Iamwe Use Indie Rock to Tell the Tale of a 100-Year-Old English Woman

One hundred years ago, a girl named Bella was born in rural England. There was nothing extraordinary about her life. She lived as thousands did in those days — struggling from day to day, living through wars, both internal and external.

It sounds like the beginning of a cliché storybook. Cinderella, maybe. Idealistic minds would hope things got better for her. Maybe she was a Disney princess in the making or would take the Kate Middleton route to royalty. But Bella's life lacked fairytale charm. She worked as a nurse, bus ticket taker, and at an "armed forces club." She was married twice, and both husbands died before she hit 37.

So how did this woman's life come to influence a rock band from Phoenix called iamwe?

Josh Carlson, the band's drummer, met Bella while volunteering at a hospice in Phoenix. Over long conversations with the English patient, he becomes obsessed with her story. Bella lived a life in stark contrast to his: Carlsons' standard creature comforts were luxuries to her. He grew up in suburban Phoenix, and she was hiding in bomb shelters during World War II.

"We're all fighting our own personal wars," Carlson says. Realizing that was crucial to finding something in common with someone seven decades his senior.

Carlson told his band about Bella — and about her spunk and resilience. Say what you want about the youth of today just not caring about the strife of generations past, but his band, iamwe, took Bella's life — as mundane as it was during her era — and turned it into art. When they began to write for their first full-length studio album, the baroque indie quintet couldn't get Bella out of their minds. Singer, pianist, and lyricist Tim Maiden began writing poetry about Bella's life. He took some artistic license, but there wasn't much to take when you have a story like hers to tell.

"We started writing for the album . . . five months ago, and at that point, we were kind of still looking for our sound or identity," Maiden says. "We did that before, but that was more intentionally looking for something. We found a few songs that we thought were a good foundation to build on, and took it from there."

The album, appropriately named She's a Soldier is due in December. Whether it was Bella's inspiration or finally connecting as a band, the record finds iamwe feeling that they've finally found their true sound, which has little to do with the group's first release, an EP they don't like talking about much.

The music on the record is a combination of Bella-era English pop and Beirut-esque Balkan folk, topped by Maiden's cryptic lyrics. "Oh, flower of mine / Oh, don't you change / Don't you wither and don't you gray," he sings on "So They Say," through thick reverb and over a thundering bed of drums.

Bella isn't just a building block — she's someone the band has an actual relationship with. Smiles pop behind excited eyes when they speak about her life, and how she's changed theirs.

"We played her 100th birthday party," Carlson says smiling. "She really loved that."

The right kind of people have begun to take notice of iamwe's sound. In June, the band became one of four bands to win a battle of the bands competition to perform at the Hard Rock Café's yearly London festival, Hard Rock Calling, exposing them to a larger audience. Gadger at X103.9 caught wind of the band and featured the group on his Sunday-night Local Frequency program, inviting the band into the studio.

The band hasn't inked any big-figure contracts yet, but you wouldn't know it from looking at them. It's shocking just how much iamwe already looks like a band. Here are five handsome young men whose looks are tied together by a common theme of perfectly groomed not-give-a-fuckness, with frontman Maiden's look leaning a little toward '80s punk.

"[He] hasn't washed his jeans in three months," Carlson says of Maiden. "Don't worry, he'll probably wash them before the show." Visually, Carlson takes on a more Red Hot Chili Peppers vibe, while the rest of the band makes use of their pretty-boy looks with scarves, slick jackets, and sunglasses, roughing it up a bit with destroyed denim. It's difficult to tell whether it's contrived or whether they just found the right look as organically as, they say, their sound developed.

Despite their having been offered a supporting slot opening for the VH1-anointed Neon Trees, iamwe has a sound that is more reserved and more mysterious than the ultra-poppy hooks and soaring melodies that dominate the radio. It seems iamwe is on the winning side of its "personal war."

Opening for Neon Trees is a balancing act. You have to be able to entertain an odd mix of ASU students, radio contest winners, middle-aged Top 40 listeners, and kids. But iamwe pulled it off on September 3 with tracks from their new record. It might have been their first-ever appearance in Tempe, but that didn't stop someone from the back of the crowd from shouting, "We love you!"

