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Mark Mallman packs two days worth of energy into an hour's worth of rock; Alternative Tentacles turns 25 in style

Wednesday, Oct 27 2004
Once upon a time -- Sept. 10 and 11, 1999, to be exact -- Minneapolis' Mark Mallman sat behind his electric piano and played a pop song for 26.2 hours straight alongside a 30-member rotating band. Sounds impressive, right? Well, it wasn't impressive enough for Mallman, so on Sept. 4 of this year he tried it again and played for 56.4 hours. Straight. The guy is bat-shit crazy. Too bad for him, but great for you if you check out his show this week. For his more pedestrian performances, Mallman packs two days' worth of energy into an hour of steamrolling, piano-driven rock 'n' soul, full of screaming guitar solos, thick, buttery drumbeats, and his howling vocals. Even if you're not a fan of that kind of stuff, Mallman is worth checking out, if only for the freak-of-nature quality he brings to his act; he stands on his piano, jumps around onstage, and just generally causes a riot. Catch the one-man wrecking ball on Friday, Oct. 29, at Thee Parkside; call 503-0393 or go to
-- Garrett Kamps

Indie imprint Alternative Tentacles may have been founded in 1979 by Jello Biafra as the means to put out music by the Dead Kennedys, but the label quickly became a cornerstone of the underground scene by releasing the seminal punk compilations Not So Quiet on the Western Front and Let Them Eat Jellybeans and by providing an early home for such groundbreaking mavericks as NoMeansNo, Butthole Surfers, Neurosis, and Wesley Willis. The longtime champion of artistic freedom celebrates 25 years of spreading subversive thoughts to the nation's youth in style this Halloween with a wildly varied bill of standout bands affiliated with the label. A mix of chaotic punk (Fleshies), unhinged psychedelic mayhem (Comets on Fire ), twisted booze-and-brimstone country (Slim Cessna's Auto Club), and bare-knuckled rock 'n' soul (The BellRays ) should make for a brilliant evening. Biafra and sludge-rock legends the Melvins (with a substitute bassist filling in for the ailing Kevin Rutamanis) showcase songs from their recently released AT collaboration, Never Breathe What You Can't See, when they headline this raucous party at Slim's Sunday night; call 255-0333 or visit
-- Dave Pehling

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Garrett Kamps


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