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Melodious Owl CD Release Show (Friday, August 12th, 2005, 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis)
Melodious Owl CD Release Party at 7th Street Entry 
Melodious Owl at their CD Release Party in the Entry - Photo by David de Young (click photo for full set)

By David de Young

There was a lot going on Friday night in Minneapolis. First Avenue was even dueling with itself as the North vs. South kickoff party competed with the All Ages incarnation of the Melodious Owl CD Release Party next door in the 7th Street Entry. Fortunately, one $6 cover got you into both sides of the club, and 21+'ers at the Entry show could use the Main Room bathrooms and sneak next door for drinks between sets. (As All Ages Entry shows go, this was one of the busier ones.)

Melodious Owl went on just after 7:30 PM, opening up with “Boom Bam,” track 3 off their new disk that has a synth riff that with only slight variations is a dead ringer for the hook from Men At Work’s “Who Can It Be Now?” Fans of 80’s New Wave will be in familiar territory with much of this album (Depeche Mode, DAF, Soft Cell), but one of the best things about Melodious Owl is that they borrow from such a wide range of recognizable aural fodder at once that the end result is an original, up to date, and fun amalgamatio, not to mention one that makes it damn difficult to stand still.

Friday night Melodious Owl front man Wes Statler continued his habit of introducing songs with impromptu names, calling "Touch Me" "Invading People's Personal Space and renaming “Andrew” as “Ellie” after a girl in the front row and changing the lyrics to match.

For "Telephone" Statler introduced Faux Joe, who had played with Melodious Owl at a Triple Rock double show (early All Ages and late 21+) in March (even wearing the real guitarist Joe Berns' clothing) while Berns was in Europe. Statler joked Friday, "He fooled some of the drunks."

Mark Mallman joins Melodious Owl onstage for "Tell Me This" at their CD Release show

Mark Mallman, who produced the eponymously-titled album Melodious Owl we were on hand to celebrate, came on stage to play bass on "Tell me This" Statler introduced Mallman as the man responsible for the record. Mallman introduced himself to the teenage crowd saying, "I'm that old hippie that hangs out in the bushes behind your school."

For the closing number, the chandelier-shaker, "Dance Fever Revisited," Martin Dosh (who had opened tonight’s show) joined the band on drums and Mallman was back up on bass. "We're gonna sound like a real band," said Statler. Statler held the mic out to a couple girls in the front row who flawlessly sang the lyrics to the verses and the frenzy built to several notches above that which would mandate an encore.

The band left the stage, coming back to much applause a few minutes later. They fiddled with their instruments a bit, but apparently something wasn't in the cards. They waved at the audience, who cheered again as they left the stage, which made it feel like an encore of sorts anyway, even if it was lacking of an actual song.