Toxicity 37

Posted: June 27, 2014 in Toxicity
Tags: , , , , ,

Anna Bulbrook and Steven Chen of The Airborne Toxic Event perform at Firefly Festival 2014. Photo by TATE fan Christi Miller.

By Glen

Today we round up the latest news items from The Airborne Toxic Event before signing off for a couple weeks. It’s summer vacation time, so This Is Nowhere is going dark for a bit. But we’ll still be kicking around on Facebook and Twitter here and there, to pass along on any TATE tidbits that may crop up. And then we’ll be back in mid-July to celebrate our first birthday.

Speaking of which, have you entered our contest yet? Don’t miss your chance to win a one-of-a-kind This Is Nowhere mug, just by telling us what TATE means to you in three words.

On with the news…

Coming Soon: Album 4

Let’s not bury the lead. The big news of the week found the band officially confirming their upcoming fourth album, in a short but oh so sweet statement in an e-mail to fans:

Thanks so much for all your emails and messages asking about the new album. Yes it’s happening. We’ll let you know more soon.

This comes as no surprise to anyone who listened to Mikel Jollett’s revealing interview with Darren Rose, but it’s still heartening to see it in writing. With the band having already promised to debut new material at the Sept. 18-20 San Francisco residency, it’s clear that the album is starting to take shape. But before you add it to your Christmas wishlist, keep in mind that Such Hot Blood got its first live playing in September 2012, eight long months before the album finally dropped. So, while we’re quietly crossing our fingers for an imminent release, it wouldn’t be unexpected in the least if we should have to bide our time until spring.

Remembering Neda, 5 Years Later

June 20 marked the fifth anniversary of the politically-motivated killing of young Iranian woman Neda Agha-Soltan. This tragedy sparked The Airborne Toxic Event to not only record a song in her honor, but to embark on a massive social media campaign to raise awareness of the plight of the people of Iran. The band posted the following message on their website last week. Neda is not forgotten.

Five years ago today, 26-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan was murdered on the streets of Tehran during a protest against the disputed election of then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the chaos of the aftermath, someone filmed her death (at the hands of a government paramilitary group) and put it online. The video struck a chord with people around the world, including us. For the one-year anniversary in 2010, we worked with Amnesty International to raise awareness about the ongoing human rights struggle in Iran. We created an online campaign called “Neda Speaks” and hosted a charity concert in Los Angeles. We also wrote this song:

The song still marks a turning point for us, something about the power of art and the limitations of that power in the face of totalitarianism. We aren’t politicians or soldiers, just people still haunted by the image of that woman and what she represents.

Incidentally, we recently posted our own look back at the Neda campaign, and The Airborne Toxic Event’s first overt attempt to put their growing celebrity to good use on behalf of an important social cause.

Firefly Recap

The band’s sporadic summer appearances continue, most recently at the Firefly Festival and a one-off show in El Paso. There hasn’t been much word out of Texas, but a couple reviewers touched on TATE in their Firefly recaps.

Mikala Jamison of Philadelphia’s CityPaper displayed her good taste for all to see, putting Anna Bulbrook’s haunting, Midnight-opening viola solo at the top of her list of the festival’s most memorable musical moments.

Meanwhile, Billboard took us inside for a bit of fun banter from Mikel:

5:55pm: Airborne Toxic Event frontman Mikel Jollett makes a special request of Firefly fans hailing from nearby Philadelphia. “Whenever we play Philly, fans always hiss after our songs. It’s like an inside joke we have with them.” After the crowd replies with an almost collective “Huh?,” Jollett replies, “I didn’t say we were a particularly intelligent band.” ATE is met with far more cheers than hisses for the remainder of their Porch Stage set.

Toxic Gold: The Philly Hiss

Being a west coaster, I was sadly unaware of the infamous Philly Hiss, but Julie was kind enough to educate me. As I sign off for vacation, witness a piece of Airborne history (at least as far as Pennsylvania TATE fans are concerned):

Glen, Fan of The Airborne Toxic EventGlen 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. Susan S. says:

    So funny to hear the Philly hiss. It happened in my backyard. Literally, I can walk to the Keswick Theater. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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