...from the Road.
November 15
25th St. Market, Fargo ND
Getting There
     Never has there been a flatter or more uneventful drive than I-94 north to Fargo.  After 5 years of college at Concordia and countless trips back and forth it sure is nice to know that some things never change.

Best Bible-Best Slogans on Passing Semi-Trucks
     Attend the church of your choice.
     Don't follow me, follow Jesus.

     It's a Fargo-Moorhead tradition for us to eat dinner at Giovanni's before a gig... not being ones to break with tradition, even one only a year old, we made sure that we arrived early enough to partake in their pizza.  I keep expecting for this place to be closed the next time we visit; I've never been there with more than 4 other customers in the restaurant.
The Gig.
     The 25th St. Market is a great place to play.  They have a strong base of loyal music lovers, great ambiance, and free drinks for the musicians.  Unfortunately, I just heard that they will no longer be able to have live music on a regular basis... numbers at the door are down so it's no long "financially viable".  Added proof that live music is dying out.  I'm not sure how many more of these gigs I'll ever see... a passionate, engaged audience willing to be lead by the music.  It's so much easier to just pop that little plastic disc into your stereo and kill some time before your favorite tv program comes on.  The only real interest most of the populous seems to take in live music is when it's the latest buzz band selling out the local arena and filling it with their lighting cues, fog machines, and stage antics (read: rock god posturing).  Does anyone remember what they're missing?
Coolest Moment.
     The whole darn gig.  Combine the fact that Sherry was finally getting over a cold, I had yet to come down with the dreaded Norwalk Virus with an attentive and passionate audience and the exceptional ears of folkstar
Eric Addington to hone the live sound and you have one hell of a good time.

Musician's Mathematics.
     Here's a first.  We actually made money on a gig.  Not that I ever thought that this would be a lucrative endeavor... but it would be nice to break even at least once in a while.
             Expenses:   demo + postage       $4          Income:  luxury check     $100
                              posters + postage     $4                       cd sales              $36
                              gasoline                 $30
                              food                      $30         Outcome: $136 - $86 = $68
                              free lodging             $0                         $68 / 2 =

Failure to Communicate.
     Due to some identity confusion the gig was billed as Mark Hannan: Falling Further.  As it was just a one person folk duo and I had named my show Falling Further... like a comedian might.  Eddie Izzard: Dressed to Kill.  This billing came complete with little table tents depicting a computerized night sky and one huge falling star... get it... "falling" further.
Culinary Highlights.
     Lauerman's Pub in Fargo might just be the hippest blue collar joint in my memory.  I don't recall having any food (can cider be culinary?) but it is amazing how one can fill up on pretzels and a side order of ranch dressing (25 cents).  For real food and amazing bread try next door at Herbert's & Gerbert's.  Crazy good subs served up with an atmospheric atmosphere.  "One Boney Billy on white... no tomatoes please."  What is up with those comets?

Note to Self.
     The bathroom at Eric Addington's apartment is just down the hall and to the left... room # 206.

The Drive Back Home.
     Since the death of my car's tape player I have been using a little gadget that shoots the sound from my cd player into the radio through a FM radio frequency.  Normally this suffices and is of better quality than the steal plate in Sherry's head... unless, of course, there are an unusual amount of radio stations clogging the airwaves with their sorry excuse for music.  For some unknown reason, as we made our way back down I-94, the cd's sound mixed with the radio stations in the area.  This allowed us to remix the songs by simply leaning forward and thus created a crazy mixture of bill mallonee and talk radio glitches...

Encounters with the Police.
     You can have too many airfresheners hanging from your rearview mirror.

The Box Score.
     Even the frost-bitten flatlands of Fargo-Moorhead aren't too far to travel for a good audience and free Cabernet.
"naked you are simple as one of your hands..."