1
 
2
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
13 comments
jaquorumfox
jaquorumfox

Judy- Stop. You are embarrassing yourself. It's so sad and a little pathetic that you have to take up space on a comment board to air your problems about a church. Maybe you should try talking to God about it, and comment about the content of the article, which is about a uniquely talented band...You can say all you want about people that have nothing to do with this article, but it's not helping. And last I checked, we are not to judge or examine the inner-working of one's heart; that's the Lord's job. So say something good about IAMWE and how cool it is they hung out with a HUNDRED year old lady who inspired them to something really great, ok? 

BackSlider
BackSlider

I saw this band at their recent Marqee show. Great songs, groove, vocals and passion! Ms. Caldwell BIG credit to you for providing some valuable coverage to a new rising group. And to blogging "Judy", please take your personal problems to your expensive therapist, this article featured music NOT your unresolved issues... "in my opinion"... NO ONE CARES!!

Judy
Judy

Actually, I just discovered that the secular news media DOES care, including some INVESTIGATIVE NEWS REPORTERS!!

iamwe fan
iamwe fan

Cant get enough of you guys! Keep it up!!!!

A fan
A fan

Great write up IAMWE for an outstanding performance at the Marquee.

IAMWE! IAMWE! IAMWE!

A fan!

John Q.
John Q.

And please don/t forget us 50 something 70's rockers. I had the privilege of being at the Maequee theater to see IAMWE open for Nean Trees last Saturday and all I can say is "WOW". The music these young men put out is artfull woven and very entertaining. I was inspired and touched by their song about "Bella" a 100 year old woman. This is a testament to the genuine hearfelt LOVE these young men have for others and the wonderful talent to articulate that Love through their music.

Sherri Q
Sherri Q

Two thumbs up for IAMWE! I had the opportunity to attend the concert in Tempe and as usual, IAMWE did not disappoint. This group of talented, good looking young men are the real deal. They write, compose, and perform with a passion that clearly comes from the heart. Their energy is contagious, as evidenced by the whole crowd moving to the beat. I don't think there was a still body in the place!Thank you IAMWE for a great night out!

Judy
Judy

This is my opinion.

IAMWE Band Member Tim Maiden is the son of Church For the Nations (CFTN) Senior Pastor Michael Maiden.

Tim seems like a nice guy but it would be good if the Phoenix New Times would do a story about his father's church.

This church is commonly known as CFTN.

Senior Pastor Mike Maiden is the former pastor of Eagle's Nest church in Scottsdale, Arizona.

While he was the Eagle's Nest senior pastor, Mike Maiden encouraged his parishioners to invest in a Ponzi scheme. They lost a huge amount of money and were devastated.

(Mike Maiden says that he was conned by a con artist.)

A pamphlet written by Pastor Mike Maiden described the con man's "Vision Plan" for funding a new $2 million church building, as follows:

"For the past year I have prayerfully sought the Lord for the plan anddirection he would have us take in regards to the financing costs of theconstruction and improvements of the new building.… The plan anddirection God has given us is strategic, sound and safe!..."

With regard to Mike Maiden's current church, Church For The Nations ("CFTN"):

Senior Pastor Michael Maiden PUBLICLY REFUSES to pray for certain people, who come to him for prayer. He usually does this in front of the entire church congregation. Pastor Maiden seems to do this, on a regular basis. I saw this for myself, on several occasions, and also was told about it from some friends.

Dr. Mike Maiden does this by leaving the particular people whom he does not want to pray for standing at the church altar, ignoring them and praying for everyone else, instead. This is hurtful, embarrassing and humiliating.

Some of my friends knew that Pastor Maiden was displeased with them, for various reasons. Nonetheless, they were shocked when Mike Maiden REFUSED to pray for them!

Mike Maiden brags about his expensive house and his expensive possessions.

He wants to be the Leader over 10,000 churches (not just 10,000 people).

CFTN Senior Co-Pastor Mary Maiden states that, "We are all just one big family," yet there is blatant favoritism toward Mike Maiden's children.

