The Best of Noah: Classical Rock God

Posted: October 28, 2013 in 5's
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Noah Harmon of The Airborne Toxic Event Photo by TATE fan Ryan Macchione

Noah Harmon of The Airborne Toxic Event
Photo by TATE fan Ryan Macchione

By Wendy and Gail

Ed. Note: This is the fourth in a six part series in which fans of The Airborne Toxic Event select their Top 5 musical moments of their favorite band member. Previous entries: Mikel Jollett’s Top 5 Vocals; Daren Taylor, the Ultimate Beat Keeper; Anna Bulbrook, Classically Trained Punk Rock Chick. Next week: Steven Chen.

“You’re not going to find a better musician than this guy right here. You’re just not. I don’t co-write with anyone because I think most people aren’t very good at it, and I co-write with him because he’s good at it. When you see people who are that talented… shit. I don’t even know how he does it.” – Mikel Jollet, speaking of Noah Harmon, Bandologie Interview, 2011

With his unquestionable good looks, self-deprecating sense of humor, quick intelligence, and genuinely friendly personality, Noah Harmon is a fangirl’s dream come true. He is much more than that, however. Born in Tucson, AZ in the early 80’s, Noah has said he learned to play guitar to meet girls because he couldn’t skateboard (he has since learned.) Over time, he developed a talent for a variety of instruments that showcase his incredible talent: standing bass, electric bass, keyboards, mandolin, banjo, and guitar, to name a few.

With a degree in jazz bass from the Herb Albert School of Music at the California Institute of Arts, Noah has incorporated his classical training, his teenage love of heavy metal and his current eclectic musical tastes into being one-half of the best writing team in modern music: The Airborne Toxic Event. Here we give you our top five Noah moments; the songs and videos we feel best represent his talent as an artist, both writer and musician.

1. Sometime Around Midnight

Although this song is usually credited with highlighting the talents of Mikel, and in particular, Anna, this live version clearly demonstrates the contribution Noah makes on the standing bass. Providing a sensuous background for Mikel’s astounding lyrics and Anna’s heartrending viola, the rich bass undertones carry this generally quiet, melancholy tune.

2. True Love 

Mandolin in rock n’ roll? Yes! Absolutely, yes. When asked personally what he felt was the shining moment in his musical career thus far, Noah said, “(it was) ‘True Love.’” Co-written with Mikel, we wonder the circumstances of this song and the story behind it. The bombastic video provides a window perhaps into what they were thinking. When Mikel places his hand on Noah’s shoulder in comfort or camaraderie, many of us can relate to the heartache and disappointment that results from mistaking physical attraction for an authentic emotional connection. At least they seem to be able to find the humor in it now. The mandolin solo performed by a self-taught Noah yet again demonstrates his musical prowess.

Noah is a classically trained musician who plays electric bass. You never see a mandolin in a rock song, but when he pulls it out for “True Love,” it showcases another side of Noah we might not have known; almost a country-rock fusion. His harmonies on the song are out of this world as well. Mainly, though, it’s a treat to get to see him rock out and show off yet another side of his multi-dimensional musical personality.

3. Changing (Vevo Go Show)

A favorite in any format, this particular video provides an unparalleled bass experience for every Noah fan. Never has each individual bass note been more clear than in this rendition. If you are like us, you want your bass to reverberate so deeply into your heart that your whole body moves in time with each note. This fun jam fits the bill, hands down!

4. Something New

There is nothing like watching Noah perform “Something New” live. Co-written with Mikel, the song begins quietly, building in intensity as Noah plays off the crowd’s obvious adoration: smiling, leaning in, and teasingly coaxing us to love him. We are happily willing to comply.

5. All For A Woman (Bombastic)

There are no words… but we will somehow try to find them. The softly strummed guitar, each note cutting, heartbreaking, perfect; as if Noah is gently playing our heartstrings with every melodic stroke of his fingers. We want to be the woman, the source of such emotion, such regret, such all-encompassing love. We want it to all be just for us.

6. Bride and Groom

Cheating, we know! But try narrowing favorites down to five with two people. It is impossible. And there could be no list of enduring Noah moments without mention of “Bride and Groom.” To fully appreciate the incredible sound created by our favorite classical bass player, you have to listen at maximum volume in the car with the windows up, or on a particularly good sound system at home. A song with less emphasis on guitar and a focus on rhythm, the deep pounding beat created by the combination of Noah’s standing bass and Daren’s bass drum is haunting in its simplicity.

The very tip of the iceberg: that is all we have explored here in sharing just a few of our favorite Noah moments. Are they truly his best? Perhaps not. They are just some of the many that have already occurred and will be added to the countless others that have yet to transpire. We hope, through this journey into the hearts and minds of a couple of silly fangirls, you will have gained a greater appreciation for the inimitable talent that is Noah Harmon.

Purchase the Best of Noah:

Sometime Around Midnight
True Love
Changing
Something New
All for a Woman
Bride & Groom

Wendy, fan of The Airborne Toxic EventGail, fan of The Airborne Toxic EventWendy (left) lives in Colorado with her husband and two kids. They all love the mountains, motorcycles and The Airborne Toxic Event. Gail (right) was born in Brooklyn, NY, and moved to Yonkers while still in grammar school. She is a huge music fan and loves to travel. She combines these passions by seeing the people whose music influences and inspires her wherever and whenever she can.

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Comments
  1. […] Vocals; Daren Taylor, the Ultimate Beat Keeper; Anna Bulbrook, Classically Trained Punk Rock Chick; Noah Harmon, Classical Rock God; Steven Chen, The Intellectual […]

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