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Mark Mallman, Live from First Avenue, Minneapolis (Susstones)
Mark Mallman found infamy with his 26-hour non-stop live performance of his song "Marathon" in September 1999, and his particular brand of obscure theatric rock is well showcased on this live offering. Even though his frenzied stage presence and wild performances can't be adequately captured on a live CD, his songwriting and talent still captivate. His audiences always leave his show entertained, and the raucous "Who's Gonna Save You Now?" is testament to that. His rendition of "Natural Blues" also goes down a storm. The wonderfully odd "Butcher's Ballad" is delivered with Mallman's trademark gusto and passion, while "Life Between Heartbeats" leaves a lasting impression. Elsewhere, more genre-defying music is performed with heartfelt conviction to a grateful audience glad to have witnessed a true artist first hand. The mainstream would never understand him, but Mark Mallman's Live from First Avenue is the most fun you can have with your headphones on.