide!




There has been no shortage of talk surrounding the Sponsored Songs Program, an experiment brought to you by Reverbnation, Microsoft Windows, and 1001 bands, known and unknown, local and not local. The program is in it's final few weeks, and from our end, we can honestly say that the vast majority of people who downloaded our song have been people that we have sent to the download site. This means we asked friends to help us out and they did (thank you friends!). It also means that there weren't very many people who happened upon our music and downloaded it.

Such is the nature of experiments. The downside is that a lot of the time you don't get the outcomes you hope for. The upside is that you learn as much if not more from the let downs than you do from the successes. This is how we got post-it notes and teflon. So while any bump we saw with RN from the program was short lived and somewhat artificial, it opened the door for new ideas.

A few weeks ago we got an email from Jed Carlson at Revebnation. They asked us if we'd like to submit our sponsored song to Windows for inclusion at the Windows Media Guide website. The terms wouldn't change from the sponsored songs thingy. No new money, but potential exposure. We submitted our song thinking that we could see how it would affect the numbers we (I) had been watching for a few months.

I don't know how many bands submitted, but we were chosen, and Microsoft has been featuring us at their media guide for just about the past week. We mentioned the inclusion on facebook and twitter but we didn't push it nearly as hard as we had the original sponsored song since all of our friends had already downloaded it, and we really wanted to see what kind of attention it would bring from the outside.

Feel free to take a look at the site. Hit up the media guide, mouse over "music" and select "free downloads". Or just click here. It's an old song, nothing you haven't heard before if you've been listening to us for the past few years. But it's an interesting idea. We will report back when it's all done and let you know how well it worked.

Requests for a free copy of Windows 7 as compensation have gone unreplied.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Come Out, Come Out!

It's time! We're very pleased to share the lead single from our new album, Horror Vacui! We had a lot of fun recording this song. To listen, simply click play on the player located on the right sidebar

Most of the time in the studio we have a good idea of how the song goes, what we want to do with it, what it should sound like in the end. With Come Out, Come Out, we took a different direction. John and Hep each recorded two tracks using makeshift drum combinations. There were lots of group vocals, a lot of fun.

There were countless directions we could take with the song, and we decided to enlist the skills of the Hercules Europe Brass, who you might know from seeing The Wusses or D-Town Brass play around town over the years. Also, Justin Pierre from Motion City Soundtrack loved the roughs we sent him and contributed the lyrics and melody that we used in the bridge. Perhaps one of the most collaborative songs of the new album, Come Out, Come Out is catchy and upbeat.

We hope you like it! Leave a comment and tell us what you think! And don't forget, you can get a free copy of Horror Vacui at our CD Release party October 10th!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

CD Release Party Is GO!!!!!



On October 10th, we will be rocking the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro with four great bands, and one outstanding magician! For a paltry sum of ten dollars, you will get into the show, you will get a copy of Horror Vacui, and more! That's cheaper than you can actually buy a CD at a store!

The show will feature the mind-boggling illusions of Magician Michael Casey, on stage and working the crowd; the Eno meets The Church pop awesomeness of Lake Inferior; the spectacular, spleen-splitting rock riffage of Rat Jackson; the adjective defying Des Ark (really, there aren't words in the English language to adequately express my love for Des Ark); Lonnie Walker's melange of "equal parts sweetness and brutality, equal parts country charm and rock swagger" (Ear Farm really hit the nail on the head with this, I can not improve upon it); and of course IWTDI, whom are we. We're so excited about this event that we will be throwing out little features of each band as we approach the show date.

Doors open at 8:00 pm, the show starts at 8:30. The cover is $7 in advance and $10 at the door. The show is ALL AGES, and everyone who comes gets a free copy of the new CD. Tell your friends! The more people that come out, the more fun everyone will have! Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fall Tour, Coming Along!



Chris Williams makes some of the best screen printed posters we've ever seen! He did the posters for our vinyl release in August, and his Cy Rawls Benefit poster for Colossus, Grappling Hook, and Tooth is the centerpiece of my rock art collection. Thanks, Chris for your incredible work!

Our Fall '09 Tour is coming along nicely! We'll be headed out with The Story Changes to the midwest and back, rocking kids in Minneapolis, Omaha, Kansas City, and all sorts of points in between. Check out our dates on the right sidebar, and if you live in one of those towns, hit us up and we'll send you free stuff in exchange for helping us get people out to the shows. You can email us right here.

Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for the first of six song previews from Horror Vacui, our next record. Come Out, Come Out will be posted first, one of my personal favorite tracks, in part because it features The Hercules Europe Brass, courtesy of Wuss-Tone records. You can read all about them at The Wusses' website. You will be able to listen simply by using the player on the right sidebar of this blog.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Who Wants a Taste?

In an effort to promote our second full-length album, Horror Vacui, IWTDI will be releasing a song a week until the release date, October 13th! Starting Friday, you will be able to stream one new song each week via the player on the right sidebar of this page or on our ReverbNation page. Then, a week after each song is introduced, it will be made available for streaming via our myspace page.

