Music Scene: The Airborne Toxic Event, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
By Matthew Godbey Special to The Post and Courier – Wednesday, September 4, 2013
The Airborne Toxic Event
Formed in 2006 by fiction writer and freelance essayist Mikel Jollett in Los Angeles, The Airborne Toxic Event was more of a cathartic experiment during troubled personal times than an all-or-nothing rock ’n’ roll gamble.
What followed, however, was nearly unheard of in the merciless, crowded music business.
One month after its creation, the quintet performed its first show in Echo Park (Los Angeles) in October, opening the door to a slot at the CMJ Music Marathon that November. By December, The Airborne Toxic Event was among Rolling Stone’s Top 25 Bands on MySpace.
One year later and still unsigned, the band’s single “Sometime Around Midnight” landed on regular radio rotation throughout the West Coast, as well as in Boston and Providence, R.I.
The group released its symphonic, self-titled rock debut in 2008 to glowing reviews from publications such as the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Newsweek and the Boston Herald, setting out to perform at festivals like T in the Park, Lollapalooza, the Reading and Leeds festivals, Coachella and others in support of the album.
The band’s 2011 sophomore effort, “All at Once,” climbed to the No. 17 spot on the Billboard charts, while its most recent release, this year’s “Such Hot Blood,” peaked at No. 27.
The Airborne Toxic Event will perform Thursday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St. Tickets are $20 and are available online at Ticketfly.com or at the door. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show starting at 9 p.m.
For more information, go to www.musicfarm.com.
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
You hear it in a band like this, the sturdy, tight precision that still manages to sway with the rhythm of whatever moment in which it finds itself.
It’s a thing, a coolness, a swagger, if you will, that bands such as Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears only obtain after years spent crammed in a van, counting down mile markers and hours to the next few minutes of glory before packing up and enduring the countdown all over again.
Out there, a band finds itself, sharpens itself, and, if it survives the grind, defines itself. It’s from out there that Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears has come to tell you about, and with a razor’s sharpness that only such a place can forge.
The Texas-based blues-rock group formed in 2007 with Austin native Joe Lewis at the helm. Lewis’s determination to escape his life as a factory worker and pawnshop clerk drove the band to hit the road early, as Lewis considered getting out and playing live to be the best form of practice.
Hitting the road hard, the band developing a strong live show and quickly drew bigger and bigger crowds. Word eventually spread to the drummer and producer of fellow Austin band Spoon, Jim Eno. Eno decided to take the group under his wing, and brought the band on tour with Spoon and produced its 2009 Lost Highway debut, “Tell ’Em What Your Name Is.”
In just six years’ time, the band has managed to release three full-length albums, perform at such festivals as Bonnaroo, Coachella, Outside Lands and Sasquatch!, tour with the New York Dolls, and receive invites from famed television shows like “Late Show With David Letterman,” “Later With Jools Holland” and “Austin City Limits.”
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears will perform Monday at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, in support of its new album, “Electric Slave.” Also performing will be local Southern funk/rock favorites Weigh Station. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 the day of the show, and are available online at Etix.com or at the door. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.
Go to CharlestonPourHouse.com or call 571-4343 for more information.