Friday, December 24, 2010

Joe's best of 2010

Greetings, all! Joe the bass player here, making a once-in-a-while posting here on the IWTDI blog! And it's all in the name of hopefully turning some of you fine folks on to some of the new records I enjoyed this year. While I can't agree with John that 2009 was a musical wasteland (some of my favorites from the decade came out last year) I definitely echo his sentiments that 2010 was one of the best years for new records in a very long time. I've got my top fifteen for you here, narrowed down from no fewer than forty outstanding releases I picked up and spun into oblivion over the past 12 months. There is some overlap between my list and John's, but any record from which he posted a song I have posted a different one, so listen away!

But first, a few notables that won't be on the master list below:
Honorable mentions: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - The Brutalist Bricks, Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me, The National - High Violet, The Damned Things - Ironiclast, Pantha Du Prince - Black Noise
Best split album: Balance and Composure/Tigers Jaw
Best live show: Autolux
Best free offering: Girl Talk - All Day
Best hidden gem: Museum Mouth - Tears In My Beer
Best soundtrack: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network
Best reissue: Weezer - Pinkerton (Deluxe Edition)
Best local release: Free Electric State - Caress

Joe's top 15 records of 2010 located after the jump:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Tuesday, December 14, 2010


In my opinion, 2010 was the best year for new music since sometime in the late 90's. A bold statement, I know, but I've spent the past decade struggling to get excited about lots of new artists and instead enjoyed discovering great albums from years past- 2010 changed that. In 2009 I struggled to find 10 albums worthy of a top 10- this year I struggled to narrow down my list to a top 30. So that's what you get- my top 30 albums of 2010. The first 5 or so are so good that any one of them could occupy the #1 spot and I'd be just as happy- man, it was a tough call! I thought The Joy Formidable was going to take #1, but Kanye swooped in at the last minute and won out. Not like the world needs another best-of list with Yeezy at the top, but wow, what an album/artist. Love that dude.

Amid the great new discoveries, there were a handful of albums that disappointed me a bit. I never thought there would be a year where two of my top 10 favorite bands of all time would release new albums that wouldn't make my list- but this year Superchunk & Spoon did just that. If you know me, you know Superchunk has been a top 3 favorite band of mine for about 15 years. "Majesty Shredding" is by far my least favorite Superchunk album since their self-titled debut(because, uh, I think every other one of their albums are damn near perfect. If all the rest are 9's or 10's, this one is a 5 or 6). And the Spoon album is my least favorite by that band, period(I was hooked since "Telephono"). I guess I'm extra hard on them because their previous output was so fantastic, which is unfair- maybe these albums ARE better than half the stuff on my list, but they just didn't excite me at all, which is a bummer. Both bands still make great music though(how "February Punk"- a Superchunk B-side from the "Majesty Shredding" sessions didn't make it on the album and wasn't the lead single- I'll never know!!).

Special mentions: Aziz Ansari wins best comedy album, hands down. And for best music and art collaboration in a new media format: iamamiwhoami. If you don't know what this is, go here and watch all the videos:

Oh, and two of the best albums I heard in 2010 won't be released until 2010- so you have Des Ark and Hammer No More The Fingers to look forward to….

Okay, read on for maybe a brief, shitty description(I'm not doing this to express myself through criticism- I hate writing about music! I'm doing this to hopefully turn a couple of people on to great music they may have missed) and a song from each release…

Monday, October 11, 2010


IWTDI is honored to be featured in the latest issue of Performer Magazine!

The magazine is available for free nationwide, but you can also read the article here, or download the PDF of the issue here.

It's a really informative story on the history of the band and our personal relationships, etc. Check it out!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


We have a string of shows coming up in early October, including:

-10/3 @ Greene Street Club in Greensboro, NC
-10/7 @ 37th & Zen in Norfolk, VA
-10/8 @ Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte, NC
-10/13 @ Live Nightclub in Greenville, NC

BUT! The main event will be our headlining performance at the brand new Motorco Music Hall in Durham, NC on Wednesday October 6th. We'll be joined by NC-native Ben Flanagan(formerly of io, The Actual, & Vecordia) and his new band, The Trophy Fire. This will be The Trophy Fire's first NC appearance, as they have been based in San Francisco for the past 4 years. Also joining us from the bay area are The Hot Toddies, an awesome all-female indie folk/rock group on Asian Man Records. And opening the night will be the debut performance from Durham's own Violent Dreams - featuring Geoff Register, formerly of Sleepsound, io & Vecordia.

