This Is Nowhere: 2013 in Review

Posted: December 30, 2013 in 5's
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This Is Nowhere

By Glen

Late last spring, I hatched a crazy plan: The Airborne Toxic Event fan blog. A place where TATE fans of every stripe could join together in celebration of the work of this remarkable band, and the impact it’s had on them.

I believe that being a fan, loving something beyond yourself passionately and wholeheartedly, is a virtue. I believe that there should be places where it’s safe to be enthusiastic, where you can be yourself without being judged, where you will be heard. And I believe that everyone has a story worth telling.

When I started, I had no idea if I would really be able to give it the time that I hoped to. I had no idea if anyone would take me up on my offer to submit their own pieces for publication. I had no idea if I would be able to track down enough setlists to create a meaningful archive. And most of all, I had no idea if anyone would care enough to read.

As it turns out, the answer to all of the above was a resounding “Yes!” Clearly, I underestimated the extent of the passion that people have for this band, because I have been blown away by the response. Not just the readership, which has far surpassed my greatest hopes. Not just the quantity of submissions that I’ve received, which has allowed me to post three times per week rather than the one-to-two times per week for which I’d originally aimed. But the quality. And the depth. And the heart-wrenching, life-altering, perspective-shattering accounts that have left my jaw scraping the floor, more times than I can count.

The music of The Airborne Toxic Event plumbs the real stuff of life and death. So I guess it should be no surprise that their fans have tales to tell of how this band has helped them through the best and worst of what life has to offer: love lost and found; dreams realized and shattered; health, sickness and, yes, death.

It is a privilege to have been entrusted with your stories. To all who have freely shared them, thank you. To all who have read and commented and encouraged, thank you. To the generous ones who have made the blog look so good by allowing me to use their photography, thank you. And, most of all, to the band who inspires us to just try to write it all down, thank you.

As we tie a bow on 2013 and anxiously anticipate whatever The Airborne Toxic Event has in store for us in the year ahead, here’s a look at some of the highlights from the first six months of This Is Nowhere.

Top 5 Posts:

The following posts were the most widely read of the year.

5. The Best of Mikel (Vocals): The first installment in a six part series in which TATE fans attempted the impossible, selecting their favorite musical moments of each band member.

4. The Airborne Toxic Event Fan Survey: 169 fans weighed in to determine the most popular song, favorite album, best lyrics and the answers to 41 other pressing questions.

3. A Fan and His Band: An Unlikely Connection: The letter that started it all, and the inaugural post on This Is Nowhere.

2. Such Hot Blood Tour: By the Numbers: An uber-nerdy breakdown of the setlists from the first leg of the 2013 tour.

1. I Lost My Innocence Today: The Airborne Toxic Event helps a mother and wife cope with a cancer diagnosis.

5 Early Highlights:

With readership having taken a few months to really get off the ground, here are five early posts, which newer readers might have missed:

All In: A fan explains how The Airborne Toxic Event took their place alongside Springsteen as her favorite artist.

‘Favorite’ is Relative: On the folly of choosing your favorite TATE lyric (not that it stopped us from trying).

Strange Girl: How Airborne became the soundtrack to one fan’s life.

Mythology Around Midnight: Some little known facts about the band’s best known song.

My Tribe: Musings on identity and belonging, and a personal tribute to the friends I’ve made through our shared dedication to five musicians from LA.

Thank you for coming along on this crazy ride… and for making me think that, perhaps, I’m not so crazy after all. All the best to you in 2014!

Glen, Fan of The Airborne Toxic Event Glen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere. He’s grateful for an understanding wife and kids who indulge his silly compulsion to chase a band all over the Pacific Northwest (and occasionally beyond) every time the opportunity arises.

  1. What a year. I am lucky to have seen the band perform three times, in three different states, a modest number compared with others. But it’s the “others” that make this all so much fun. The TATE community continues to wow me. What a pleasure it has become to get to know other fans and hear their amazing stories. I truly believe TATE has the best fans in the world.

    Glen, your amazing work on This Is Nowhere is worthy of a trophy larger than the Stanley Cup. Your gift brings us together, it educates, and provides inspiration. Your stories, your insight – thank you. But you do so much more. You put our stories and our images on a wonderful journey that travels around the globe and back. We are lucky to have you in our lives.

    Happy New Year, my friend.


  2. Susan says:

    Ryan hit the nail on the head. It’s so much fun to hear other fans’ stories, to experience the band in ways I have not. And, while I know This is Nowhere is a labor of love, Glen, I also know it’s a huge undertaking. It is insightful, professional and FUN. Here’s to our next year as dedicated fans!


  3. Jamie says:

    Thank you for all the hard work you put into this blog, Glen and thanks for including me in your “highlights”. I can never repay you enough for giving me an outlet to write about my passion…and encouraging me to do so! Looking back on these highlights, I must say how impressed I still am by your “Mythology Around Midnight” post! I think it might be my favorite of all.


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