The Airborne Toxic Event

The Airborne Toxic Event

Infobox musical artist
Name = The Airborne Toxic Event

Img_capt = Live At The El Rey August, 7 2008
Photo By Jeff Koga
Landscape = no
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genre = Indie rock
Years_active = 2006 – present
Label = [ Majordomo]
Associated_acts =
URL = [ The Official Site of The Airborne Toxic Event]
Current_members = Mikel Jollett
Steven Chen
Noah Harmon
Anna Bulbrook
Daren Taylor

The Airborne Toxic Event is an American indie rock band from the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz that consists of singer and guitarist Mikel Jollett, guitarist and keyboardist Steven Chen, bassist Noah Harmon, drummer Daren Taylor, and keyboardist and violist Anna Bulbrook. Named after a section of the book "White Noise", by Don DeLillo, the group incorporates string instruments and keyboards, along with a standard rock lineup of guitar, drums, and bass guitar. They are signed to Majordomo Records.



The band was formed in 2006 by Mikel Jollett. During a one-week period in March 2006 while working on a novel, Jollett learned that his mother was diagnosed with cancer, experienced a break-up, and was diagnosed with genetic Autoimmune disease. Even though the disease encompasses over 70 different disorders, Autoimmune led Jollet to develop 2 cosmetic conditions: Alopecia areata and Vitiligo. Spurred by these events in his personal life, Jollett turned from writing prose to writing songs, and soon realized he was composing an album instead of a novel. []

Jollett met drummer Taylor in the summer of 2006 and the two established an immediate rapport. After working on original material together for four months as a two-piece, Jollett asked classically-trained violinist Bulbrook and bassist Harmon to join the band. A situation that Jollett enjoys re-telling with relish, Harmon initially refused. With a background in orchestral and chamber music, Bulbrook since taught herself to play viola and keyboard, while Harmon holds a jazz degree in upright bass performance from the California Institute of the Arts and taught in East Los Angeles as part of the school’s Community Arts Partnership. Jollett had met Chen several years earlier, when both lived in San Francisco. Chen was at first asked to join as a keyboardist, but revealed to Jollett that he in fact, played guitar and filled the role as lead guitarist.

To supplement his fiction writing, Jollett had earned income as a freelance writer, contributing to organizations such as NPR, Los Angeles Times, Filter Magazine and Men’s Health. Since the creation of the band, he has continued to write only fiction and has a short story slated to appear in the Summer 2008 issue of McSweeney’s.

The band takes its name from the postmodern novel White Noise, by Don DeLillo [ [ Music Vice - interview with the band discussing the origins of their name, among other things] ] , which won the National Book Award in 1985. In the book, a chemical spill from a railcar releases a poisonous cloud, dubbed by the military as an “airborne toxic event.” This serves as a metaphorical device for the novel’s themes of mortality and media consumption, as the protagonist Jack Gladney is forced to confront the prospect of his own death.

The Airborne Toxic Event played its first show in Echo Park in the fall of 2006, less than a month after it was fully formed. Since then, the band has performed extensively in L.A. and become well known throughout the greater Los Angeles area. In December 2006, Rolling Stone named them one of the “Top 25 Bands on MySpace.” [ [ Rolling Stone Declares the 25 Best Bands on MySpace : Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily ] ] They went on to receive positive responses from music blogs and press, notably L.A. Weekly [ [ LA Weekly - Music - The Airborne Toxic Event - Alie Ward - The Essential Online Resource for Los Angeles ] ] and Los Angeles Times, [ [ Buzz Bands: Los Angeles Times ] ] which named the group one of the top three L.A. bands to watch in 2008. Previous bands to receive this distinction include Cold War Kids and Silversun Pickups.

In a rare move, during the band’s January 2008 residency at the popular Silver Lake venue Spaceland, Los Angeles Commercial Radio stations KROQ, Indie 103 and Star 98.7 all officially added the as-yet-unsigned band’s song “Sometime Around Midnight” to regular rotation. Providence's WBRU, Seattle’s KEXP, San Francisco’s Live 105, San Diego’s 91X, Boston’s WFNX, and Sacramento's KWOD 106.5 also showed significant support for the group.

After an extensive courtship from major labels, the Airborne Toxic Event signed with the indie imprint Majordomo Records in April 2008. Their first full-length record was released in the U.S. on August 5, 2008.

On April 24, 2008 the band made its national television debut as the musical guest on the late-night NBC talk show Last Call with Carson Daly. [ [ YouTube - The Airborne Toxic Event - "Sometime Around Midnight" ] ]

The band performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on August 1, 2008.

In August 2008, the band performed a three-song live video set for LiveDaily Sessions, including the songs "This Losing," "Sometime Around Midnight" and "Gasoline" [ Video performance of "This Losing," "Sometime Around Midnight" and "Gasoline" by The Airborne Toxic Event at LiveDaily Sessions] ] , which premiered on August 18th, 2008.



*"Does This Mean You're Moving On?" EP (2007)
*"The Airborne Toxic Event" (2008)


*"Does This Mean You're Moving On?" (2007)
*"Sometime Around Midnight" (2008) #32 Billboard Modern Rock []

Live performances

In addition to the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, the band has played in cities throughout the country, as well as a handful of cities in the United Kingdom, including London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Brighton (with The Annuals) for 2007’s Great Escape Festival . The group has also supported the Kaiser Chiefs, the Fratellis, Silversun Pickups, and Ima Robot.

The Airborne Toxic Event played the CMJ Music Marathon in 2006 and 2007, and Austin’s 2008 South By Southwest Music Conference. On September 1,2008, the band played with The Fratellis and Electric Touch at the House of Blues Cleveland.In 2008, the band is scheduled to perform at a number of festivals, including Live 105’s BFD in Mountain View, California, the San Francisco and Philadelphia installments of the Download Festival, the Monolith Festival at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, the Virgin Festival in Toronto, the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle, and the Pemberton Festival in Pemberton, B.C. The band also played two shows in London, UK, in July. The Airborne Toxic Event played live from 1:05 - 1:50 PM on September 27th in Phoenix, AZ for the multi-band concert "Edgefest" hosted by the radio station 103.9. They played after a local favorite, Authority Zero.


External links

* [ The Airborne Toxic Event's Website]
* [ The Airborne Toxic Event’s MySpace Page]
* [ Majordomo Records]
* [ Podcast of The Airborne Toxic Event's concert at the El Rey, August 7, 2008 (Full show)]
* [ Popmatters]
* [ Spin]
* [ Music Vice]
* [ MySpace TV]
* [ Last Call With Carson Daly]
* [ Thursdays in January (A Documentary Short)]
* [ Impose Magazine ]
* [ Campus Circle]
* [ OurChart]
* [ The Deli LA]
* [ LA2DAY ]
* [ Prefix]
* [ Prefix]
* [ Webinfront]
* [ Between Love & Like
* [,0,2682611.story Airborne Toxic Event and the tale of beauty and the bleak -- L.A. Times]
* [ Rehearsal Space: The Airborne Toxic Event]

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