Is it just me, or is 20 days an awfully small number? Hell, I was at the grocery store yesterday, and I could have bought milk that won’t expire till after The Airborne Toxic Event’s Fillmore residency starts. The madness is almost upon us.
With the tour engine about to start turning, rest assured that This Is Nowhere will be your best source for all TATE tour news. We’ll have full reviews and photos from a minimum of half a dozen shows, including all three from The Fillmore, posted the morning after each show. We’ll have setlists on a nightly basis, and our regular Toxicity posts will keep you in the loop on whatever the rest of the internet is saying about the band as they motor their way across North America.
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And hey, if you’re catching a show or three this fall, we’d love it if you would lend a hand by sending setlists, photo, videos – or better yet, write a full review of your show and we’ll be happy to publish it. Hit us up at email@example.com, or contact us through Twitter or Facebook.
Turns out we’re not the only ones counting down to Sept. 18. The Airborne Toxic Event is doing a social media countdown of their own, with Mikel Jollett himself providing daily insights into each song on the three studio albums. We’ll collect all of these in one place after the countdown is complete, but in the meantime here’s what Mikel had to say about the first album.
Wishing Well – “I used to play this song for my neighbor’s cat.”
Papillon – “We recorded this song in one take, in friend’s living room, while Daren was on his lunch break from work.”
Gasoline – “The static sound at the top of the song is a finger being placed on a guitar chord then removed. It’s a song about my high school sweetheart, she heard it and later told me to stop telling people it was about ‘high school sex.’ ‘It was more than that.’ True. But you know, artistic license…”
Happiness is Overrated – “The acoustic video for this song was shot in my old apartment. We found some red fabric and pinned it to the walls, then played while the one-man camera crew rotated flashlights around to look like spotlights.”
Does This Mean You’re Moving On? – “I played a very early demo of this song for the guy who founded The National’s first record label. ‘This sounds like Pavement,’ he said. First and last time we’ve received this comparison (though Pavement is one of my and Steven’s all time favorite bands).”
This is Nowhere – “The eponymous first record was almost called This is Nowhere. In fact, that name remains on all of the final mixes before submitting them to iTunes. At the last minute, it was decided that our band name was long enough and we didn’t need any more verbiage crowding the cover. This song is about the characters in the short story The Crack.”
Sometime Around Midnight – “The song is a true story. The band playing the melancholy music was a Silver Lake scene band called Le Switch. The bar was the now-closed Safari Sam’s and the event marked the closure of Sea Level records, a former East Side staple vinyl store.”
Something New – “I wrote this song in a flurry with three songs about the same person and situation (Happiness is Overrated and Missy were the others). It was a busy week.”
Missy – “Missy is the middle name of the person this song is about. She was from Atlanta, Georgia and she actually was with me while I wrote it, scribbling down the lyrics by hand in a small leather-bound notebook as I sung them.”
Innocence – “The intro that was included in the Disney Hall version of the song was actually a completely different song called ‘Heaven is a Map.’ Once I realized the two songs were in the same key, we combined them since one seemed to be like a prelude to the other.”
Due up today: “Numb.”
One of the things that Airborne fans love most about the band is how down-to-earth the musicians are. And in case there was any doubt that he is one of us, meet Daren Taylor: TATE drummer and Kate Bush superfan.
Siwek was not the only member of the patiently waiting crowd who had flown from Los Angeles, with Daren Taylor, drummer for band The Airborne Toxic Event, among those right at the front of the queue.
He said: “I’ve flown in from Los Angeles, California today just to see Kate Bush. It’s not easy to express what Kate Bush means to me. Her music touches me, and I’m sure everybody here, in very unique ways. I don’t think any two people will tell you the same thing that her music means to them.”
Bush, he said, had been a presence in his life since he first heard Running Up That Hill when he was five and she had influenced his music ever since.
“I flipped out when I heard the tickets were on sale,” he added. “Luckily I’m on her mailing list so I was eligible for pre-sale but that happened at 10am in the UK so it meant I had to be up at 2am in the morning in California in order to get these tickets so that’s what I did. At first when I realised I had got one I was very excited of course but the second thought was ‘how on earth am I going to get out there?’. But it’s completely worth it. I have no hopes for tonight, I have no expectations – if it is just her and a piano I’d be fine with that and anything else is bonus. I’ll take whatever song she wants to play as I think she’s absolutely extraordinary.”
You’ve gotta love that Daren was on his computer waiting to pounce when the pre-sale went live at 2am. Makes you feel kind of… well… normal.
It’s Hard to Write About What Makes Me Happy…
Not strictly Airborne-related, but my wife and I recently took in the film If I Stay, and I couldn’t help but draw some TATE connections. Without spoiling anything, it’s about a girl, Mia, who’s an extremely talented cellist, and her rocker boyfriend Adam, who leads an ascendent band featuring four guys and a female keyboardist. Aside from delving into familiar TATE themes of love, death and music, one scene finds Mia asking Adam, à la “Elizabeth,” why he’s never written a song about her. His response could have easily come out of the mouth of Mikel: “It’s hard for me to write about what makes me happy. You’d probably have to cheat on me or something.”
Definitely a flick worth checking out if you’ve got a spare evening on your hands.
Meanwhile, over at Delish Bakery, The Airborne Toxic Baker is at it again, this time cooking up the tastiest looking Gretsch this side of Mikel’s. Seriously, they should look into adding Susan’s cookies to the TATE merch store…
Finally, since the Fillmore has us all in the mood for rarities, here’s one that’s unlikely to see the light of day anytime soon… though, you never know. Courtesy of This Is Nowhere’s own Julie Stoller, it’s “Parson Redheads.”
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.