Pastor Maiden has sometimes referred to himself as a Prophet. He has compared himself to at least one Biblical Prophet, in the past. (I cannot remember which one.)

Dr. Maiden frequently prophesies over people but his prophecies do not always come true, by any means.

Mike Maiden's staff pastors say things like, "Dr. Maiden is a Prophet."

Mike Maiden sometimes tells people that they are healed. I heard him tell a woman who was terminally ill, "You are a WALKING MIRACLE!" Of course, she died, a short time later.

The CFTN Executive Pastors, Bob and Debbie Putnam, recently fired CFTN Children's Church Pastor Dan Telkamp (who was one of Mike Maiden's long-time, loyal friends, for many years).

Mrs. Telkamp was also fired. The Telkamps were very beloved by the members of CFTN.

Pastor Dan Telkamp and his wife, who were the Heads of the CFTN Children's Church and Ministry, were not even allowed to say goodbye to the kids!

In the early-to-mid-2000s, the Telkamps founded this new church, CFTN, along with Mike and Mary Maiden. They were absolutely shocked when Executive Pastors Bob and Debbie Putnam fired them.

You would think that Mike and Mary Maiden would stand up for their dear friends, the Telkamps. However, that never happened.

The Putnams (whose son B.J. is married to Mike Maiden's daughter Melody) seem to RULE Church For The Nations.

Is Mike Maiden just a figurehead?

Bob Putnam said that the CFTN Church Board chose to give money to a Clothing Fund for Mike Maiden, which the Board created. Bob Putnam said that HE (Bob) picks out ALL of Mike Maiden's clothing! Bob Putnam said that Mike Maiden has no taste in clothing, which is why Bob "has" to dress Pastor Maiden.

Recently, while they were in Puerto Rico, CFTN Executive Pastors Bob and Debbie Putnam were robbed.

According to Bob Putnam, Pastor Debbie Putnam PUNCHED the robber and told him to "GO TO HELL"!

One CFTN member told me that Bob and Debbie Putnam have a list of people that they consider to be "persona non grata" (people who are not welcome at the church).

Another CFTN member told me that every time she went up to receive prayer (at the church altar) from Dr. Mike Maiden, Pastor Debbie Putnam would BLOCK her way!

Another CFTN member alleged that Bob Putnam told him -- when he asked to speak to Mike Maiden -- that "Nobody gets past me and my wife. No one is allowed to speak to Dr. Maiden unless we give them permission."

Church For the Nations (CFTN) is bringing in MILLIONS of TAX-FREE dollars each year!

In my opinion, unless one enjoys blatant hypocrisy; spiritual abuse, emotional abuse; cliques; favoritism; retaliation; manipulation; control; false "prophecies" from Pastor Mike Maiden; required "Pastor worship;" required TOTAL loyalty to CFTN; egomaniacs; rudeness; neglect and cruelty, one should avoid CFTN (Church For The Nations)!

In recent years, the problems that I have mentioned regarding CFTN appear to have grown much worse.

CFTN has done some good things for the local community but Phoenix New Times should investigate this church.

Would anyone say that this church is a cult?

KAM
KAM

Quotes from Judy: "I..., was told about it from some friends.""I heard him tell a woman...""Bob Putnam said that ...""According to Bob Putnam...""One CFTN member told me that ...""Another CFTN member told me that...""Another CFTN member alleged that Bob Putnam told him..."

WOW! He said... she said... This sounds like a gossip column written by a vindictive opportunist in a poor attempt to settle a score for a personal vendetta having absolutely NOTHING to do with IAMWE, regardless of the bloodline between Pastor Maiden and his musician son, Tim Maiden.

Whether truth, fallacy or indifferent, you and everyone else should be praying for and about CFTN. Character defamation, slander, and out and out vengence is NOT the way to go, will not glorify God, and will hinder the prayers of the one doing the damage, namely you, Judy, in this case.

