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Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

Mark Mallman passed the halfway point of his Marathon 3 performance at 7 a.m. this morning, and isn't due to wrap up until 10 p.m. tomorrow night. We jogged alongside Mallman yesterday from 10 a.m. until about 3:30 a.m., and you can read our recap and see some incredible photos that span that entire time period by Erik Hess in our Day 2 live-blog.

We're back at it today, and will be providing reports of the Marathon as it winds through its third of four days at the Turf Club.

Previously:

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9

12:14 p.m. Tuned in to the live stream just in time to hear Mallman tell drummer Craig Grossman that he has his fingers taped up and that his voice has gotten lower since yesterday. "I went through a transformation last night," he says.

Once again I am plagued with sleep guilt, and am going to scan Twitter to see what we missed in the 8 hours since I left the Turf.

12:27 p.m. A few choice updates from Twitter:

chrisstrouth: slept for five hours, have no voice, but thats the glory of marathon. we are all transformed. back in at 1 #mmm3

PoisonArrowPR: Mark Mallman is weaving dreamy sounds this Saturday morning, as he enters hour 42 in his marathon of music.

sunspotwendy (Wendy Lynn Staats): Just went for a quick stroll outside with Mallman. Fresh air & sunshine can be remarkably revitalizing! #MMM3

HarMarSuperstar: Watching @markmallman get massaged while simulating a space mission. Starting to get really crazy. Hour 36 is coming. Crazy. #mmm3


12:32 p.m. Today is officially Mark Mallman Day in St. Paul! The mayor will be declaring it later today at the marathon.

12:42 p.m. Mallman is riffing on "You're Never Alone in New York," but replacing the lyrics with "Do you like it, do you like it, my wedding band... mm.... marathon."

12:51 p.m. It looked like Mallman was hanging on by a thread when I first tuned in, yawning and rubbing his eyes, but the band seems to be energizing him now. Can't say he's making a ton of sense right now, however. "That's good advice for everyone here: Remember you have a wife... If you do have a wife."

Phil Redmon and Mallman
Phil Redmon and Mallman
Photos by Erik Hess

Photos by Erik Hess
Phil Redmon and Mallman
Craig Grossman
Craig Grossman
Photo by Erik Hess

Photo by Erik Hess
Craig Grossman
Nicole Godiva (of Waxx Maxx) with Mallman
Nicole Godiva (of Waxx Maxx) with Mallman
Photo by Erik Hess

Photo by Erik Hess
Nicole Godiva (of Waxx Maxx) with Mallman

12:58 p.m. Mallman is going around asking each band member to name something that's important to remember, and then getting down on one knee and singing a chorus to them about it. "Remember, remember your wife." "Remember, remember kittens." "Remember, remember peace and love." "Remember, remember garbage day." This hook is pretty catchy, actually.

1:14 p.m.
The new lineup is plodding along, and Mallman is riffing on the "Blood Flow" theme again. "The night wasn't easy, I stumbled through it," he sings.

Dustin O'Harver
Dustin O'Harver
Photo by Erik Hess

Photo by Erik Hess
Dustin O'Harver
Dustin O'Harver
Dustin O'Harver
Photo by Erik Hess

Photo by Erik Hess
Dustin O'Harver
Mallman grabs a refreshment
Mallman grabs a refreshment
Photo by Erik Hess

Photo by Erik Hess
Mallman grabs a refreshment
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Photo by Erik Hess

Photo by Erik Hess
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Photo by Erik Hess

Photo by Erik Hess

1:53 p.m. "Is anybody willing to take my place in marathon? Because I want to leave with these dudes. They're on their way to stardom." The current configuration has kept the same steady pace for almost an hour now while Mallman blips away on his smaller keyboard, which is strapped to his shoulder.

1:55 p.m. "Do you know why I sit on a pillow?" Mallman asks guitarist Dustin O'Harver.

"So your ass doesn't hurt?" Dustin says.

