As The Airborne Toxic Event’s European tour comes to a close, a change in plans leads off this week in TATE news.
Freedom Festival Shackled
The members of The Airborne Toxic Event find themselves with some unexpected time on their hands this weekend with the late postponement of South Africa’s Freedom Festival. Though no official reason has been given, one wonders if recent violence against foreigners throughout the nation played a role in the decision to pull the plug on a festival that was heavily hyping its international lineup.
Speculation has the festival being rescheduled for late September, but with strong rumors of a fall tour in the offing, it remains to be seen if Airborne will still be part of the lineup when the event resurfaces.
Anna Bulbrook, Actress?
Earlier this week, New York’s Tribeca Film Festival hosted the world premiere of the new Zooey Deschanel movie, The Driftless Area. And what exactly does this have to do with The Airborne Toxic Event, you ask?
Julie, our resident sleuth, uncovered the fact that IMDB lists TATE’s own Anna Bulbrook as a performer in the film. Intriguingly, her character is listed simply as “Singer.”
The festival has one more scheduled showing of the film this Saturday. If anyone out there has seen it, we’d love it if you could shed a little light on Ms. Bulbrook’s appearance.
Those 2 a.m. Songs
M Magazine recently published a brief feature on Dope Machines, in which Mikel Jollett discusses the making of the record. He defended his largely solo approach to recording and producing the album:
“The core of Airborne, to me, has always been these 2 a.m. songs,” says Jollett, referencing tunes like “My Childish Bride,” a dreamy Dope Machines synth ballad that’s among the biggest departures for this crew of proven arena rockers. “Those don’t always come from jam sessions. You’ve got to wrestle with an idea, and if you write about it, there’s something very personal. If you’re just jamming, an idea might sound good to a group that doesn’t really capture the essence.”
Later, he jokes, “Every second of this record was poured over. I guess that makes me not Mick Jagger.”
Empty Bottle Smashes Dope Machines
In a vitriolic piece reminiscent of the infamous Pitchfork review (though thankfully with a far smaller audience, one presumes), Empty Bottle Evenings spared no venom in unloading their unflattering opinion of The Airborne Toxic Event’s Dope Machines. I hesitate to draw attention to such a mean-spirited review, but in the interest of providing comprehensive coverage, here’s the most “positive” excerpt I could draw from it:
Ironically (I don’t give a shit if I’m using it correctly and you probably don’t know either) the best song is probably “California” but that just means it doesn’t suck as bad as the others. It’s catchy and fun and it follows the sure-fire plan of mentioning a geographic place so someone in that place will at least care enough to play it once or twice. But the opening track, aptly named “Wrong” is something that only Dennis Reynolds or Buffalo Bill could love.
As we tie a bow on TATE’s brief but blistering European outing, here’s the latest coverage from the road:
Glasgow Recap: Ruth4Truth puts an entertaining personal spin on her review of the happenings at the tour’s penultimate stop in Glasgow. “On the first song of the encore (I’m sorry, I have completely forgotten what it was. It was a bouncy one.) Mikel jumped off the stage, on to the barrier. He was over to the left of me, then suddenly he was right in front of me. I mean RIGHT in front of me. I got a face full of sweaty t-shirt. I got shoved from behind and had to (yes, I HAD TO!) put a hand up to hold on to him to stop myself suffocating. Although that wouldn’t have been a bad way to go. He was encouraging us all to jump, so I was pogoing along as it would have been rude not to. Also I was clinging to him for dear life. I was mildly sweaty beforehand and extremely sweaty afterwards. He leapt back on to the stage and I could breathe again.”
Manchester Photos: A Music Blog, Yea presents some killer photos of both The Airborne Toxic Event and openers White Eskimo.
Dublin Photos: Closing night, as seen through the lens of Dublin Concerts.
Odds ‘n’ Ends
Rant Lifestyle named The Airborne Toxic Event one of 15 Very Hipster Things You Can Actually Be Okay With Enjoying. Discuss amongst yourselves whether or not TATE is in fact a hipster band; regardless, I think we can all appreciate their commentary: “Pass on this band just because your hipster friend is into them, and you’re an idiot. Airborne is easily the best freakin band in the game right now. Put on literally any one of their songs from any album at any time, and you’ll fall in love. Loving this band will not cause you to grow a beard — relax.”
Remember last month’s Airborne TV taping for Revolt TV? The TATE episode can finally be seen – at least by some. It is available on Time Warner Cable on Demand from now through May 9 (episode title: Revolt Live 2031).
Want to know more about the band’s gear? Steven Chen has a page on EquipBoard with details on some of his equipment, as does Anna. There are lots of blanks still to be filled in, so if you know something about what they use, you can add to the pages.
We declared the Glasgow performance of “Poor Isaac” to be a world premiere, as it’s the first time we’re aware of it having been played in concert; certainly the Songs of God and Whiskey version, in any case. That being said, Julie managed to dig up a 2007 recording of Mikel performing it solo for Liquid Generation.
Throughout the European tour, The Airborne Toxic Event limited themselves to four songs from Dope Machines: singles “Wrong,” “Hell and Back” and “California,” along with “One Time Thing,” as seen here, live from München.
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.