Ima Robot (partially found tracks from pop-rock group; 1999-2010)
Ima Robot is a Los Angeles-based pop-rock group founded by Alexander Ebert (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) and Tim Anderson. Popular in the early 2000s, the band released three albums over its lifespan before phasing out into obscurity around 2010 after the release of their third album, Another Man's Treasure. Two of the three albums the band released under Virgin Records kept a pop-punk style to them while the third album, while under their own label, took a turn for a more experimental sound, turning a lot of fans away.
While a lot of their music was pop-punk based, a lot of the demos created by the band took on styles, unlike anything they released under a label ranging from hip-hop to alt-rock.
Many of the demos written by the band were released under the band's MySpace page somewhere between 2004 and 2008. Additionally, around 2008, the official Facebook page of the band posted a handful of zip files, hosted under timmytheterror.com.
1999 Demo Tape Tracks
On June 4th, 2007, Yahoo! user robkoss1 posted a request thread in the Yahoo! Email List group Music Wanted Email List looking for Ima Robot obscurities. In the thread, he mentions “Demo tape (title unknown) (ca. 1999?) cassette/cd featuring the tracks Weirdest Girl and Sink or Swim, plus others I am unaware of.”
On April 9th, 2014, Tumblr user snakechildlurking posted the song "Weirdest Girl" to his Tumblr page.
On May 26th, 2016, the same user, after many requests, posted the song "Sink or Swim".
Both songs have been uploaded to the ima-robot.net fansite YouTube page. Throughout both songs, a woman can vaguely be heard speaking at various points of each song. It is unknown if that was intentionally part of the song or a result of the songs being taped over something else. It is also unknown if there are alternative versions of these songs in existence.
On May 16th, 2017, Osker Borst on the fan-forum ima-robot.net posted the following:
“Back story to these two recordings. They were indeed on a cassette that was a 'mix of old songs, mostly IMA' from that era, although nothing else rare, apparently. The tape was nearly lost forever, then found, somehow transferred digitally then I got copies of them. I don't know anything else, the songs were sent to me from girl I met on myspace. She said her mom was friends with Alex back in the old days. Also, if it's not mentioned elsewhere, Alex once said that there exists a piano version of Weirdest Girl, so maybe that may pop up on a crappy cassette one day?”
Self-Titled Era Tracks (2000-2005)
On June 4th, 2007, previously mentioned Yahoo! user robkoss1 posted on his thread about a “Ima Robot EMI Double Acetate CD-R Pre-Release (2003-04? 2 Cd set) includes the self-titled tracklisting plus b-sides and demos including Leo's Waltz and Spearmint Whino, others.”
The CD-R had a page available on the eil online shop until an unknown date (sometime in 2017) but the page has since been taken down, implying the cd has been purchased by somebody. The page included an image revealing the previously mentioned unknown b-sides, including "Sexy," "Leo's Waltz," "Spearmint Whino," and "Twist and Shout."
An archived listing of the page is available here.
Additionally, around July 2008 a user on the imarobot.net forums (now defunct) posted a thread about an "Instrumentals CD."
The instrumentals have been circulating the Ima Robot community for a while, and are unmastered versions of the Self-Titled album and Public Access EP, as well as a few tracks that were not available on either the previously mentioned pre-release CD-R or the final release of the album. The two tracks that stand out are "Chip Off The Block" and "Twist and Shout." The instrumentals, in addition to the rest of the songs, were produced by Josh Abraham.
The song "Sexy" is speculated among the Ima Robot fan community to be an alternate title for the song "10:10," released on the Dynomite EP. However, YouTube user Kyle Sziraki uploaded a video on April 16th, 2011, of Ima Robot playing a song dubbed as "Sexy," live at The Dragonfly Bar in 2002, sounding nothing like "10:10." It is unknown if this song's title is actually "Sexy" or if "10:10" had an alternate title before release.
The song uploaded by Kyle Sziraki is speculated among the Ima Robot community to actually be titled "On The Edge." It is unknown if there is a studio recording of the song, making it lost. If "Sexy" is indeed an alternate title for "10:10," then the version on the pre-release CD-R is most likely just "10:10." This could also be proven by the fact that "10:10" is the only B-side released around this time frame that is not in the list.
The song "Leo's Waltz" was played live in The Viper Room on September 19th, 2003. YouTube user Kyle Sziraki uploaded a video on April 13th, 2011, of the song being played live. It is very, very low-quality.
There is no studio recording of the song available, but we can assume there is likely a demo held by the band as well as a fully-produced version by Josh Abraham on the pre-release CD-R, as suggested by the fact that the other songs listed are indeed fully produced for the record.
The song "Spearmint Whino" was played live on an unknown date at an unknown location. The only sign is the fact that an mp3 version of the live recording is/was floating around the Ima Robot community. It was uploaded by the ima-robot.net fansite YouTube page on October 9th, 2016.
Similar to Leo's Waltz, we can assume the song has a demo as well as a fully-produced Josh Abraham version.
Twist and Shout
The song "Twist and Shout" does indeed exist as a demo and was released by Tim Anderson in one of the many Facebook demo packages, uploaded to his website.
The song "Twist and Shout" also has an instrumental, produced by Josh Abraham, presumably the unmastered instrumental of what is on the pre-release CD-R. It differs greatly from the demo version, but lacks vocals.
Chip Off The Block
The song "Chip Off The Block" had 2 different versions before being finally released on the album "Monument to the Masses." A demo for the song exists, as well as an unmastered instrumental on the instrumental CD, similar to Twist and Shout. It is unknown if the produced/mastered version of the song exists as it is not listed on the pre-release CD-R. There are vocals from Alex faintly in the background of the instrumental, implying there were vocals recorded for the produced version.
- Discogs page for Ima Robot. Retrieved 31 Jul '17.
- Example of demos released under timmytheterror.com. Retrieved 31 Jul '17.
- IMA Robot. rarities (Yahoo! Groups). Retrieved 31 Jul '17
- Weirdest Girl (snakechildlurking.tumblr.com). Retrieved 31 Jul '17.
- Sink or Swim (snakechildlurking.tumblr.com). Retrieved 31 Jul '17.
- ima-robot.net (Weirdest Girl (Restored)). Retrieved 31 Jul '17.
- IMA Robot. rarities (Yahoo! Groups). Retrieved 01 Aug '17
- Ima Robot Forums (Mentioning Instrumentals CD in a topic that cannot be loaded). Retrieved 01 Aug '17