"No, no young one," Mallman says. "You know how when you go on a long car ride, and you sit on a pillow? The pillow draws all the sleep out of your head, and pulls the sleep out of your bottom. So when you get out of the car, you're ass will be all fuzzy and asleep, but your head will be awake!"

2:04 p.m. Changeover time. Mallman meets his new staff, including a woman who calls herself "Jenny Case on the bass."

We have a new guest blogger filling in for the afternoon, local memoirist and blogger Erica Rivera. (Disclaimer: Erica is part of the Minneapolis street team for the band Pictures of Then, who happened to perform today during her live-blogging stint.) Thanks to Erica and Erik for helping me run this relay-race of Marathon coverage from start to finish!

=========================

Special guest blogger Erica Rivera

2:25 p.m.  The mood is mellow but the bass is thumping in the Turf Club this afternoon.  A lot of Twin Citians have sacrificed an 80-degree afternoon to join Mallman on his jouney. 

The current theme is "repeat" and the tunes are freakishly reminiscent of something I heard at Chuck E. Cheese as a child or at the culmination of a video game.

"The less sleep I get, the more my words mix," Mallman says.  "But I know what this is.  This is this...Let me tell you something my friends.  I'm sorry for what I've done." 

2:35 p.m.  "Do not start a keyboard war, whatever you do," Mallman warns keyboard player James Tyler O'Neill.  O'Neill obeys and sips his drink while Mallman pounds away.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

 

2:46 p.m.  Erik Hess and I are bopping along to the beat in the back booth.  The "Blood Flow" title of this portion of the marathon seems especially apt right now.  The musicians onstage are a collective heart, pumping life into Mallman's mission.  It's a shame I can't boogie and blog at the same time, because this is sweet dancing music!

 

2:59 p.m.  A blonde toddler is playing peek-a-boo over the booth as Mallman winds down the current set--by amping up the volume.  It's pure funk. 

"My brain is split in two.  I feel like just ending it," Mallman says.  "But this is a carnal calling.  The wild, wild, heat and the blood...the lust, the lust in my fingertips...Ecstasy.  Ecstasy.  Ecstasy."

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

3:05 p.m.  Joe Spencer, the arts director for the City of St. Paul, is in the house with a proclamation.  Spencer joins Mallman onstage and reads a framed document verbatim.  It includes the statement "Whereas Mark Mallman is totally AWESOME."  (Yes, it's written in all caps on the official document.)

A roar of applause echoes through the room when Thursday, October 7th to Sunday, October 10th are declared Mark Mallman Days in the City of St. Paul.

"I don't feel like I should accept this, but I will," Mallman says humbly.  "I was just gonna quit!  Now I have to keep on rocking."

3:23 p.m.  The last changeover made me nervous.  Call it experimental...or just noisy.  Mallman transitioned from his "Newspaper Man" refrain to a ditty about the pizza man to the Fed Ex man to a roundabout narrative about a Whatchamacallit candy bar.  Guitarist Terry Eason to the rescue!  Along with Justin Smith on bass and Melvin III on drums, the tunes are back on track.  These dudes can jam!  As for Mallman?  Still on the food theme. 

"I'm going to quote Jimi Hendrix," he says, apropos of nothing.  "I'm going to eat a salad." 

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

3:46 p.m.  Ian Rans of Drinking with Ian fame joins Mallman onstage.

"What's the longest you've stayed awake?" Mallman asks him when Ian finishes chewing whatever edible he's stolen from Mallman's table. 

"Twenty-six hours," Ian says.

"And were you playing an instrument?"

"I played bass very poorly."

"Have you ever...um..."  Mallman sighs.  "I don't know.  I just wanted to bring you up here." 

4 p.m.  We've hit the 48-hour mark!  The crowd, which has grown considerably in the last hour, cheers "Mallman!  Mallman!  Mallman!"  Familiar faces from the Twin Cities music scene abound, including Sean Tillman (Har Mar Superstar) and frontman Ryan McNally from Speed's The Name.

