The Airborne Toxic Dictionary: Top 5 Mikelisms

Posted: June 24, 2014 in 5's
Tags: , , ,
Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event. Photo by TATE fan Ryan Macchione.

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event. Photo by TATE fan Ryan Macchione.

By Jamie

I remember seeing The Airborne Toxic Event last September and laughing as Mikel, after lamenting about the lack of bass solos in rock music, added an addendum to that statement: there needs to be more drum solos as well. Yes, he used the word addendum. My friend and I exchanged a glance as if to say, “that’s so Mikel!” Who else could get away with that and still be so cool?? We were certainly amused, but not at all not surprised at his choice of words.

Most TATE fans have probably come to expect this of Mikel… his literary background shining through. I would venture to say some fans might argue the only thing more beautiful than Mikel’s blue eyes are his choice of beautiful words (or maybe his smile… but that’s enough fangirling for one post).

In general, I don’t expect my favorite rock stars to be intelligent and well spoken, but Mikel is, and that’s one of the many things that endears him to me. When was the last time you turned on the radio, went to a rock show or read an interview and anticipated your knowledge of the English language being challenged?

I’m not too ashamed to admit his interviews have left me searching through my dictionary (or google) at least once. Ok, twice. Even when I do understand the words (which I’m pleased to say is more often than not), they sometimes catch me off guard. We’ve jokingly dubbed Mikel’s unexpected use of the English language “Mikelisms.”

Here for your enjoyment and reference are a collection of our favorites.

1. Mescaline

ˈmes-kə-lən, -ˌlēn \ noun:
An alkaloid drug obtained from mescal buttons from the peyote cactus, which produces hallucinations.

Used in a song: “Wishing Well”

And the walls spin
And you’re paper thin
From the haze of the smoke
And the mescaline

2. Coquette

koh-ket \ noun:
a woman who flirts lightheartedly with men to win their admiration and affection; flirt.

Used in a song: “Does This Mean You’re Moving On?”

So I think I’ll see my coquette
And hope you don’t catch
The bourbon on my breath
My breath, my breath

3. Simulacrum

sim•u•la•crum \ ˌsim-yə-ˈla-krəm, -ˈlā- \ noun [plural sim•u•la•cra]:
a slight, unreal, or superficial likeness or semblance.

Used during an interview:

It’s a snowball thing. If one person writes about you, someone else does. It’s almost like that idea from [the novel] White Noise that you’re not writing about the initial entity but you’re writing about the phenomenon and then you’re writing about the phenomenon of the phenomenon. It becomes the simulacra of a simulacra.

4. Accoutrement

ac•cou•tre•ment  \ ə-ˈkü-trə-mənt \ noun:
an accessory item of clothing or equipment —usually used in plural

Used in a song: “This is Nowhere”

And my closet’s filled with
All these endless accoutrements

5. Courtesan

cour•te•san \ ˈkȯr-tə-zən, -ˌzan \ noun:
a prostitute or escort with a courtly, wealthy, or upper-class clientele

Used in a song: “Missy”

I should be more deserving than
The beggar, thief, and courtesan I’ve been

Jamie: A Strange, Strange GirlJamie spends most of her days with her husband as they attempt to raise 4 future TATE fans and all around decent human beings. In her free time, when not obsessively listening to her favorite bands and going to concerts, she is also an aspiring seamstress. She writes about her handmade wardrobe on her blog Such a Strange Girl, and is a regular contributor to This Is Nowhere.

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Comments
  1. Susan S. says:

    What a great idea for a blog post, Jamie! I am especially drawn to “feral waves to your mind.” Feral waves, what a brilliant description.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bryan says:

    Such a great post. Natalie Merchant used courtesan in “Ophelia”. I always loved it as a lyric after that.

    Liked by 1 person

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