itchy-O

A throbbing 32-piece band of masked chaos invites you to dissolve the performer/audience divide and melt into the bedlam, that is the disorienting power of itchy-O. The itchy-O Marching Band (IOMB) is a Denver-based percussion-centered electronic marching band. itchy-O brings a sophisticatedly savage sound and the sheer ecstasy of instruments untethered and running free. With a driving drum corps battery, Taiko drummers, an arsenal of electronics including synthesizers, theremin, vocoders, and many other special devices, the IOMB completely engulfs and immerses an audience from every angle in a pounding electric bog of music, ephemera and spectacle. The masked and hive-minded IOMB is waging war on predictable mediocrity with their blind-siding-style performances which feature an artfully hazardous Chinese lion, a troupe of sensuous dancing provocateurs, fog, strobes, sequins, sweat and fury.

Itchy-O released its first full length LP on Jello Biafra’s famed record label Alternative Tentacles in 2014. They have played with David Byrne & St. Vincent’s band as well as performing at Riot Fest with Iggy Pop, Bad Religion, and Public Enemy. They have headlined the Denver Center for Performing Art’s Hallowmass, played at Austin’s prestigious film festival, Fantastic Fest, and the Stanley Film Fest. They have opened for Devo, Beats Antique, The Melvins, and San Francisco’s Extra Action Marching Band. Itchy-O has been featured on Colorado Public Radio, OpenAir, KGNU’s After FM, performed for the Biennial of the Americas, Tucson’s All Souls Festival, ScoutMob’s Halloween Bash in Atlanta, Austin’s Art Outside, Adobe’s Effective UI, and toured the US four years in a row.


THE PLAYERS


Bryan Aquino ~ Snare
Adam Loudermilk ~ Timbales
Jesse Dickens ~ Quint Tenors
Joe Hatfield ~ Quad Tenors
Scott Banning ~ Roto-Toms
Nick Lloyd ~ Bass Drum
Stephen Daniel Karpik ~ Bass Drum
Carlo Campagna ~ Marching Crash Cymbals
Sara Miller ~ Marching Crash Cymbals
Alicia Cardenas ~ Marching Crash Cymbals
Robert Drew Burleson ~ Marching Crash Cymbals

Kirsten Vermulen ~ Synthesizer/Vocoder
David Britton ~ Synthesizer/Vocoder
Devon Francy ~ Electric Bass
Roger Liu ~ Electric Guitar
John Gross ~ Vocoder
Joe Mehner ~ Samples
Aaron Spriggs ~ Theremin
Pamela Webb ~ Taiko
Sarah Anderson ~ Taiko
Andre Cover ~ Taiko

Joanne M.W. Liu ~ Chinese Lion Dancer
Megs Burd ~ Chinese Lion Dancer
Jen GaNun ~ Chinese Lion Dancer
Steven Call ~ Polyphonic I
Landon Ricker ~ Polyphonic II
Andrew Linares ~ Polyphonic Unit III
Brian Dudley ~ Polyphonic Unit III

Sara Valentine ~ Creep Unit
Shira Roth ~ Creep Unit
Rachel Qualliotine ~ Creep Unit
Jiah Shin ~ Creep Unit
Evelyn Fugate ~ Creep Unit
Mariah Becerra ~ Special Effects
Justin Hicks ~ MSP (Most Special Player)
Brad Smalling ~ Live Audio Engineer

PRESS

“Itchy-O is as powerful, disorienting and, honestly, scary as mercury poisoning. They are like herd of elephants in mariachi gear, punk as fuck. They are to be feared and revered. When I was in REDvsBLACK, the bass player and one of my best men, Clay DeHaan, used to play Crash Worship videos for people when they asked about Denver music, and it would pop skulls, so I’m glad to see that that heavy strangeness has survived in a new form. Nothing is like Itchy-O live. And double respect for turning groupthink and teamwork and sweat into high art.” – Sam Tallent


“Itchy-O delivers a heart-pounding, sweat-pouring, fiercely intense performance. At the end, the doors of the Highball burst open and people drenched in sweat desperately gasp for air. Like a scene from a disaster movie, people stumble around looking to see if their friends made it out alive. Itchy-O is music performance like no other. This band is a must to see live.” – Justin Msc (Austin Live Review)