4:11 p.m.  Casey Call, Joe Gamble, David LeDuc, and Joe Call, also known as Indie rock band Pictures of Then, take the stage.  After a chorus or two about corn fields, Mallman turns to the boys, who are wailing away on their instruments, and waxes poetic about a giant pickle. Coincidence?  I think not. 

LeDuc doesn't either. 

"What are you trying to say with that?" LeDuc asks Mallman as he leans into the mic.  Mallman mutters something about a baseball metaphor, then returns to the safer route of barking out chords.  Pictures of Then are, per Erik Hess, "tearing it up!" 

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

 

4:22 p.m.  "Do a solo," Mallman instructs Pictures of Then.  " 'Cause I've got to do a solo."  Mallman couldn't have picked a better set in which to take a bathroom break.  These guys can hold down a stage like nobody's business. 

When Mallman returns, it's face-melting time.  Joe Gamble pulls out all the stops on his guitar; how the strings stay in-tact with his fierce strumming, I don't know.  The crowd is hooting, hollering, and whistling.  The jam builds, ebbs, and builds again.  The blood is really thumping now.  To describe the tunes as "aggressive" would be an understatement.

4:31 p.m.  Mallman is devouring the energy from Pictures of Then.  He's back on his feet--make that on top of his chair, screaming into the mic.  It's like he's just woken up from the trance of the last few hours. 

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

4:48 p.m.  Suddenly Mallman shifts into role play mode.  He's interviewing David LeDuc about an imaginary newspaper job.  LeDuc goes along with the skit as well as he can but it's obvious he really wants to get back to what he does best:  rocking the roof off.  When Pictures of Then gets back to business ...well, there are no words.  At least not ones I'm allowed to use on this blog.  It's all I can do not to jump up on the bar and whip off at least one article of clothing.

5:05 p.m.  Hello, cello!  Dan Zamzow introduces a new instrument to the Saturday lineup.  Visually, it looks out of place; aurally, it blends seamlessly into the music. 

"And now, a man who needs no introduction," Mallman announces, turning to guitarist Kermit Carter.  After a pause (intentional or not, I can't tell), Mallman says "Tell me your name again?"   

5:33 p.m.  Until today, I eschewed ear plugs.  After only two-and-a-half hours of Mallman's marathon, I'm seriously considering running over to CVS to buy a pair.  Then again, I wouldn't want to risk missing a moment of music making history while in line at the drug store.  If I go deaf before dinnertime tonight, I blame aforementioned Carter and Zamzow, Adam Harness (on drums) and Joe Holland (bass). 

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

 

5:54 p.m.  If you haven't experienced the marathon up-close-and-personal yet, it's time to get down to the Turf. Mallman is riding along on his second wind at breakneck speed, enthusiastic dancers have flocked toward the stage, and the guitars keep getting louder and louder.  The latest set ended with Mallman's impromptu rendition of "the captain", gyrating pelvis and all.  It's only going to get wilder from here on out...

 

6:19 p.m.  "I'm all right," Mallman reassures guitarist Eric Kassel in a chorus that focuses on transformation.  The transformation over the course of the last four hours is mind boggling.  Before my eyes, Mallman has morphed from weary traveler to fearless warrior.  There's no looking back now; the hardest part of this epic experiment is over and there's no doubt that he's going to finish this marathon stronger than he started. 

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

 

6:53 p.m.  After hitting a fever pitch, Mallman asks Kassel, bassist Matt Johnson and drummer Wendy Lynn Staats to slow down the tempo.  Half-singing, half-speaking, Mallman lays the gratitude--to his creative muses, his attentive audience, and his talented musicians--on thick.  Between bites of a Pink Lady, Mallman croons about hope, peace, and defeating fear. 

The mood has shifted, turning more introspective as the sun goes down outside.  I'm ready for a change of pace as well.  As jaw-dropping as this afternoon has been, my eyes and ears are aching for a break.  Tremendous thanks to Andrea Swensson for letting me man the blog this afternoon.  Rock on, Mallman!  I'll see you at the finish line!

