So I guess there’s no TATE show this week? Well that sucks.
With only one upcoming show on the schedule (June 24), we’re back in wait-and-see mode while The Airborne Toxic Event presumably resumes work on their extremely promising new album. In the meantime, we’ve got a bit of news to catch up on from the last few shows of the El Rey residency.
Mikel Jollett was once asked about his propensity for writing sad break-up songs. It wasn’t about making a statement, he said; he was writing what he knew. It’s what he was going through at the time. And then, almost as an afterthought, he added:
“Someday I’d love to write a record about falling in love with a beautiful woman and having a wonderful family and children.”
We already know that the primary subject matter of the record-in-progress is Mikel’s father, lost in 2015. However, on night two at the El Rey, Mikel shocked many fans (and stuck a pin in the dreams of some of his starry-eyed admirers) by announcing that a lot has changed since he last graced the stage a year and a half ago. Specifically, he is now a husband. And a father.
That’s right: the poet laureate of heartbreak is now a happily married man, having tied the knot last summer. And just a couple months ago, the bride and groom welcomed their first child.
This hasn’t necessarily been the best-kept secret in some circles, but it’s always been policy at This Is Nowhere to never share personal information about the band members until they’ve publicly shared it themselves. Now that it’s out, we’d like to send our heartiest congratulations to the Jollett family, and our best wishes for a long future of happiness and health.
Oh, and we look forward to that sappy love album…
Are There Any (Other) Secrets Left?
Speaking of top secret information, after debuting eight new songs on the first night of the residency, the band pulled one more out of their back pocket at the subsequent show: a reportedly mid-tempo number titled “Are There Any Secrets Left?” We haven’t heard much else about this one, but if and when we do, you’ll find it on our new page tracking album six news.
The El Rey Playlist
With the El Rey story now fully written, let’s take a look at what was played over the course of four shows:
The Airborne Toxic Event: 9 songs
All At Once: 6 songs
Such Hot Blood: 2 songs
Dope Machines: 1 song
Songs of God and Whiskey: 2 songs
B-Sides: 3 songs
New Songs: 9 songs
That’s 32 songs over four nights: mighty impressive for a band coming off a long layoff. It’s easy to see that, apart from the new songs, the setlists skewed strongly towards the band’s early years – especially when you consider that all three b-sides came from the first record.
Airborne is not likely to get many complaints about their choices, but mark me down as one who is desperately hoping that this is not a sign that Dope Machines is destined to be consigned to the dustbins of Toxic History. I mean, I know it’s probably too much to expect my pet deep cuts like “Something You Lost,” but hopefully hits like “Wrong” and “One Time Thing” will find a place in the lineup when the band hits the road for real.
And now that I’m in the mood for it, we’ll close with a stripped-down take on “One Time Thing” shot at the X96 Lounge X in 2015.
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.