“This 36 or more member marching-drum band creates an experience that is immersive on another level completely. The band consists of masked members wearing sombreros and carrying their own unique instruments. Some walk through the crowd wearing a huge speaker on their back, some carry drums around the crowd, some interact with the crowd by shaking you to dance, some are blowing air on you with leaf blowers or crawling about on the floor and popping up out of nowhere ands scaring the hell out of you. Oh, and there was also a fucking dragon. Yea, a dragon. It would go from person to person licking and dancing all up on folks. It was the purest madness that I have ever experienced at a concert and it was beautiful. They created an blanket of energy that touched everyone in the venue both figuratively and literally.” – Trey Hilburn III (ihorror.com)


If the 2000s have taught us anything it’s that marching bands aren’t just for high schools anymore. While many marching bands have sprouted up across the country over the last few years, fans would be hard pressed to find one more genre bending than these guys. While the format for this Denver based band is semi-traditional, the music and instrumentation are anything but. A staggering 32 piece marching band equipped with drums, electronic instruments, and synthesizers may be a puzzling concept to wrap your ears around, yet the band has been lauded for their experimental performances which explore the limits, as well as blur the boundaries, between the entertainer and the entertained.” Derek Miles, the Marquee Magazine

“Like an Appalachian tent revival performing a Day of the Dead ceremony in the year 2500, Itchy-O’s live performances have become infamous for a kind of digital spirituality, a bone-shaking sensory experience of complex instrumentation and feverish exigency.” Josiah Hesse, Westword


“The itchy-O Marching Band tore down the third wall (and the fourth and the fifth) in an all-enveloping performance that aimed to elevate the conscious mind. Tonight, we would realize all dichotomies are false. Nearly three-dozen performers roared from the stage and the dance floor. They weaved among audience members, making us part of the show.” “Further blasting away the notion of differences, Itchy-O combined cultural forces: Taiko drums, mariachi getups, pseudofascist propaganda, Illuminati cultishness, cyberpunk splatter, alien space jams, full-face hijabs, even a Chinese dragon that writhed about the dance floor in wild abandon throughout the entire set. There was solidarity in our collective acknowledgement of the freakishness of our ways — all of our ways. Think 21st century drum circle, where cyborg bulls are slaughtered on the altar of Mystery Science Theater 3000.” – Jesus Angel Garcia, SF Weekly


“On June 11 at the Uptown in Oakland, the sprawling 30-plus ensemble of brass players (Extra Action), drummers and leggy flag girls and boys seemingly met their unholy match in the form of Denver opener itchy-O Marching Band, whose members delivered loud sheets of throbbing electro-noise and dragged a lion dancer in their wake.” – Kimberly Chun, San Francisco Chronicle


“In response, people were jumping up and down and dancing like they were at some kind of Voodoo ceremony during Mardi Gras. With pretty much a full drum-corps ensemble playing a hybrid of marching-band music and avant-garde who-knows-what, Itchy-O really brought out the kind of excitement in people that you rarely see at a show.” – Tom Murphy, Westword


“It’s like a really good nightmare.” – Zachary Barr, Colorado Public Radio


“From their disguising uniforms to their innovative instruments, visuals, and electronics, itchy-O is not your typical marching band.” – Sheila Broderick, Colorado Music Buzz


“The purple-garbed, studded-masked throng that was Itchy-O then walked to the center of the 3 Kings dance floor amid throbbing electronic sounds, like a party-crashing ritual procession…” – Backbeat, Westword


“…At 9:15 p.m., and again at midnight, the music dies down as drumbeats and electronic squeals echo through the party and musicians in ski masks, helmets and sombreros stream through the studio’s garage door, followed by dancers in a Chinese dragon costume. As the cacophony of itchy-O, Denver’s avant-garde marching band, builds to a crescendo, filling the room with strobe-light flickers and smoke-machine fog, party-goers crowd in and dance to the frenetic beat. From the vantage point of a second-story loft, Griffith nods his head to the music…” – Joel Warner, Westword