Mark Mallman | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Mark Mallman 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Mark Mallman, resplendent in his epauletted Sergeant Pepper jacket, rang in 2006 at Minneapolis's 7th St. Entry with a pomp-laden version of the Cure's "Fascination Street," and I don't doubt that the Twin Cities indie showman at least briefly considered rocking clear through till 2007. In September 2004 he played for 50-plus hours at a Saint Paul club; I hadn't really thought about him much after hearing about that gig, and a return listen to 2004's Mr. Serious (Badman) reminded me why. For starters, the disc doesn't leave room for his onstage shaggy-dog monologues--on New Year's Eve he interrupted a tale about dead-end jobs to flip the two-fingered devil-horn salute upside down, declared it the "forklift of rock," then inexplicably segued into Skynyrd's "That Smell." What's more, the record doesn't have the self-aware cornball too-muchness that buoys his live show--the bombastic production on Mr. Serious obscures his tunecraft, and the beefed-up bottom end swallows the synth filigrees and guitar bits that make his kitsch worth yielding to. Still, on stompers like "Anesthesia" it's enough that Mallman knowingly channels the transcendence that a 15-year-old hears in the overindulgence of Meat Loaf or Asia; he sings "They won't take me alive" with the we're-all-in-this-together esprit of Ziggy-era Bowie, minus the aloof rock-star undertow. Love Story in Blood Red, the Coke Dares, and Stanley Ross open. Sat 1/28, 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $8.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Keith Harris

Popular Stories