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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Another Friday runaround - Halloween, Alaska and Mark Mallman

I'd set my goals high, even by my own standards of how much can be squeezed into a single evening of rock and roll if you really try. But save missing Robert Skoro, I think we did quite well. When you set out to see 3 or more shows in one night, the swirling energies of the deep dark night either get behind you or against you pretty early on. There's really no middle ground.

We walked into the Cedar Cultural Center a couple songs before the end of the set by Halloween, Alaska. The place was packed (maybe 350+ people, mostly seated, some standing.) The audience was hushed and attentive, something typical of the Cedar, and something that worked well with the nuanced performance by the band.

As already quiet songs faded when they came to an end, not a single audience member clapped until they were quite sure it was done. It almost felt like a symphonic performance. If front man James Diers had told the audience a song was in three parts they probably would have waited until after the 3rd part to clap; that's how attentive they were.

The three songs we heard seemed to included some new material that I hope is on an upcoming HA album finished off the set, and Diers said thank you and "See you in September." September, in fact, is when their next disc will be released. Look for streaming samples on their website throughout the summer.The band's website also reports that along with new original songs, the next disc will include a quasi-cover of LL Cool J's "I Can't Live Without My Radio." (Given the incredible treatment the band gave to Bruce Springsteen's "State Trooper" on their debut disc, I cannot wait to hear this.)

I recognized very few people at this sold out show as well, which says only that the ratio of scenesters attending was quite low.

The Nomad World Pub across the street was our next stop. Owner Chris Mozena proudly showed off the new greenspace next to the club (the newly laid sod will be ready to walk on within a week) that will be the site of lawn bowling and other pub activities (including croquet) in weeks to come. HowWasTheShow's Cyn Collins is organizing a HWTS croquet team that hopes to take on The Onion, The City Pages and any other local media that manages to get a team together. More on that as it develops.

The beer garden is now open, and the Jaegermeister girls were out in force.

We stopped through the Triple Rock where Travis Morrison was playing in the venue next door. We found out Robert Skoro was to take the stage at 11:30, and we probably could have caught a little bit of him, but we opted instead to head over to the Turf Club and get warmed up (i.e. drink more) in preparation for the impromtu Mallman show scheduled for midnight.

Mallman's band tonight featured Jacques Wait and Jeremy Ylvisaker who switched off on bass and guitar and Peter Anderson on drums. It was party atmosphere again at the Turf Club, and Mallman put on a great show.

I got dragged into a drunken dance by a very tall woman who spun me around, then warned, "Okay, now I'm going to dip you." She dipped me and I felt my back crack, fixing a chiropractic issue that had been nagging me for almost a month. To her, I say thanks. And there's the end of another successful night at the Turf Club. Isn't it great to be young?

HowWasTheShow's Cyn Collins was also in attendance. Cyn files this report here.