Airborne Toxic Event – Friday July 29th
I have a new favorite song. I wasn’t looking for it. It found me. I’m shocked, quite frankly, because it’s sort of a love song and lately I have been drawn to angry music. (Like, for example, Killing In The Name Of by Rage Against The Machine because I love the vehemence and rebellion when they sing: “now you do what they told ya.” I can listen to that and write any teenage angst scene I want. Or there is Awolnation’s song Sail. When I hear it, I ache to write.) But, as I said, this song is different—it’s called: Half of Something Else by Airborne Toxic Event
Here’s how it happened. Outside the Majestic Theatre in Detroit, the strains of music from the opening act, The Hounds Below, traveled to me through the nightclub-like atmosphere of the theatre. (The Hounds Below is a group fronted by Jason Stollsteimer, formerly of the band The Von Bondies.) I didn’t know it at the time, but this was Airborne Toxic Event’s first North American show debuting their sophomore album entitled: All AT Once.
When the Hounds Below broke and they changed the equipment for Airborne Toxic Event, I was able to get close to the stage. As Airborne emerged to deafening screams, they opened with their song, All I Ever Wanted. I was so close that I could see the sweat on the lead singer’s (Mikel Jollett) brow. (And by the way, I think that Mikel Jollett looks sort of like Jonathan Rhys Meyers—the Golden Globe winning actor who played King Henry the VIII in the series The Tutors. Jollett has a more masculine mouth than Meyers, but that’s just my opinion.) During the opening song, Ann Bulbrook touched her bow to the strings of her violin and the crowd went mental. By the time Jollett sang the last words, “love is denying,” the gravity in the room had shifted and the crowd was being pulled to the band in waves.
As the concert progressed, one thing became clear to me: Mikel Jollett is a poet. It was when he sang the lyrics to their song All For A Woman that I knew he is an eloquent storyteller, too. His lyrics are visceral and I found that I could visualize the scene he created—touch it—taste it. So when he sang: Half Of Something Else, it started off soft and sweet, but it kept building and building until I got goose bumps. Near the end of the performance, they did a compilation of cover songs. I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen floated into I Fought The Law by Sonny Curtis (or The Clash if you prefer), which melted into Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison…*sigh* Bruce Springsteen may have just been trumped on his own song—amazing.
So, yeah, I have a new song…or several. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a link to Airborne Toxic Event’s website: http://www.theairbornetoxicevent.com
You can check them out for yourselves. If only you could have been with us after the show for Lafayette Coney Island heavies and chili-cheese fries…maybe next time.
P.S. Airborne Toxic Event is going to be on the Muppets: Green Album performing “Wishing Song." I hear it’s Gonzo’s song. Has anyone figured out what Gonzo is yet? I guess it doesn’t matter. I still love that chicken-lovin’, crooked-nosed, blue-guy anyway.