Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
We will allow the man of the next 24 hours set the scene for this session as he offered as much. So, without further ado is Mark Mallman on the Mark Mallman Daytrotter session circa spring 2009: "There was a big rainstorm the day we recorded. It followed us on our whole east coast tour actually. After our session, Matt Johnson (Bass), Aaron Lemay (Drums), and myself went to one of many Quad City riverboat casinos and lost about 60 bucks. We ate at the buffet and gained about 60 pounds. Back at the hotel we drank about 60 beers. Sometimes, after shows, I feel like crying. Other nights I feel like a ghost. That night, we didn't have a show. We played basketball in the hotel pool. It was a happy day. I love rock and roll, but sometimes I just need to perform in the afternoon. Thank you Daytrotter!" We would like to take a minute to decry that our riverboat casinos don't always empty everyone's pockets and our all-you-can eat buffets are negotiable. The same does not go for the storm that followed these three gents around the east. The beers are good here, as they are anywhere, and that's the still reigning reason that most dots on every map are palatable. The telling portion of this summarization from the leader of this troupe from Minneapolis is that the 60 bucks that they lost at the boats isn't really all that extreme. The weight they may have gained is very clearly an exaggeration, likely by more than 50 pounds or more, but the claim as to the 60 beers downed (possibly the activity and number that led to the other similar approximations) could be veritable over their two-night stay. Mallman is a man who seems to live a vampiric lifestyle, coming alive when there are no remaining shards of light to be found in the air, just a pall of sinful blackness, with the neon bulbs and streetlamps blaring their artificial glows. He's seen during the regular daytime hours, but just as the actual daytime comes clean in his song "Eternal Moonshine," he may actually be moonshine wearing a mask of daylight just to pass the time faster and get to the good stuff, when cavorting and the more dastardly of persuasions are on display. It's when it's socially acceptable to crack the tops of one beer can after another, when it's understood that there may be some glass breaking or some noses broken, some wives and girlfriends hit on, some loud rock and roll played through the cigarette smoking and some shameful walks in the light the morning after. His leather jackets and his tight jeans are nighttime attire and his songs - glam rock masterpieces - are for those, sunken into an evening, to manically sing along to, with one arm lovingly around the shoulder of a stranger to the left and the other doing the same to a stranger on the right. It should be with abandon that this happens for the way that Mallman writes on "Invincible Criminal" and on all older work is in deference to there being anything worth getting up before 5 in the afternoon for. He sings that we should probably just gather round and "drink to the madness of it," and one could argue themselves red on most days and still not come up with a reason not to do such a thing. It's all madness and still, it finds a way to consume us and keep us hostage in a way. We're at the mercy of our day times, when we're forced to be a breadwinner and a dutiful employee, but the second the clock is punched, we're allowed to become human again, getting shifty and thirsty and letting Mallman take us to his lair of uninhibited instinct, where we're imbued with glamorous introspection from a different universe.
Mark Mallman MySpace Page