Some may wonder how my lusting admiration of Mr. Jollett started and worked it’s way into the monster it is today. (You obviously don’t work with me because I drone on and on about it on a daily basis.) With any great crush, there is a building of the process. It didn’t involve Mikel walking in slow motion down the street with his short locks blowing in the wind, a dazzling smile across his face, and Dreamweaver playing in the background. Although I’m pretty sure this happens when he walks…Well, at least in my head he does. But I digress.
“Missy” was the first TATE song to grab my attention. There was something in the prose of how Mikel described her that was different. Was it the literary skill behind his lyrics? “Skin as thin as paper drapes.” That was the line. It was beyond descriptive. It was something to get me back on track in my own writing of putting a visual in someone’s head. The image of Missy with pale skin and an innocence of being from somewhere different was crystal clear because of that line. It didn’t matter if I was waaay off on the intention of the song. That line put an image of the girl in my head and that’s pretty powerful stuff for a writer.
Then I learned he was a writer. He wasn’t only a musician, which is pretty damn cool in my book, but an author; a published one who had a dream of writing a novel. At the time, I’d begun querying my first book and writing the second. Not only were we bonding over music, but he could understand how hard it was to go back to the writing process day in and day out. Even though he’d had success in his musical career, he still had to face some frustrations of finishing a novel and getting it published. You know, perfect fodder for that conversation over beers we are supposed to have. I wanted to know more about his style. When I searched out and read some of his articles, I liked them…a lot. The same imagery captured in the songs was worked into his stories. For example, in this article of a band review of Azure Ray, the first four paragraphs are about his junior high crush. Sure, that could be a little ego-centric to focus a review about your own experience. But the way he crafts the scene, describing the way he looked at the girl and felt about her, you easily understand what he’s telling you about the record. BTW, with each line I raised my hand with “I liked The Cure and The Smiths. I still do” hoping this would somehow find him in the universe and draw him closer. Then I thought about it a little more and realize I’m still in this Alterna-girl status and I’m twenty-five years older. This might revert back to yesterday’s thought about how sad it is when old people try to do young people stuff.
I find this article more interesting with a simple lyric from “Strange Girl” off the new album. Once again, a simple line replays in my head several times a day. “It was an old song from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me that she sang.” Is this the same girl from Junior High who loved The Cure? Is he paying tribute to the girl who made such an impression she’s worked her way into two pieces of his art? I have no idea, but the line does tell me about the girl. She’s somewhere in the world of the Alterna-girl status because this song lyric defines her.
These are the small details which have drawn me to my obsession appreciation of Mikel. With few words, he creates an image of a character who sticks with the reader or listener. For a person in the depths of trying to make this connection on a nightly basis through my own work, it’s quite an attractive quality. In combination with music I enjoy it’s pretty much a done deal. How could I do anything else besides love him?
Oh, and did I mention I think he’s smokin’ hot? Of course not, because I’m not shallow. Alterna-girls never are.