=========================

Special guest blogger Erik Hess

7:18 p.m. Hi! I'll be taking over live blogging duties for awhile! With everything else going on tonight I'm happy to see a decent crowd gathered here at the Turf to watch Mallman pull through the second third of his 78-hour marathon. Very soon we'll move from the "Blood Flow" to the "Liquid Moth" phase - the third and final phase - and the light at the end of the tunnel will grow brighter.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

7:22 p.m. Got a chance to talk to Wendy (from Sunspot), who just wrapped up a set on-stage with Mallman and spent the previous drumming off and on with him overnight. She said that the experience was "surreal" and incredibly enjoyable, with Mallman including her rhythms at various times during his extended ambient/electronic ebbs and flows. She mentioned that around 7 a.m. was probably the toughest time for Mallman to get through but that he soldiered on. Look for her on the live feed drumming tonight - along with Sean Hoffman - for what will be another surreal trip into the electronic unknown.

7:34 p.m. This hour's lineup is bringing a hard-driving rock to the stage that hasn't been seen for quite awhile, if at all yet. The rhythm section of Tony Zaccardi on bass and Chachi Darin on drums is simply destroying it while Daniel Zamzow and Dave Feirn absolutely shred on their cello and guitar respectively. Mallman grabed his synth and shook it, pointing it toward Feirn, while blasting a random beat - totally appropriate in the context of the massive crescendo they've created. Incredible.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

8:00 p.m. "Last time I broke a sweat was the last time I shoplifted! That's not true... I never shoplifted... Don't want to send the wrong message..." With that, and a quick banner change by the crew, we've entered the "Liquid Moth" phase - the third and final phase of Mallman's 78-hour masterpiece. The 56th (!) band changeover goes over smoothy with Chris Hill (of Mercurial Rage), Brock Specht, Michael Grey and Mark Schwandt taking the stage to kick off "Liquid Moth".

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

8:03 p.m. "LeFreak, do you remember Marathon 2? I remember Marathon 2 and thinkin', OH that's such a big deal, such a big rock show. This one that I just finished right now, that would've been Marathon 2." [applause] "So fuckin' what... I feel fine, I feel great. My pants are tight!" [more applause] "I love you LeFreak, I love you... Rock and roll baby." And the show goes on. And on. And on.

 

8:21 p.m. Mallman's monologues are getting stranger and more awesome with every passing hour of the marathon. A small, tiny snippet of the words of a sleep-starved, almost shamanistic Mallman:

"Somebody said to my father, 'The only way someone could stay awake that long is cocaine.' I was talking to Felix last night, the bartender, I was jumping around so crazy, he said everyone thinks you're on cocaine... And that gets me really mad! 'Cause I had one Rock Star this whole time, actually it was a Monster. A small one! From the bar over there. One energy drink this whole time and one cup of coffee, you know? Healthy food... It's not the rock and roll archetype... But they usually die at 27, you know? Anyways..." [drinks some water] "You do what you want with your life, I'm not gonna judge anyone for what they do, but music is my thing man. Everybody that knows me intimately knows that the music, the music makes me crazy - it gives me energy, it's the sounds. Rock and roll! And polka music too. I love polka music..."

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

8:46 p.m. Just had a brief chat with Steve Pampuch, CFO of Implex. They're the maestros responsible for the incredible streaming video tech powering the live stream. He gave me a few fascinating stats about their setup, check it.

  • Since the Turf's DSL is too spotty for high-bandwidth video, they set up a point-to-point microwave link to assure stability.
  • With an average of 200+ people watching and peaks of 1000+, they've had a steady number of viewers for the live stream.
  • The streaming site (m3.implex.net) is seeing thousands and thousands of hits a day. He didn't have the numbers off the top of his head but estimated 3,000-4,000 a day thus far.
  • Visitors to the live stream have hailed from 30 different nations - including one from Qatar - and from every state in the US with the exception of Rhode Island and Hawaii.

=====================

Back to Andrea -- Thanks Erica and Erik!