Judy... You've given the impression you have spent plenty of time in the house of the Lord. In all that time, did you ever HEAR the message of FORGIVENESS, REPENTANCE, or LOVE? But HEARING the Word is not enough. Pleasing the Father is DOING the Will of the Father. And this does not appear as though you are DOING what would please the Lord. You need prayer, sister! You've been hurt and you know what they say about that? Hurting people hurt people! It's not right! And the perfect example we all can and should take lessons from is when Jesus hung on the cross and said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

And this quote of yours Judy: "In my opinion, unless one enjoys blatant hypocrisy; spiritual abuse, emotional abuse; cliques; favoritism; retaliation; manipulation; control; false "prophecies" from Pastor Mike Maiden; required "Pastor worship;" required TOTAL loyalty to CFTN; egomaniacs; rudeness; neglect and cruelty, one should avoid CFTN (Church For The Nations)!"

From what I see, your quote lists the very actions you yourself are displaying and one cliche` you may have heard does say... "When you're pointing a finger at someone else... You have three pointing right back at you!""...blatant hypocrisy..." Aren't you being blatantly hypocritical by also refusing to pray for certain people needing prayer including these you think have wronged you?

"...spiritual abuse,emotional abuse..."Aren't you allowing Satan to take a foothold on your wrath and defeat you as you choose to wallow in bitterness and contempt for the man of God and others, for your self gratification? Isn't that self-abuse? Self-spiritual and emotional abuse, that is? Flick that evil whisperer off your shoulder and listen to the voice of Truth and Righteousness! WWJD...or have you forgotten... What Would Jesus Do?

"...favoritism; retaliation; manipulation; control;..."Aren't you playing favorites by taking sides in the "he said,she said" game of gossip? Aren't you retaliating, being manipulative and controlling by using IAMWE and this venue to dole out your vengence by slander and defamation of character?

"... rudeness; neglect and cruelty..."Aren't you being rude? Aren't you neglecting your Christian duties which is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength? And to love your neighbors as yourself? And to pray for those who spitefully use you (...IF... that is even really whats happened here)? And isn't it cruel to attempt to destroy ones character which may result in irreparable and permanent damage?

I'll be praying for you and the others. Let no weapon formed against them prosper!! In Jesus mighty name.

AS FOR IAMWE... YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING, TALENTED, AND GIFTED BY GOD. I LOVE YOUR MUSIC AND THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS YOU DO FOR THE HOMELESS, BELLA, AND OTHER COMMUNITY EFFORTS THAT INSPIRE OTHERS TO DO GOOD THINGS FOR HUMANITY. I PRAY THE WORLD WILL TAKE NOTICE AND LEARN FROM YOU AS YOU LEAD BY EXAMPLE. FAITH... HOPE... AND LOVE... AND THE GREATEST OF THESE..... IS LOVE!

Judy
Judy

I am telling the TRUTH!

I attended CFTN, for years.

I observed and/or experienced most of the things that I mentioned.

My CFTN friends also observed and/or experienced most of those same things.

You obviously missed the part where I made it clear that some of the things that I reported were revealed directly by Executive Pastor Bob Putnam, HIMSELF.

As I previously mentioned, Bob and Debbie Putnam fired Children's Church Pastor Dan Telkamp and his wife, in a very cruel way.

I finally left CFTN, because I could no longer pretend that I was not attending a possible CULT, that had some extremely abusive, arrogant, cruel, hypocritical pastors on its staff, who were vicious, on occasion, and ACCOUNTABLE to NO ONE.

(On the other hand, they could act "sickly sweet," when they were around rich, important, powerful and/or influential people.)

As to whether certain CFTN pastors are truly men -- or women -- of God, that is open to discussion and up for questioning.

Yes, I have, indeed, heard the message of forgiveness, repentance, forgiveness and/or love spoken at CFTN. However, I never saw it LIVED in REALITY, there, by the Church Leaders.

Some of the CFTN Pastors have A LOT of repenting, to do!

"What Would Jesus Do?"

Jesus might possibly say this to several of the CFTN Pastors:

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.

28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. 33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?"

-- Matthew 23:27-28; Matthew 23:33 (NIV):

In case you have forgotten, Christian leaders and teachers will be held to a higher standard and judged more strictly. (See James 3:1.)

