I am the World Trade Center, a duo still standing tall

I am the World Trade Center. They’re just your average duo making pop music on a laptop, and they’re damn fun to listen to. A touch of Blondie, New Order, the B-52’s and all catchy pop, the group is rooted in tradition but fortunately pushes boundaries as well.

They also have a head turning name. As you can imagine, 2001 wasn’t the best year for the duo, producer Dan Geller and vocalist Amy Dykes who are named after what was an immense structure that until recently has held favored terrorist target status.

There was the shock, the hype, and the inevitable call for a name change. The duo didn’t choose the moniker opportunistically or as homage to destructive global capital.

I am the World Trade Center has made its name on fun, entertaining electro pop music and are known to get their hometown Athens, Ga. crowd dancing. The moniker was derived when they lived in NYC years ago. It was a symbol of their bond and of a city that influenced them greatly.

The duo received a lot of press, even mainstream, about their name and the astonishing coincidence that track eleven on their 1999 album Out of the Loop, was titled “September.” They have chosen, obviously to keep the name because what it symbolized remains the same for them. It can’t hurt in the publicity department either.

I am the World Trade Center will play an all ages show in Portland at the Meow Meow on Friday, July 26 in support of their new album The Tight Connection. It’s on Kindercore records, a label Geller co-founded while earning a Masters in Biological engineering. He’s recently schooled himself on the art of creating electronic music.

The Tight Connection is said to be more cohesively put together than it’s simpler and sometimes generic sounding predecessor. Connection utilizes specific, well-planned samples and beats and a greater attention to the detail that can reflect the duo’s artistic vision better.

Dykes, the vocalist and main lyricist, is currently earning her Master’s in interior and fabric design. She believes music and fashion are inherently intertwined, which should be clear at this hip show.

I am the World Trade Center are an example of how refreshing it is when popsters put down the guitar, bass and drums to create some progressive sounds. It is always admirable when artists create something different sounding than what’s been made and re-made for the past 40 years. The Beatles were around in the ’60s right? It’s time, even for the “indy” scene, who’s “keeping it alive” to progress.

I am the World Trade Center takes a step in that direction. And hey, we all like to dance, right? Oh, you stand around at shows? Well go to this one and change!