9:07 p.m. Just pulled up to the Turf to find a pair of police officers hanging out in the back. Not sure why they were here, but they stood and watched the show for a while and looked amused.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

9:10 p.m. Joe Werner (First Communion Afterparty/StrangeLights) is building up a wall of shimmering guitar feedback and Christian Erickson (Blue Sky Blackout) is adding even more layers with a laptop, and it's getting reeeal psychedelic in here. The disco ball is out in full force.

9:51 p.m. This past hour has had the most continuity of any of the sets I've witnessed in person so far. The entire section played out like one long, building song, and Mallman launched in with a Devo-like, melodic hook that seemed to catchy to have been pulled out of thin air. After a solid 15-minute jam, Mallman started circling around a main lyrical theme, "All of my dreams are dead."

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

9:54 p.m. After returning from a bathroom break, Mallman asks to have the stage lights turned up for added energy. He looks around, groggy. "You look great!" he tells bassist Jon Hunt (also of Blue Sky Blackout).

10:00 p.m. "I almost lost it for a moment there, but this band pulled me through. This has been the darkest part of the marathon yet, but there will be darker moments to come. There will be Demons that only I witness, out of the corner of my eye." Mallman breaks from his serious tone and starts pointing to the band. "Demons worse than Joe Werner! Demons worse than Jon Hunt!"

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

10:04 p.m. Oh my god. There is rock flute happening. [And it is good. --Erik]

10:13 p.m. "This is the most shambolic I've seen him this whole time," Erik Hess says. I agree. Mark is jerking himself around the stage, making guttural noises along with the music as the flautist stands on one foot, kicks his other leg in the air, and solos relentlessly.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

Mallman tells the story of how he met this flautist, sort of: "I met this man in the year 1943 in Mexico. He was just wandering around with a spike in his long coat. I walked up to him and I said hey man, what's the scene, baby? And I said, yeah, I like tequila too. So we walked down to Tijuana and I got two tequilas and I said hey! I think you and me could work together."

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

Meanwhile Jacque Waits (Pink Mink, Twilight Hours) is wailing away on guitar. He's using fewer effects pedals than Werner was in the previous hour but creating just as much mayhem.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

10:21 p.m. Mallman is whipping his head back and forth, trying to keep up with the dueling sounds whipping past him as Jacque Waits and the mystery flautist sound off. I have no idea how they are going to keep up this momentum for the next 40 minutes.

 


10:36 p.m.
A smoke machine starts sputtering away as the band dives head first into a prog freakout. Jacque just finished an incredible guitar solo and the flute hasn't let up this entire time. Now there are GREEN LASERS. YES. The lights have been dimmed on stage. Feels like a Rush concert up in here. This is another incredible insta-band, fleshed out by Ollie from Gospel Gossip on drums and Heath Henjum from the Hopefuls on bass.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

10:40 p.m. David de Young just got his mind blown. "It feels like walking into a nightmare... But like someone else's nightmare," he said, laughing.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

10:57 p.m.  This has been a truly outrageous hour of performance. The fog machine is flowing, the lasers are in full force, and Mallman is perched atop his keyboard, stunned. I've never seen a flautist play so long and so hard, and he's still going!

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

11:25 p.m. Zombies are descending on the Turf Club, fresh from the Zombie Pub Crawl on the other side of the river. Meanwhile, members of the Honeydogs (Adam Levy, Peter Anderson) and Melismatics (Pony Hixon-Smith and Ryan Smith), plus Waxx MaxxCLAPS keyboardist Sara Abdelaal are in the midst of yet another mega-jam. I still can't believe Mallman is able to keep up with so many sets speeding by at this momentum.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

11:27 p.m. Mallman has kept his vocal parts pretty sparse for the past couple of hours, and now he's relenquishing the mic completely to writer and musician Paul D. Dickenson, who is somberly reading lines of poetry over the swirling noise.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

11:33 p.m. Mallman is already back on the mic and scatting along to the music, riffing on the "newspaper man" theme that keeps popping back up throughout the performance.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3


12:07 a.m. New band time! Mallman is pushing through and introducing the band, despite the fact that his voice is noticeably hoarse. Special guest Chuck Prophet is on stage now, and Mallman is thrilled that he flew in to perform at the marathon. Also on stage is Abdelaal, JT Bates, and Mike Geronsin.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3


12:12 a.m. Mallman is giving off a sort of Weekend at Bernies vibe, flailing his arms around in limp circles and otherwise looking like a stunned ragdoll.

