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The Airborne Toxic Event's Mikel Jollett Writes His Story In Words And Music

Mikel Jollett, Airborne Toxic Event
Dove Shore
Courtesy of the artist
Mikel Jollett, Airborne Toxic Event

Today we're sharing an incredible story that Mikel Jollett, the lead singer of The Airborne Toxic Event, has chronicled both in the written word and in song. Jollett had a pretty dramatic childhood: He was born into a cult called Synanon and had to go on the run with biological mother. Jollett wasn't able to reconnect with his biological father until he was 6. Just when he thought he had put his past behind him, Jollett found himself struggling with relationships in his 20s.

In his new memoir, Hollywood Park, Mikel shares his story. The accompanying album of the same name, titled after a real racetrack where he spent time with his dad, is a companion piece that echoes key parts of the book. And throughout the whole project, there are moments of humor and light, like how he got to the happy ending of his life now.

On this session recorded just a few weeks ago, I'll talk with Mikel about all that. You'll also get to hear special acoustic versions of these new songs recorded solo for World Cafe. Let's get started with "Come on Out." Listen in the player above.

Copyright 2020 XPN

World Cafe senior producer Kimberly Junod has been a part of the World Cafe team since 2001, when she started as the show's first line producer. In 2011 Kimberly launched (and continues to helm) World Cafe's Sense of Place series that includes social media, broadcast and video elements to take listeners across the U.S. and abroad with an intimate look at local music scenes. She was thrilled to be part of the team that received the 2006 ASCAP Deems Taylor Radio Broadcast Award for excellence in music programming. In the time she has spent at World Cafe, Kimberly has produced and edited thousands of interviews and recorded several hundred bands for the program, as well as supervised the show's production staff. She has also taught sound to young women (at Girl's Rock Philly) and adults (as an "Ask an Engineer" at WYNC's Werk It! Women's Podcast Festival).