Toxicity 82

Steven Chen and his Airborne Toxic Event bandmates electrified the crowd at Riot Fest Denver. Photo by Shannon Shumaker for the Prelude Press.
Steven Chen and his Airborne Toxic Event bandmates electrified the crowd at Riot Fest Denver. Photo by Shannon Shumaker for the Prelude Press.

By Glen

Are you ready to rev up the Whiskey Machine? September is upon us, and that means The Airborne Toxic Event’s fall tour is about to start up in earnest. This Is Nowhere will be here to cover it each step of the way.

What a Riot

To close out August, The Airborne Toxic Event kicked off four consecutive weekend festival appearances by storming Riot Fest Denver. They made themselves right at home at the rap-heavy party, pleasing the crowd with their now standard Kid Cudi cover, “The Pursuit of Happiness.” Prelude Press caught all the action.

Next up: Seattle’s famed Bumbershoot Festival, tomorrow. We’ll have a complete recap of TATE’s set for you on Sunday.

Mikel Jollett: Blogging is not a crime.
Mikel Jollett: Blogging is not a crime.

Taking a Stand

The Airborne Toxic Event has a history of supporting the work of Amnesty International that dates back to their collaboration on the Neda Project in 2010 (which was, incidentally, the subject of our most recent Toxic History chapter). Riot Fest provided an opportunity for the band to stand with their Amnesty friends once again, as they made an appearance at Amnesty’s meet and greet tent, where they made known their feelings on two important issues: the unjust imprisonment of Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, who was arrested and sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, and the increasingly frequent use of deadly force by American police.

With regards to the latter, this is not the first time the band has protested the use of excessive force by police. They do it every time they play “I Fought the Law,” which was, appropriately, pulled out again in Denver.

The Band Gets Studious

Earlier this week, the group took advantage of the gap between festival dates to hit the studio for a day. No word on what exactly they were doing there or if/when we might see the fruit of their labors, but we get excited whenever The Airborne Toxic Event hooks up recording equipment.

Outlook: Bullish

Anna Bulbrook wrapped up a busy month for her new band The Bulls with the final show of their #GIRLSCHOOL residency at The Satellite in Los Angeles. The gig also functioned as the launch party for the group’s newly release Small Problems EP. This Is Nowhere’s Julie Stoller reviewed the debut recording for Ryan’s Smashing Life, concluding, “Orchestral strings, fuzzy guitars, stark minimalist beauty to epic grandeur, ethereal and dreamy vocals — what’s not to love?” I agree.

The Bulls also opened their online merchandise store, where fans can choose from a number of t-shirts and pick up a limited edition cd copy of Small Problems.

Amidst all of that excitement, the most significant piece of Bulls-related news as far as fans of The Airborne Toxic Event are concerned may have been an off-hand comment from Anna on Facebook, in which she reassured TATE fans: “don’t worry, I’m still in The Airborne Toxic Event.” We can be a skittish bunch at times, so that statement no doubt elicited more than one sigh of relief.

Toxic Gold

With lots of photos of the band at the Amnesty tent floating around Twitter this week, it seems fitting to take a look back at “Neda.” In the first video below, the studio version of the song plays over top of “I am Neda” images submitted by supporters from around the world. In the second, The Airborne Toxic Event plays it live for the first time ever at the Neda benefit show, May 25, 2010 at the Echo in Los Angeles.

Glen-TINGlen 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.

About thisisnowhere 410 Articles
Glen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere and author of Toxic History: The Story of The Airborne Toxic Event. 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.