12:22 a.m. The lasers are turned off, the fog has cleared, and we're back to some gool ol' fashioned blues music, with Prophet taking the lead. Compared to the previous two hours it seems a little tame, but take it out of context and it's a damn fine set.

12:26 a.m. Mallman is singing a melody for the first time in hours, and though he sounds ragged, his voice is surprisingly on-pitch. He's pushing himself so hard right now. I can't imagine what the cool-down period is going to be like tonight when everyone clears out of the bar, it's been hours since he's had any kind of mellow moment.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

12:31 a.m. After taking a few bites of salad out of a plastic container, Mallman scoffs and picks up his mic.

"Why didn't anybody tell me my fly was down, man? My fly was totally down," he says. A few moments later, he staggers over toward Prophet. "I quit Marathon, I quit! I can't do it, Chuck. I'm choking on some chicken from this salad. I can't, I can't."

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

"You can do it," Prophet says.

"Ok, I can do it," Mallman says, without hesitation. "I was so close, holy crap. I don't know what came over me man. I was surrounded by darkness, I was choking on this piece of chicken, you know, and I thought, I don't want to go this way, with my fly down, a piece of chicken stuck in my throat. I don't even know what some of these buttons are [on his denim jacket] or what they represent. Heartbreaker. I don't know. Is that a band? I'm not ready to die, I'm not ready to go, so don't you worry. Listen, I've got plans in store. I'll tell you about it tomorrow! But it's bigger than "Marathon 4." 2015. Mark it on your calendars."

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

1:04 a.m. Spent the last half hour or so wandering the room, taking in the show from all different angles. Most people in the crowd are just standing and staring, shaking their heads. Jam after jam, he just keeps going.

He just laughed manically into the microphone. I am convinced he knows something about how this all works that no one else will ever know.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

1:28 a.m. Saxophonist Paul Daugherty just hopped on stage and the band is cranking the swampy blues vibe. All the band members are whispering in each other's ears... Time to bring it home for the finale, at least as far as the bar-going populace is concerned.

1:30 a.m. Wow. Mallman is back on vocal melodies and singing his heart out, returning to a lyrical passage we've heard several times throughout the marathon. "Who is the man, you ask? Who is the man, you ask? Tell me, what is your name? I am the center of the hurricane, moving traffic down the freeway... You're nothing but a shadow in the valley of a giant blood wave..." Between each phrase, the band explodes into a cacophony of noise, and then pulls back again to let Mallman sing.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

1:47 a.m. Mallman: "While you are sleeping, I will be marathoning. I will not let you down. I am not a freak show! I am not a monkey in a cage! I am a man who set out to do what he wanted to do, no matter how freaky it seems. I just do what I do, and do it well... Sometimes I do it for you, sometimes I do it for me. I don't know which one it's ever gonna be."

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3
Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

2:30 a.m. The crowd has cleared out, and all of the musicians left over are hanging out downstairs in the green room, trying to figure out who will play the overnight shift. Chuck Prophet is telling us about how he got involved in the marathon. "I went on tour with Mallman back in 2004, 2005, and he told me about this crazy marathon. I told him, the next time you do that, I have to come."

3:10 a.m. Mallman just came downstairs to talk to us for a moment. I asked him how he was doing. "I can really feel the effects of sleep deprivation," he said. "My spatial relations are off. I look at a mop, I think it's a broom. I look at nuts, I think they're bugs. It's weird... But at a certain point, I just have to admit that I'm tired. I stopped fighting sleep, and I just got used to being tired."

All things considered, he says he's having a great time. "Tonight was so much fun. All of a sudden there were lasers and a flute, I love it. Tomorrow is going to be a blast."