My Lord Jesus Christ said:

"And you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free."

-- John 8:32

A certain CFTN pastor has a reputation for being angry, critical, vindictive and bitter and also for mistreating people. This is not gossip, nor is it it a secret.

I observed what some would call an "emasculating spirit/attitude" at CFTN.

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."

-- Matthew 7:15-20 (NIV)

"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather EXPOSE THEM."

-- Ephesians 5:11 (NIV)

It is my considered opinion that some of the CFTN Pastors will have a HUGE amount to answer for, when they stand before God, including -- but not limited to -- all of their destructive words and their cruel actions.

Many it's because hurting CFTN Pastors . . . hurt people.

I'm so glad that I contacted many investigative news reporters.

Keep drinking that CFTN KOOL-AID!

Judy
Judy

Tim Maiden is the son of Church For the Nations (CFTN) Senior Pastor Michael Maiden.

Tim seems to be a great guy but it would be good if the Phoenix New Times would do a story about his father's church.

This church is commonly known as CFTN.

Senior Pastor Mike Maiden is the former pastor of Eagle's Nest in Scottsdale, Arizona.

While he was Eagle's Nest senior pastor, Mike Maiden (unwittingly) encouraged his parishioners to invest in a Ponzi scheme. They lost their money and were devastated.

(Mike Maiden was conned by a con artist.)

A pamphlet written by Pastor Mike Maiden described the con man's "Vision Plan" for funding a new $2 million church building, as follows:

"For the past year I have prayerfully sought the Lord for the plan and direction he would have us take in regards to the financing costs of the construction and improvements of the new building.… The plan and direction God has given us is strategic, sound and safe!..."

With regard to Mike Maiden's current church, Church For the Nations (CFTN):

Senior Pastor Michael Maiden PUBLICLY REFUSES to pray for certain people, who come to him (in front of the entire church congregation) for prayer. He seems to do this, on a regular basis. I saw this for myself and also was told about it, from some friends.

Several of my friends knew that Pastor Maiden was displeased with them, for various reasons; nonetheless, they were shocked when Mike Maiden REFUSED to pray for them!

Mike Maiden brags about his expensive home and his expensive watch.

The CFTN Executive Pastors, Bob and Debbie Putnam, fired Dan Telkamp, who was one of Mike Maiden's good friends, for many years. Mrs. Telkamp was also fired. They were very beloved by the members of CFTN.

Pastor Dan Telkamp and his wife, who were the Heads of the CFTN Children's Church and Ministry, were not even allowed to say goodbye to the kids!

The Putnams (whose son B.J. is married to Mike Maiden's daughter) seem to RULE Church For The Nations; Is Mike Maiden just a figurehead?

Bob Putnam said that the CFTN Church Board had to give money to a Clothing Fund for Mike Maiden. Bob Putnam said that HE (Bob) picks out ALL of Mike Maiden's clothing! Bob Putnam said that Mike Maiden has no taste in clothing, which is why Bob "has" to dress Pastor Maiden.

Recently, while they were in Puerto Rico, Bob and Debbie Putnam were robbed. According to Bob Putnam, Pastor Debbie Putnam punched the robber and told him to "Go to HELL"!

In my opinion, unless one enjoys cliques, favoritism, retaliation, manipulation, control, "prophecies" that often do not come true, required "Pastor worship," required total loyalty to CFTN only, egomaniacs, rudeness, neglect and cruelty, one should avoid CFTN (Church For The Nations)!

In recent years, the problems that I have mentioned within CFTN appear to have grown much worse.

CFTN has done some good things for the local community but it would be great if Phoenix New Times would investigate this church.

Ellen_rox
Ellen_rox

These guys have the most amazing drummer ever!!!

Renee VanAusdal
Renee VanAusdal

Haha The Phoenix New Times may have just called my brother a "pretty boy." Sorry, bro, the nickname is sticking.

 

Concert Calendar

  • April
  • Sat
    19
  • Sun
    20
  • Mon
    21
  • Tue
    22
  • Wed
    23
  • Thu
    24
  • Fri
    25
Phoenix Event Tickets
Loading...