Part 2 of a 70 part series where we evaluate an artist or group performing at this year’s Sasquatch Festival against meaningful to ridiculous criteria.

Today, we examine The Airborne Toxic Event.

This ominously name band are from Los Angeles and play indie rock garage pop Bruce Springsteen covers music. The band is lead by Mikel Jollett, who apparently has Alopecia, which tragically reminds me of Stan Sitwell from Arrested Development. This makes me an awful human being.

The Airborne Toxic Event play on Sunday (2nd day) at Sasquatch.

The band decided to augment the “standard rock line up” of guitar/bass/drums with (drum roll please) strings! Actually, this would be more awesome if the band pointed it out in their biography, but Wikipedia does, and Wikipedia is silly like that.

Wikipedia Controversy
Speaking of their Wikipedia entry, someone’s calling the band out on whether or not they count as “Indie Rock” as their label mates are Bon Jovi and Janet Jackson. Burn!

Pitchfork Controversy
Wikipedia also points out that Pitchfork raised the ire of the bands tens of fans after giving their debut self-titled album a 1.6 score out of 10. Choice quote:

In a way, The Airborne Toxic Event is something of a landmark record: This represents a tipping point where you almost wish Funeral or Turn on the Bright Lights or Is This It? never happened as long as it spared you from horrible imitations like this one, often sounding more inspired by market research than actual inspiration.


Thoughts on the Pitchfork Controversy
Pitchfork shitting on a band is almost a reason to check them out.

Actual Musical Ability
Honestly, the Pitchfork review is kinda right: this band sounds like the Springsteen, The Arcade Fire, Bright Eyes, and a bunch of other bands you’re intimately familiar with. But if the music isn’t terribly original, there’s nothing offensive about it. It’s just, well, average.

Sasquatchability: Check out if there’s nothing else better playing at the time.

Listen to more of their music or watch more videos at their MySpace page.

Photo Credit: Kristy Sparow