screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: All At Once

Pearls Before Swine: The Airborne Toxic Event (re)Visits Pianos and The Mercury Lounge (5/2-5/3/11)

The Mercury Lounge

It is an odd paradox. The Airborne Toxic Event’s audience is getting larger, the hardcore fans more rabid, so many are now singing their praises; and yet, people seem to be actually hearing them less.

At the tiny Pianos on NYC’s Lower East Side last Monday night, Mikel tried to joke about the situation – “Oh, I see the bar’s open… well, it wouldn’t be an Airborne show..”, but it had to suck for them. Eight days in to a 15-day-straight run of shows before a single day off, they were all visibly exhausted, and Mikel had observed a 24-hour “vocal silence” of no talking before the show, in order to preserve his voice. The setlist was drastically altered in favor of quieter ballads instead of vocal chord-straining all-out rockers, and that – along with sweet, sentimental introductions in between every song – should have made this an unusual and very special time for their most loyal fans. There were stories of the early days before Airborne – Mikel’s upstairs neighbor banging on the floor to get him to stop playing, and of previous band members saying “your band’s never going to make it.” Of dragging a broken amp down Ludlow Street, and thanking Pianos for “giving them a shot.” About their first single, “Girls In Their Summer Dresses,” and the tiny label that released it, Square Records. Of all the support they’ve received, the many letters, and the connection with their audience. It should have been an evening of beautiful music and shared experience. Except that the cast of Jersey Shore was in attendance that night.

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The Airborne Toxic Event: All At Once

The Airborne Toxic Event: All At Once – Out Today!
See the band live at the House of Blues, Wednesday, May 11 – buy tickets
~ For the abridged version of this article, please see Ryan’s Smashing Life ~

Growing Pains

My god, this is excruciating! I’ve been enjoying The Airborne Toxic Event since first listening to demo tracks in 2008, and followed their steady ascent, which for me began at a downtown Boston Irish bar for about 150 people. They released their wonderful debut album on Majordomo, and proceeded to tour for the next 2-1/2 years in support of it. That album grabbed hold of my ears and wouldn’t let go, yet I now find myself approaching their follow-up, nearly three years later, with a curious mix of anticipation and trepidation. Why? Because in that time, they signed with Island Records, amassed a large audience of “casual listeners” with their radio hit, “Sometime Around Midnight,” and spent 2010 in a fancy Hollywood studio with world-renown producer Dave Sardi (Band of Horses, The Walkmen, Oasis). It made me a little nervous. This is the first time I stumbled upon a band early on, and not 10 years after everyone else, so I’m new to this whole “grappling with success” thing. I’m not sure how the band is coping, but as for myself, not terribly well.

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The Airborne Toxic Event’s New Single “Changing” & more on the way!

“The song was originally called “Something You Own.” It’s a song about conflict and resolution, resisting and accepting Change.” Read more…

The new album: All at Once (Island Def Jam), to be released on April 25th in Europe and April 26th in North America.

The tour: February residencies and shows in Europe – see full schedule. Additional dates to be announced February 15 on their official site – and I’ll post them here as well.

It’s all about learning to welcome change. Not just adapt, but a full embrace of the process of life and natural changes in our own lives, and in the lives of those we care about. Change is an integral part of living, but we are frightened by it. We cling to emotionally draining relationships and continue to play out time-worn destructive patterns and tape-loop responses. We hesitate to leave dead-end jobs, preferring to stay in our comfortable prisons. It takes an amazing amount of bravery to leave one’s comfort zone for the vast expanse of the unknown. To venture out on that unfamiliar road with a neutral mind, without preconceptions. With a child’s curiosity, let’s see what the rest of this year holds…

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