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Airborne Toxic Event

Formed by novelist Mikel Jollett during a tumultuous period in his life, the Airborne Toxic Event (named after a section in American author Don DeLillo's novel White Noise) combine literate indie rock with real literary cred. Formed in 2006, the group initially took shape as a Los Angeles-based duo, with Jollett and drummer Daren Taylor serving as the only members. A roster expansion was eventually needed; as a result, classically trained violinist Anna Bulbrook was brought in to play viola and keyboards, jazz bassist Noah Harmon joined up, and the empty guitar slot was filled by Steven Chen. The band's first show as the Airborne Toxic Event took place in fall of 2006, and was followed by a regional rise to stardom, attracting offers from indie labels and accolades from magazines like Rolling Stone.

Riding the wave of industry buzz, the Event released their first EP and accompanying single (both titled Does This Mean You're Moving On?) in 2007, which only helped to heighten the band's standing in the indie scene. They signed with Majordomo Records in 2008 and released their self-titled first album, The Airborne Toxic Event, later that year. "Sometime Around Midnight" became a Top Ten modern rock hit, prompting Island Records to sign the band in early 2009. Two years later, the Airborne Toxic Event — now signed to the same label as one of their major influences, U2 — issued their sophomore release, All at Once. A third album, Such Hot Blood, arrived on the label in 2013; the album peaked at 27 on the Billboard 200. During 2014, the Event replaced bassist Noah Harmon with Adrian Rodriguez and jumped from Island Records to Epic. Their first album for Epic, Dope Machines, saw release in February 2015.


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.
During a one-week period in March 2006 while working on a novel, Jollett learned that his mother was diagnosed with cancer, and he also 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.
The band takes its name from the postmodern novel White Noise, by Don DeLillo, 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.
In December 2006, Rolling Stone named them one of the “Top 25 Bands on MySpace.” They went on to receive positive responses from music blogs and press, notably L.A. Weekly and Los Angeles Times, which named the group one of the top three L.A. bands to watch in 2008.
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 987FM all officially added the as-yet-unsigned band’s song “Sometime Around Midnight” to regular rotation.
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.



Sometime Around Midnight

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