This show will be ALL AGES, plus if you're looking to save a little money- show up between 8 and 9:15pm to GET IN FOR FREE! Show up after 9:15 and it's $5, which will go to support the touring bands!

The schedule will run something like this, but don't be late, because we tend to be prompt and might even run a little ahead of this:
Violent Dreams 9pm
The Hot Toddies 10pm
The Trophy Fire 10:50
I Was Totally Destroying It 11:45pm

IWTDI will play a full headlining set- featuring rare old stuff, plus a BIG handful of NEW songs we'll be playing for the first time! Come let us know what you think!!! We aren't planning many other shows for quite a while....don't miss this one!

All details can be found at

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Just a quick lil word on what's next for us...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

7" Release Party Tonight at Tir Na Nog in Raleigh!

Come to Tir Na Nog and dance your ass off as DJ Johnny B spins the 80's jams and four rock bands melt your spine!

The music begins early at 9pm with the indie/garage rock of Museum Mouth from Wilmington, followed by the post-punk Jews & Catholics from Winston-Salem, the upbeat jazz/hip-hop of The Beast from Durham, & I Was Totally Destroying It headline with a set to celebrate their new 7" record!

The IWTDI 7" is 80's themed, so... we're going all out: dress up with us in your favorite 80's gear & dance to 80's classics and rare cuts before, in-between, & after the live music!

THE SHOW IS COMPLETELY *FREE*, so please join us for this epic throwdown in Raleigh!

LOCOPOPS will be on-site selling their tasty popsicles, and they're even making A SPECIAL CUSTOM FLAVOR specifically for this release party! Tir Na Nog is at 218 S. Blount St in the heart of our beautiful capital city. Be there!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Over the weekend, we teamed up with the new & awesome Triangle Live website to perform 3 of our songs acoustic for their cameras and fancy microphones.

We performed "Turn My Grave" from Horror Vacui, but we decided to make the shoot extra special by performing two brand new songs for the first time ever. "Outside Blinds" & "Actors" will not be available to listen to anywhere else for quite a while, and you likely won't hear them in concert for a while either. So please, head to Triangle Live now and enjoy these special exclusives!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Our new single is NOW AVAILABLE on iTunes, Amazon- whatever you favorite digital music retailer may be- for only $1.98. Please please help us out and pick it up- that's chump change! If you prefer the physical medium, we'll have the vinyl 7" versions with us today at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro and tomorrow at the Pinhook in Durham- come see us!

Friday, July 9, 2010


Our new 7", "Get Big", is now available to pre-order from Greyday Records! Get it now for only $4, and you'll receive both songs from the 7" and the bonus track INSTANTLY for download:

Want a taste? the A-side, our cover of "In A Big Country", is now streaming via our Reverbnation player---> right there, to the right!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Friday, July 2, 2010


I Was Totally Destroying It & SoundAround have just launched a free iPhone app! Go here & get it:

Test it out- let us know what you want to see more of from the app, let us know how it works, etc....because we don't have iPhones :(

Enjoy, and thanks SoundAround!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I Was Totally Destroying It is participating in this rad local music covers compilation CD- but we need your help! Visit to donate $5-$500 to the project on Kickstarter. Take a moment to read the details & contribute what you can! $5 gets you a digital download of the album, $10 gets you the album on CD, and so on.
Really, you're not donating, you're pre-ordering- so check it out! IWTDI is going to be covering a great song by North Elementary, and you'll also get to hear Puritan Rodeo's take on one of OUR tunes! The compilation also features: Birds and Arrows, SWASO, Soft Company, Butterflies, Wylie Hunter and the Cazadores and Pecosa, Erie Choir, Luego, New Town Drunks, The Pneurotics, Lizzy Ross Band.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Friday, June 4, 2010

Raleigh Downtown Amphitheater!

