The Airplanes
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The Airplanes


Band Rock Americana


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"Burned by the Sun"; performed by Beulah on The Coast is Never Clear and featured on the Soundtrack for "Paper Man"



Members of San Francisco band Beulah, the westernmost limb of the Elephant Six collective, built The Airplanes as a side project to satisfy a selfish need for less structure and more simplicity. The band (Pat Noel, Steve St.Cin and Bill Evans) prided itself on playing more shows than practices. At one time, the ratio was five to two. It showed. They had fun.

While Beulah toured nationally and internationally with the likes of Wilco, CAKE and Guided By Voices, playing for thousands of devotees, The Airplanes played Oakland dives and coffee shops drawing glares from people who just wanted to eat their cake. Their efforts did not go completely unnoticed. A San Francisco music critic generously compared the band to Neil Young circa Tonight’s the Night . . . high praise from a drunk. The group recorded one song, “Burned by the Sun,” which was released on a compilation of Bay Area bands called Horseshoes and Barbecues and Beulah eventually re-recorded the tune for The Coast is Never Clear. “Burned by the Sun” also appeared in the movie "Paper Man" starring Jeff Daniels and Emma Stone.

Pat added to his writing credits with two more strong songs, “Battle Cry of the West,” and “Fooled with the Wrong Guy,” and wrote a couple more with close friend and pop genius, Miles Kurosky, including “Hovering,” and “Don’t Forget to Breathe,” for the band’s final album, Yoko. The Airplanes first album would have to wait…and wait…and wait.

While the descent of Beulah was well documented in the 2005 documentary film, A Good Band is Easy to Kill, The Airplanes ascent was not. Pat Noel recorded songs under the moniker of Black Girls, Steve moved to Chico, and Bill disengaged.

Fast forward to late 2011, when The Airplanes re-assembled in Chico, adding 24 Satellites songwriter Dusty Evans, Anna Noel and guitarist Greg Johnson. 2012 was a busy year of recording the upcoming album, Separation, rehearsing and playing warm-up shows throughout Northern California with the likes of Leopold and His Fiction, Carlos Forster, and Mike Coykendall, among others.