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BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (LOCAL ACT) Minneapolis 2005 - Mark Mallman

Saturday, September 4, through Monday, September 6, 2004 at the Turf Club

If a man performs one song for three days straight and the national media don't come, did it happen? Last year, Mark Mallman's round-the-clock labor of Labor Day Weekend love felt like an exploration of the meaning of significance. It was, first of all, a jolt of excitement for "those who were there": Working in shifts, some 60 musicians participated in backing Mallman for his 52.4-hour concert at the Turf Club, which allowed the impressario to leave the stage for bathroom breaks and make the switch from the basement Clown Lounge to the upstairs main stage without missing a beat from drummer Peter Anderson. The stunt had the immediate humor of an in-joke--Mallman's 628 pages of lyrics included such gems as "In the roar of the book fire/Where do you keep your dreams, desire"--but seemed to expand in memory afterward. Certain shows take on significance for their novelty, their spectacle, or the snapshot they end up forming of an era nobody knew was dropping out from under them. Mallman's "Marathon 2" did all three: Jazz guys and punks united onstage, Mallman unfurled a "Mission: Accomplished!" banner at the end, and it turned out to be the last great show in the now-dismantled Clown Lounge. If all this ends up being our local scene's secret in the history of rock 'n' roll, so much the sweeter.

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