We are beyond honored to be a part of the Grassroots Grand Opening of the Raleigh Downtown Amphitheater featuring The Connells!  I (James) was there when the Connells helped open what was then Walnut Creek Ampthitheatre in 1991.  Hell, I was there when the Connells played a Harvey Gantt fundraiser in Winston Salem in 1989.  And nineteen other Connells shows!  Now we get to make some history ourselves as we join Willard McGee, The Small Ponds, Sleep Control, Old Avenue, and Mosadi Music for the Grand Opening of the venue!

There has been a lot of debate over the sponsorship of this place, over its looks, costs, and just about everything else.  There are somewhat varying perspectives within our band as well.  We agree in that we hope it does well, and to us that means that hopefully it will be friendly to local bands and promoters, offer music fans an aesthetically pleasing and affordable evening on the town, and prove to national touring acts that the Triangle is a MUST STOP area.  The degree to which any of that rings true is up to the operators, bookers, and crowds.  So we hope you come out and help open this place up.

We will do our best to test the structural integrity of the stage and sound system if you do your best to scream and dance till they can feel it inside the convention center!  Here is a video with John, Rachel, and Curt from WRAL!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Monday, April 5, 2010


On July 20, 2010, Chapel Hill, North Carolina's I Was Totally Destroying It will release "Get Big" digitally & on limited edition 7" green vinyl through Greyday Records. "Get Big" is IWTDI's over-the-top tribute to their love of the 1980's- from the ridiculous cover design and photography, to the infectious music within.

The A-side is a faithful but inherently IWTDI cover of Big Country's 1983 hit, "In A Big Country". Replete with soaring harmonies, pulsing energy and chiming guitars, the band brings one of their favorite songs of all time to the present and makes it uniquely their own, without losing any of the original charm.

The B-side is "The Big Rock"- an updating of a track from singer/guitarist John Booker & drummer James Hepler's old band, En Garde. "The Big Rock" is quintessential hair metal pop- a tongue-in-cheek thunderous barnburner, with all the right cliches to capture the mood...and of course, IWTDI's usual melodic knack.

The 7" will be limited to 500 hand-numbered copies, all on green wax and SPECIFICALLY MASTERED for vinyl. Each copy comes with a full-color 11x17 poster, featuring more 80's photoshoot silliness from the band- and a free download code for digital masters of both tracks, plus a bonus track: "Mona Lisa Overdrive", the final leftover to be released from the Horror Vacui sessions.

The vinyl will only be sold through Greyday Records webstore, at IWTDI concerts, and select North Carolina record stores.

Get ready to Get Big with I Was Totally Destroying It this July.

Friday, April 2, 2010


IWTDI has new t-shirts. They are so dumb. But awesome. This image on black t's. Tons of sizes. Hit us up if you're interested. Send us an email to iwastotallydestroyingit (at) for mailorder info!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


We are very excited to announce that Vivo, a cell phone service provider in Brazil, has used our song "Come Out, Come Out" in their new ad campaign.

I have to say, as a musician, it's a very flattering thing to have a large company believe that a piece of material that you wrote can help them sell their product. Fun stuff!

Below is the full-length, minute long version of the commercial- featuring more of the storyline- and below that is the 30 second edit. Enjoy!



Thursday, March 4, 2010


WOOT. Second video update is here, y'all. Still working out some kinks with making these the best we can, but feeling pretty happy with the final product- there's a lot of interesting little tidbits for ya, I hope!

We've got a handful of little adventures coming for the month of March- stay tuned!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


It begins! If you don't know what "it" is, read the post below. We hope you enjoy this first installment in our year-long video doc project. I hope for each installment to have a different tone & focus- the video next month might be put together entirely differently (which is actually very likely because I believe we're going to have someone special making it FOR us!)...

So yeah, this is our first attempt. Hope you like it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010: The Year We Make TOO MUCH Contact


So 2010 is upon us, which in itself, is a relief. 2009 was, for most members of IWTDI, the worst year we'd ever experienced. Whether it be intense breakups, the passing of loved ones, the fucked economy, personal illness, whatever- it all just piled up, end over end, and somehow managed to crash down on us for months at a time. There were certainly high points- some colossal shows (playing in front of 14,000 supportive Joan Jett fans was a milestone- as were shows with some of the best NC has to offer- Polvo and Birds Of Avalon to name just a couple), a tour than included an unforgettable day and show in Minneapolis, MN (in which events unfolded that will later be revealed to be specific and important to the context of this very blog update), and most importantly- signing to our record label, Greyday, and releasing our vinyl "The Beached Margin/Done Waiting" and our CD "Horror Vacui", both through the Portland, OR based label. All those great moments aside, we're very happy to be done with 2009 and on to better, saner times.

