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The side project of Wolfie singer/bassist Joe Ziemba and singer/keyboardist Amanda Lyons, indie pop combo Busytoby first began taking shape in mid-1996. Originally dubbed Stereotomy, they distributed copies of their debut cassette, The Human Is the Keyboard's Motor, in 1997; although Wolfie remained Ziemba and Lyons' primary creative outlet, the duo (who had subsequently acquired a vintage Wurlitzer organ) soon recorded another cassette, You Love the Crickets, and — with the addition of then Sarge bassist Rachel Switzky — changed their name to Busytoby. A single, "Me, My Drums and You," appeared on Parasol in 1998, and after adding keyboardist Jenny Mangun, Busytoby played their first live dates. As grad school forced Switzky to relinquish her duties, the remaining trio released its first full-length effort, It's Good to Be Alive, in the fall of 1999.