Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Monday, September 05, 2005

Happy Trails, Malachi Constant


Malachi Constant

The commute from Uptown to Midway was a quick one (thanks to the little devil on my shoulder). Despite the excessive St. Paul smoke, I felt a lot more comfortable in the Turf Club. I was back among familiar faces, and miles away from the frat party.

The show was actually a big deal. Malachi Constant’s drummer, Alex McCown, was leaving them behind to attend grad school in New York. Thus, Friday’s show (8-19-2005) was to be Malachi’s last for a long while. Needless to say, Malachi Constant had a strong cast of opening acts supporting them for this significant event. Even Model DownModern Radio’s newest addition – drove all the way from Boston to play. I didn’t arrive, however, until The Chris Danforths were on their very last song. And what a great last song it was!

Fortunately, I caught the entirety of Superhopper’s set. Contrary to what Superhopper would have you believe, the Midwest is “new and fresh,” as evidenced by this showcase of St. Paul’s finest. Even though I’ve seen Superhopper, like, a million times, their utra-hyperactive keyboardist, Alan Smithee, never ceases to amuse me. I figured that after the time in the Entry when I saw him slice his foot open he’d at least put some shoes on. Nope. I guess remaining barefoot helps him stay nimble.

In response to my last post, there is a correct way to do pop punk. The City PagesPeter S. Scholtes summed it up perfectly in his review of Superhopper’s latest album, Does This Sound Exciting Yet?:

Maybe you have to loathe snotty pop punk as a genre, which I do, to really appreciate the exhilarating exceptions. Like fellow Minnesotans the Soviettes, Superhopper know their way around a bridge and take extra care to make their hooks sound like no one else's (not to mention write them in the first place).

Amen.


Superhopper

Malachi Constant: probably the only math-rock inspired band that you can dance to. Hopefully their hiatus won’t be too drawn-out. Thankfully, I can rest assured knowing that they won’t disappear completely. They can’t – their new album is almost ready for release. In fact, a lot of the songs they played on Friday were from their new album. But their set was also packed with the classics. During perhaps their most recognizable classic, “Risks,” Carl Wedoff (singer/guitarer) was confronted onstage by an angry audience member (earlier in the set, Carl playfully threw an empty plastic cup – the flimsy kind that are given out at keg parties – into the audience. Apparently the cup hit the angry man on the head). The band extended the intro for a few minutes while Carl consoled the whiny man. When Carl was able to hop back into the song, we were all reminded why Malachi Constant will be sorely missed.

For their last song, Malachi Constant was joined by Andy Larson of The Vets on guitar. Andy was soon followed by a swarm of audience members who brought the dance party onto the stage. Afterwards, an encore seemed very appropriate, but since Alex had thoroughly destroyed his drum set, the cries for more songs were in vain.


Left to right: Ben, Andy (The Vets), Alex, Sean, Carl

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