Last night was an interesting night. We played another one of our "I Was Totally Destroying U2" tribute shows to a very healthy sized crowd at Tir Na Nog in Raleigh. In the opening moments of the third song in the set- somewhat ironically, "New Year's Day"- I completely and totally lost my voice. I am not kidding- I was reduced to a mousey squeak on even some not-too-crazy notes. This was understandably horrifying, given that it was the third song and we had about 30 left to go. I was left there, trying to see if I could push the catch out of my throat, during the epic yelps of the mid-section of the song. No dice. Then, In the final stanza, my voice cracked *back* into place. I (mostly) had my notes again. The very kind audience seemed to rally behind me, or at least tolerate that the operatic moments weren't gonna be happening for a bit. The problem persisted off and on for the following 5 or 6 songs, and then during "Bad", probably the second hardest tune to sing in the entire set- I was fully able to hit the high notes again and really didn't have the problem anymore for the rest of the night. It's kind of a mystery as to why that would happen- lose your voice, then suddenly un-lose your voice (although I'm sure the multiple cups of hot tea courtesy of Chris Tamplin had their hand in it) - but that brings me to my next thought in this longwinded story. During those awful moments in the middle of "New Year's Day", I noticed that the lovely Karen Mann was videotaping us. And videotaping us ONLY THEN. She shot THAT song, and stopped. Because of the candid, frightening, "snapshot of a moment" nature of what Karen was recording- I was reminded of something I want to try with IWTDI in 2010....

Let's call it "2010: The Year We Make TOO MUCH Contact". Many bands before us have documented the process of recording an album on film- whether it be feature length documentary, or YouTube updates. I've always loved these glimpses into the process- but they've always been just that- glimpses. Now I don't mean I'm gonna make some 75 hour documentary here- but my biggest qualm with these candid portraits is what gets left out. It always feels like you're walking into the creation of an album halfway through- or leaving before the final touches are applied. I always crave more context. I feel like IWTDI is in a unique position at the moment to open a window to the viewer from an albums inception, to it's completion- which we're hoping will take roughly a year- January until December, 2010. This month we're kinda starting from scratch- our only goal is to make something that sounds nothing like what we've sounded like in the past, and something that is strikingly compelling and still "catchy", whatever that means. We have tiny bits and pieces of *potential* songs, but nothing much really. We plan to spend the month of January sifting and cataloging/demoing our best ideas that have been laying around unused, then jump right back into the full band process in February- see where those stray ideas go, and try to create many more from scratch- a very different approach for what has basically always been a singer/songwriter type of band. The spring and summer will be spent creating true songs out of these ideas, more demoing, pre-production- and then we have plans to record the album in a very special place in the autumn/winter. And we plan to film all of this. Band practice, songwriting sessions, bedroom demoing, album discussions, the studio process, etc. We want you to see the metamorphosis of the songs and the concepts, still without giving too much of it away. Like that footage Karen Mann was shooting, I want to capture the temporary moments- but see how they evolve over time, stacked next to their counterparts from the future. So yes, this is all a very longwinded way of saying "we're gonna post a bunch of videos throughout the year letting you in on the process of creating I Was Totally Destroying It album #3.

Lately (always?) I can't get enough of Kate Bush, Bear In Heaven, Cocteau Twins and watching documentaries on Krautrock and immersing myself in the world of Brian Eno- most recently finishing and thoroughly enjoying a book about his "Another Green World" album. You should check it out- there's many thought processes and concepts explored on different approaches to music making that I hope to *somehow* mold into the IWTDI experience (Oblique Strategies, anyone?). And once again, that's what this whole 2010 project is going to be about. Today, Rachel and I would probably say we want the next album (which has a working title already, one I am quite fond of- but it's far too soon to give it away) to sound like "Hounds Of Love" meets "Achtung Baby" meets the five of us. I'm gonna guess we're way off the mark right there, but let's see what I say in December.

Here's to a wild ride, please tag along!
-John & IWTDI