screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: The Airborne Toxic Event Page 3 of 7

Best Shows of 2011: My Top 5 Personal Favorites

Levon Helm, Crooked Fingers, Toyah Willcox with The Humans

Levon Helm, Crooked Fingers, Toyah Willcox with The Humans

Ok, so last year I had a ‘Top 10’ list. What can I say; 2011 was kind of a struggle. But I did discover a common theme for this year’s favorites: delivering a stellar performance in the face of adversity. Whether it was a legendary performer who had overcome personal struggles to come back, absolutely blazing (Toyah Wilcox, Levon Helm, and Eric Bachmann with his band Crooked Fingers); or just a rough night (lead singer Evan Way of The Parson Red Heads being really sick but soldiering on anyway, and The Drowning Men and their ‘road trip from hell’); my soaring admiration combined with musical prowess to create these special evenings.

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The Airborne Toxic Event and The Drowning Men: A Road Story

The Drowning Men at Terminal 5, NYC

The Drowning Men at Terminal 5, NYC

This isn’t a show review. Not exactly. It’s a story of heartfelt commitment to one’s craft, to strength and perseverance, and to the bonds of friendship. And by “friendship,” I don’t mean posting something witty on someone’s facebook page, but coming to their rescue in the middle of the night on some desolate highway after a hellish traffic accident, packing their gear into your trailer and managing to cram 19 people onto a tour bus.

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The Airborne Toxic Event Returns to the Orpheum Theatre Tonight!

Behold, Mikel Jollett’s Iggy Pop Moment with a then clueless Boston audience waiting for Franz Ferdinand at WFNX’s ‘Miracle on Tremont Street’ holiday concert back in December 2008. I’m assuming the reaction will be a little different when The Airborne Toxic Event takes to the stage of the Orpheum Theatre as headliners tonight.

A limited number of tickets are (I believe) still available at the door. Let’s sell this out! | Miracle on Tremont Street 2008 review

(from their last visit in May, at the House of Blues):

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The Airborne Toxic Event’s Fall Tour (and summer mini-tour starting Friday!)

This hot and hazy summer marks The Airborne Toxic Event‘s five-year anniversary of their existence, and this coming Saturday marks the third-year anniversary of my first time seeing them. Though I’ll actually be at the Newport Folk Festival this weekend, covering this legendary event for Ryan’s Smashing Life, my band has very thoughtfully put together a string of East Coast dates, so we can properly celebrate. What’s more, they’ve just announced a big autumn tour (Orpheum Theatre, Sat 11/19!) that will see them visiting many places, including – for their first time – Anchorage, Alaska. I mean, how could you not want to see them in a place called Bear Tooth Theatre?

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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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“Changing”… into what, exactly?

After posting about two massive fatal earthquakes, I am now following up with thoughts about a rock band’s 3:49 video. How incredibly stupid and unimportant in comparison. Yet I’ve been meaning to weigh in on The Airborne Toxic Event‘s official video for their new song, “Changing”. After seeing comments from two L.A. bloggers who have had a profound effect on the music I’ve been listening to since 2008, and then the L.A. Times (all of whom were among the first to introduce this great band to Los Angeles locals, long before anyone else knew about them), I knew the time was now.

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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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2010: The Eastside L.A. Year In Review

A few of those great bands: The Deadly Syndrome, Radars To The Sky, The Henry Clay People, and Shadow Shadow Shade (photo by Jason O'Dell)

A few of those great bands: The Deadly Syndrome, Radars To The Sky, The Henry Clay People, and Shadow Shadow Shade (photo by Jason O'Dell)

For those new to ‘musings’… Often referred to as the ‘Silverlake region’, the Eastside of Los Angeles seems to have a ridiculously disproportionate number of awesome bands that call the area home (or at least, that’s where they regularly play). In addition to Silverlake, this also includes the neighborhoods of Echo Park, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock, Atwater Village, Highland Park… These artists comprise many different styles and personalities, having one thing in common – they’re all really good! I happened upon these guys (and gals) after first listening to The Airborne Toxic Event on MySpace back in January 2008, and then deciding to check out their friends’ bands, friends of friends, etc. Very glad I did. Here’s a rundown of those bands that had albums (or EPs) out this year. Some are well-known and touring internationally now; others not (yet).

For those not new to ‘musings’… My last Eastside L.A. update was way back in February, and I announced all these cool things coming up. Then, well, this year happened. What can I say? I lost the plot. Here it is again.

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My Top 10 Shows of 2010

Some of my favorite concert moments - Walter Sickert (& the Army of Broken Toys), Iggy Pop (and The Stooges), Sarah Negahdari (of The Happy Hollows) and Evelyn Evelyn

Some of my favorite concert moments - Walter Sickert (& the Army of Broken Toys), Iggy Pop (and The Stooges), Sarah Negahdari (of The Happy Hollows) and Evelyn Evelyn

While I didn’t get out nearly as much as I would have liked in this crazy year, what I did see was pretty wonderful. New Year’s Resolution: See More Live Shows! Here’s my top ten list, in chronological order.

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“All I Ever Wanted: The Airborne Toxic Event Live From Walt Disney Concert Hall Featuring The Calder Quartet”

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On July 30th, 2008, six days before the release of their debut album on Majordomo Records, I saw the Airborne Toxic Event for the first time – upstairs at a downtown Boston Irish bar. It was a crazy radio station event, with guys dressed in bathrobes and cowboy boots, and girls in lingerie (with some strippers hired by the station for added effect). The ‘stage’ was the far end of the room, with maybe 150 of us packed into the small space. A year and a half later, here they are at Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, a world-class concert venue, home to the L.A. Philharmonic.

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