Check back, subscribe to this page, tell your friends! We're proud of this record, and we can't wait to share it with you! The first track will be put up this Friday.

And keep your eyes peeled for news of our CD release party, October 10 at the Cat's Cradle! It's going to be a blast!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

IWTDI Update: Do You Like Parties?

We like parties. We like parties a lot. We like parties so much, we're throwing one on October 10th. We aren't quite ready to release all the details yet, still putting some finishing touches on the event, but this is a party you will want to attend! Keep checking back, or feel free to subscribe to our blog using your favorite reader!

Also, we're booking our fall tour! Take a look at our show listings widget on the right and tell your friends in those towns! We'll be offering free stuff and guest list spots to folks who help promote our shows!

There's been a slight lull over the past few days, just the calm before the storm, friends. We're going to have a lot to talk about very soon!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kind words from Bootleg Magazine

I WAS TOTALLY DESTROYING IT

The Beached Margin/Done Waiting EP

If their debut was about celebrating youth and having fun while exploring sonic power-pop ideas then I Was Totally Destroying It's follow up EP's (and October full length release Horror Vacui) are about coming to terms with adulthood and relationships, that life stops being a party.

Compiling unreleased material and a previously digital-only free release, The Beached Margin EP and Done Waiting EP as a vinyl release by Greyday Records is a success, and a hard won one at that. After leaving a local N.C. label for greener pastures, IWTDI finally gets these energetic and emotional tunes out.

Growing can be a struggle and it finds light here yet with IWTDI continuing to distill high energy power pop on both EP's. Done Waiting is seven songs that feel less like leftover tracks from their debut than varied takes on familiar ideas. Done Waiting is mostly wild-eyed, a blast of energy on the title track and ‘Teeth’ is just as explosive, more immediate and troubled. John Booker and Rachel Hirsh continue to be outstanding vocalists, whether together or apart. Everything here illustrates a growth spurt, taking on new shapes, architecture and flavors. Half way in the band begins to experiment, infusing late sixties melodies or electronic beats on ‘I’m Broke and So is Everything I Own’ – a bouncing and murky song that’s theatrical, spooky and, briefly at times, a party. ‘The Masquerade’ opens with a The Who-like acoustic melody recalling ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ but it’s an ethereal track, brief at two minutes, but gutsy for its spare qualities and restraint. ‘Radar Song’ may weight Done Waiting, sounding indifferent to the whole and like another band entirely, hinting . But as the longest track, it’s the most at risk yet has much to offer.

The Beached Margin collects four songs, either larger in scope or decidedly spare, notably 'Me and My friends' which has an acoustic Neil Young quality. 'Fences' navigates between careful pacing and explosive, punchy rhythms, clearly showing how the band can craft memorable songs with delicious melodies. As a vinyl release (on muted purple wax no less) the tracks have a thicker, more alive feel than their free download counterparts. The sound is heavier, almost as if the band is playing in the room - the vocals more crystallized and crisp.

IWTDI is a righteous combination, blending rock, harmony and pop sounds with a bounty of ideas. The band scorches down the middle of the American highway, negating clich├ęs. IWTDI has a lot of territory in which to cover, hopefully they’ll keep exploring.

- Brian Tucker

http://www.myspace.com/avenuemagazinepresents

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

From Garage to Couch

On July 30, we played a ridiculously fun show at The Garage in Winston Salem with Rat Jackson and Lovely Houses. Check out the show review in Yes Weekly, and if an old Hepster might opine, I'd say Rat Jackson stole that show and engraved their name in our hearts that night!

Meanwhile, make sure you catch the next screening of Beer Y'all, August 27 at the Local 506!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Deckfight: Friday Five




IWTDI are proud to have been included in Deckfight's follow-up to Earfarm's "Ten NC Bands You Should See" We happily share the list with The Never, Nathan Oliver, Dylan Gilbert, and Red Collar. Follow the link below to find the write-ups and links to songs by all of these great bands. And many congratulations to Lonnie Walker for heading a great list of bands over at Earfarm.

http://www.deckfight.com/2009/08/friday-five-5-more-north-carolina-bands.html

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Limited Edition Vinyl is Out!

On August 7, we held our 12" release party at The Pinhook in Durham, NC with Goner and Free Electric State. A good time was had by all! We introduced our very own cocktail, known as the "I Was Totally Destroyed" which contains gin, blue curacao, grapefruit juice, and sour mix. Pinhook went through SIX bottles of gin that night! We also introduced The Beached Margin/Done Waiting, our 11-track dual-EP on colored vinyl, which you can purchase online using the link to the right, at shows, at CD Alley in Chapel Hill, Schoolkids Records in Raleigh, and in Durham at Chaz's Bull City Records as well as Offbeat Records. If you're not into vinyl, you can purchase the whole thing or just your favorite songs at your favorite online outlet such as Amazon or iTunes. The vinyl comes with a free digital download which includes a bonus track which you can also find at said online outlets. Exciting!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Greetings!

Hello and welcome to the new IWTDI blog style web presence thingy! We hope you will come back and check out our updates frequently, as we have many fun things going on. Woo Hoo!