Mikel Jollett, Steven Chen and Adrian Rodriguez bring The Airborne Toxic Event's Songs of God and Whiskey to Orange County. Photo by Vanessa (@nesslurpee), Instagrammed by Chen (@fabricoh).

Mikel Jollett, Steven Chen and Adrian Rodriguez bring The Airborne Toxic Event’s Songs of God and Whiskey to Orange County. Photo by Vanessa (@nesslurpee), Instagrammed by Chen (@fabricoh).

By Glen

June has arrived without word of a fall tour for The Airborne Toxic Event. But fear not: all signs continue to point to the band hitting the road in the latter part of the year. While you wait for the announcement, here’s the latest in TATE news.

The Gig of God and Whiskey

The big happening this past week was undoubtedly the much ballyhooed “one time only” live performance of Songs of God and Whiskey last weekend in Santa Ana, CA. Judging by the superlative-laden accounts of ecstatic fans, the show was off the hook, with some who have seen the band dozens of times ranking it in their top handful of gigs. Perhaps the positive response will convince the band to rethink that “one time only” thing. One can hope…

This Is Nowhere reader Malia Kuss reviewed the show for us, while friend of the blog Cornel Bonca provided a write-up for OC Weekly.

Played live, it (SOGAW) also loosened the band up–viola/violinist Anna Bulbrook’s typically pristine classical lines got funkier and more fiddle-like, and Steven Chen, usually content to provide expert rhythm guitar and record-sanctioned solo fills, stretched out in a little improvisation. Certainly Jollett felt liberated by the new stuff: the opener, “Poor Isaac,” a fist-shaking address to The Almighty, unleashed an almost frightening anger in him, just as “Strangers” and “Why Why Why” revealed a tender acceptance of suffering that came this close to sublime.

Among the many factors that made this concert unique was the occasional inclusion of two additional musicians onstage with the band. John K. Morrical, whose fingerprints are all over the two new albums (he contributed to both Songs of God and Whiskey and Dope Machines in production, mixing and instrumental capacities) sat in on keys for a few songs, while Mark Bush of Voodoo Glow Skulls added his trumpet to the proceedings.

TATE fan Vanessa did us all a huge favor by capturing many of the new songs on video. Here for your viewing pleasure are “Cocaine and Abel,” “April is the Cruelest Month” and “Strangers.”

If The Airborne Toxic Event is to be out of the public eye for the next few months, they certainly went out with a bang.

What a Riot

Though we’re still awaiting the big announcement, the past couple weeks haven’t been entirely bereft of tour news. Riot Fest recently released the lineups for Denver (Aug. 28-30), Chicago (Sept. 11-13) and Toronto (Sept. 19-20), and Airborne is playing all three. No word yet on the exact dates they’ll hit each city, but we’ll keep you posted when we get word.

The Airborne Toxic Event at Riot Fest

Poor Isaac Gains Traction

Though Songs of God and Whiskey has not yet been supported by a single release, opening track “Poor Isaac” is starting to make a dent in the wider music scene. First, Audio Bonsai ranked the song number one out of 120 recently released “Fresh Cuts.” Jump to the 1:19 mark to hear their copious praise:

Then on Wednesday came word that KRFC 88.9 in Fort Collins, CO has added “Poor Isaac” to their playlist. Hopefully other stations will soon follow suit.

Toxic Gold

We’ll sign off with one more world premiere from Santa Ana. Courtesy of Lara, here is “Why Why Why.”

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.


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