Los Toxicos is a monthly feature where we get to know a fan of The Airborne Toxic Event. To nominate a fan (or yourself) for a future month, e-mail us.
Name: Cindy Weitzel
Twitter Handle: @cindyfoowho (I only use Twitter to stalk celebrities, and rarely check it.)
Where are you from?
Eastern PA. Grew up in the countryside near the mountains, went to college in Lancaster county, live in Berks county, work in Allentown and do most of my concert-going in Philly. Bethlehem has an increasingly awesome music scene also, so I can be found there fairly often.
Tell us about yourself:
I’m really just a worker bee in an office doing IT-related projects on a daily basis. I’m a wife and a mom of two grown sons. When the boys were little I was focused on being a momma to them, but since they’re all self sufficient now, I’m able to get out and enjoy my favorite pastime, which is live music. This year I will have seen about 40 concerts in addition to a 5-day sailing on a chartered music festival cruise (the Rock Boat – check it out!). Some people go to movies; I go to concerts. Other than that, I blow off steam and relax on a daily basis by reading, wasting time on Facebook, and exercising (which includes hiking, group classes, and laughable attempts at running and lifting).
How did you become a fan of the Airborne Toxic Event?
First, I am a fairly new fan. I got on board sometime between Such Hot Blood and Dope Machines/SOGAW. But new fans are people too, right? I really don’t listen to any radio at all, but anytime the name of a band hits my radar often enough I’ll take the time to really check them out. I had heard of TATE often enough – by word of mouth, on venue event schedules, etc. So I finally took some time to give them a serious listen. Not only did I love them immediately, but they quickly became my favorite. I have many favorite bands who I enjoy for different reasons so this is no small statement. TATE is absolutely everything that I adore in a band, musically: big, big songs, sung with heartfelt passion, lyrics which are pure poetry, perfect songwriting and just stellar musicianship. And strings – oh my, the strings!
Do any of your family or friends like TATE? Did you convert them, or did they convert you?
My regular concert buddy and just general sidekick is my best friend from childhood. I have discussed this band, their music and songwriting with her at length, usually while held captive in my car. She accompanied me to a full day TATE field trip (private show + regular show) and if she did NOT have fun that day, she would never have admitted it. She’s a good friend.
What does your TATE collection include?
Nothing spectacular. The albums, the live DVD, a t-shirt and a pick. Oh, and a poster ripped from the lobby wall of the Keswick Theater.
What’s your favorite TATE song and album, and why?
I know that everyone gripes about this question and I get that. But I’ll take a real stab at it. I can easily cite my favorite album as All I Ever Wanted (Live from the Walt Disney Concert Hall), simply because it is live TATE. The additional strings of the Calder Quartet, as well as all of the other extras make it so much more than a typical live album. It really showcases everything I love about this band. Choosing a favorite song is a bit more difficult, but “All At Once” is, to me, THE quintessential TATE song both musically and thematically.
Have you ever had a special experience at a TATE concert? Tell us about it.
I was quite the active participant in the Philadelphia Shazam Contest of 2015 and ultimately earned my way into the private show. That entire experience from start to finish was pretty unforgettable. I Shazamed the song 24/7 and won my way onto the guest list. I was overwhelmed with the generosity of the grand prize winner, Bill, who allowed each attendee to choose a song for the show’s setlist. I hastily chose “This Losing” while en route to the NYC show 2 days before the Philly show. I met and befriended fellow TATE fans who had been competitors just days before (Kate “I’ll cut a bitch” Read comes to mind!). While each song in the set was nothing short of amazing, I found it amusing to watch the band work so hard to play some pretty deep cuts. My only regret was not being able to say hi to anyone from the band in person that night, but I’m not all that aggressive. Mikel did whisk by me to greet another fan, but any real bandhandling (that’s a real word, by the way) will have to wait for the next tour.
What’s on your Airborne Toxic Event bucket list?
I want to shake the hands of Mikel, Anna, Daren, Steven and Adrian and beg them to continue to do what they do, as it means too much to so many.
Are there any other bands that you recommend Airborne fans check out?
I had a hard time with this one, as I enjoy so many bands and could really go on forever. But I think TATE fans are an intellectual lot with much love for the poetry of Mikel’s music. Because of that I’m considering other bands whose lyrics I appreciate. Bronze Radio Return is a small indie band whose singer and songwriter has a real knack for clever plays on words. Jason Isbell paints vivid character portraits with his lyrics. Carbon Leaf is an established, hard-working eclectic band whose each song is wordy, thought-provoking and poetic. Beyond that, well, if you like big indie rock anthems, I enjoy Blue October for that. If you like to check out some brand-spanking new and amazing artists, listen to The Record Company and Barnes Courtney. If you like Americana as much as I do, listen to Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson, or The Alternate Routes. If you like Canadians, such as our fearless leader, Glen, go rock out to The Trews.