The Mars Volta Portmanteau Game
A portmanteau is a linguistic blend of two or more different words to create a single new word. Plenty have entered the cultural lexicon, like “spork,” “turducken,” or “blaxploitation.” Portmanteaux have been used in song and album names for years, but few musicians have an obsession that rivals that of The Mars Volta.
The Mars Volta’s new record is fantastic, but it was the third (out of six) to feature a portmanteau in the title. They clearly enjoy coming up with these semantic combinations, especially ones that contain words with medical, religious, or scientific meaning, or evoke disturbing imagery. The album name, Noctourniquet, sounds like something that Weird Al would make up to parody the band. Their ridiculous wordplay also includes “Amputechture,” “Meccamputechture,” “Televators,” “Vedamalady,” “Dyslexicon,” “Molochwalker,” and “Comatorium” — and these are all just in the titles of the songs and albums.
This gave me the idea to come up with fake Mars Volta song titles for an all-portmanteau album. I’d like to open this up to the internet to come up with new, ridiculous, fictional Mars Volta tracks. If you need some ideas to get the ball rolling, see the word bank below. Bonus points for combining English and Spanish, which I am unable to do.
Here’s the track list for my fictional Mars Volta album, Deuteronomyanmarzipangea:
10. Bazaarcophagus, Part One: Deuteronomyanmar
11. Bazaarcophagus, Part Two: Marzipangea
Amoeba Communion Corrosive Aorta Psalms Cyst Paleozoic Moleskin Exoskeleton Serrated Neurons Lapel Gomorrah Subconscious Albatross Cuticle Epidemic Blasphemy Stereoscopy Saboteur Roulette Metallurgy Staphylococcus Babylon Holocene Tabla Zygote Sulfur Morgue Bedlam Tartan Vermin Asphyxiation Khartoum Tentacles Bludgeoned Omega Enzyme Androgyny Bathsheba Leech Hades Mnemonic Ephemera Septum Smoldering Bandage Abscess Hepzibah Vacancy Nephrolith Silhouette