4:15 a.m. Head back upstairs to see how things are going, and Mallman motions for me to come on stage and sit next to him. His fingers are wrapped in tattered, blackened bandages, and he tears of a small piece of tape and attaches it to one of the keys on his keyboard to keep the "C" key permanently impressed so he can rest.

Crux (a.k.a. Brent) from Freeky Deeky is doing most of the heavy lifting musically right now, tweaking levels and turning knobs on a mixing board while Mallman takes a breather and slowly devours a giant chicken salad sandwich.

Mallman's spirits are high and he is remarkably lucid. He is aware of his sleep deprivation, so when his mind slips for a moment (thinking there is a cat underneath his keyboard, for example) he just mentions it and moves on, taking it in stride.

If anything is perplexing him now, it's that there haven't been bigger crowds at the marathon so far. Even at its fullest, the Turf hasn't neared selling out, but a steady number of people have flowed in and out of the club during its operating hours. Mallman says he's trying to remember that there are hundreds of people watching online at any given time, but that it doesn't give him the same motivation as a room full of people feeding him physical energy.

Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

I reassure Mallman that people have been watching and paying attention, both in the club and especially online, and that Twitter has been alive with an outpouring of support. He seems comforted by this. We also talk about how tomorrow will be the biggest day of the marathon, and he is hoping that the club is packed with people cheering him on as he enters the home stretch.

He says that he can't wait to revisit the recordings of the performance, and that he plans to funnel the video and audio feeds into a live DVD, a documentary, and a selection of live recordings. He laughs that the documentary might not be that interesting "because nothing bad has happened." He says he also plans on converting some of the segments of the marathon into short pop songs for future albums.

"The whole process for distribution has changed," he remarks. "I've been thinking, for the next tour, that we could live-cast everything. They can put little cameras in your glasses now, little microphones in your glasses, and broadcast everything from my perspective." He wanders off on a tangent about the perils of live-casting, worrying about the effect it might have on fans whose employers could find videos of them drinking and partying at bars. Mallman is incredibly invested in his fans.

Mallman tinkers on the keyboard, adding the occasional riff to Crux's electronic meanderings between bites of his sandwich.

JT Bates walks up to the stage and asks Mallman how he thinks the night went. "Great," Mallman says. "I feel great. I wish I could do this every night in front of thousands of people!" He pauses, reflecting. "I wonder how this will effect my next tour... I don't want to play for 30 people in Omaha anymore." He laughs. "I want to play for 100 people in Omaha."

While we talk, his Waxx Maxx bandmate Nicole brings him food and massages his back. She is clearly a source of comfort for Mallman, and tells me that he spent "every waking hour of the past two months" preparing for the marathon and writing lyrics.

Nicole says it's time for him to brush his teeth, so he makes his way backstage as Crux keeps the mellow dance beat bumping upstairs.

Keep going, Mark. The whole city's rooting for you, whether you know it or not.

5:33 a.m. We're about two and a half hours in to a very chill, laid-back electronic improv session with Crux, Mallman, and Mallman's jogging partner, a guitar player who calls himself "Dirty." The mood is relaxed, and everyone left in the room is focused on pushing through until the morning.


Mark Mallman Marathon 3 live blog, day 3

5:55 a.m. It seems like Mallman has been eating ever since the doors closed. Like any marathoner, he needs fuel, and has kept up a steady diet of everything from sandwiches to fruit, salads, nuts, hot tea, and kombucha.

6:29 a.m. Fatigue is setting in once again for Mallman. After a couple of gigantic yawns, he is on his feet, doing some stretches with Nicole and taking huge gulps of ice water. He starts pacing around the stage, disoriented, and then comes down the steps to where I'm sitting at the bar and asks me if I said anything. I haven't spoken. He is clearly confused and out of it, and stumbles back to the bathroom as Crux keeps the music going on stage.

6:47 a.m. I'm wiped. I'm worried that my yawning might be visible from stage, so I'm calling it a night (morning?). We'll fire up the live blog again at noon. [Started blogging a bit early! Ended up staying all night. Check it: Day 4 live blog -Erik]





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