By Jessica Suarez
Photo courtesy of Fanatic Promotion
Dan Geller and Amy Dykes who together make up the electropop group from Athens, Ga., I am the World Trade Center, will play Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Tuesday. The 21-and-over show begins at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday November 14, 2002
Tarantism hasn't been seen since the Middle Ages, where people, believing they had been bitten by a tarantula, began to dance uncontrollably in the streets to try to get rid of the poison.
But I am the World Trade Center's Dan Geller and Amy Dykes have much in common with the tarantula. Don't let their deceptively sweet Swedish schoolchild exteriors fool you. Behind Geller's poppy fresh dance hooks and Dykes' Blondie-esque chanteuse vocals is a bite that will have you dancing all night long on Tuesday, when they play Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St.
I am the World Trade Center employ many tricks in order to get their audiences to dance. While their entire record, The Tight Connection, was composed entirely on Geller's laptop, the duo use a theremin-like sampler and live percussion instruments to get their crowds dancing. Oh, and there's also Geller's mad breakin' moves.
"When I was in grade school I used to break dance all the time. I was in a little group in Wisconsin," Geller said. " I did that for a year and a half until I started skateboarding."
Geller demonstrated his moves at I am the World Trade Center's last show in Tucson last June. During one song, he jumped off stage, and did a windmill on the floor, before leaping back on stage before most of the audience realized what was going on.
Though white boys from Wisconsin (the group now lives in Athens, Ga.), aren't known for their break-dancing moves, Geller says the moves are all his.
"There are moves that I had back then," he said. "I can do slightly more difficult moves now, but there is a lot of harder stuff."
I am the World Trade Center moved from Athens, where Geller is co-founder of the independent label Kindercore Records, to Brooklyn several years ago. There they set about recording their first album, Out of the Loop, which was a fresh and upbeat look at the big city through the eyes of the transplants. Though they have since returned to Athens, they've left two very big misconceptions behind. One, that their name is a reference to Sept. 11 (they had their name years before the event), and second that they are veterans of the growing electroclash scene in Brooklyn.
While those bands, like adult., soviet, and W.I.T., reference some of the same new wave bands World Trade does, I am the World Trade Center's bright, danceable pop music is worlds away from the electroclash sound.
"This whole electroclash thing was just happening (when we left New York), and the fact is that we were doing it before it happened," said Gellar.
"We're using the same tools as them ÷ beyond that we don't see the connection. They're goth, we're coming from a pop background. I like all that other stuff, but we're trying to have fun and not trying to be pretentious."
In fact, the best part of I am the World Trade Center's show is Geller and Dykes' lack of stage pretension.
They'd rather bust a move than stand around and look bored while performing.
It's an infectious energy that has gotten even the most jaded hipster out of his seat and dancing in the street, uncontrollably. So while many have mistaken I am the World Trade Center for an electroclash band, they are usually pleasantly surprised to find out they're not.
"I guess people have said that, but then they're happy that we're not (an electroclash band)," said Gellar.
In fact, the band is influenced more by British pop music than new wave.
"The biggest influence on me is Britpop, that's where all that stuff is really coming from, that's where I got all my influences," said Geller.
As for leaving Brooklyn, Geller and Dykes, who have been on tour for several months now, do miss living in the city that provided them with so much inspiration.
"Oh, sure. We certainly miss it. Well, Amy misses it more than me."