Local Current Blog

Video of Alan Sparhawk and Zak Sally’s Hospital People re-emerges


Unearthed this past week in Duluth, after a decade of rumors of its existence, is the only known live performance footage by the Hospital People. Who were the Hospital People, you ask?

During the late ’90s, Low bandmates Alan Sparhawk and Zak Sally began experimenting with electronic sounds and formed a side project they called the Hospital People. They recorded a few demo tracks in 1998, and a small record label in New York, Duck Suit, released two of those songs, “Crash” and “We’ll Be Philosophers,” as a 7-inch vinyl single. As Low’s popularity surged, the Hospital People project got put on the back burner.

Four years after the release of that 7-inch, “We’ll Be Philosophers” was chosen as the “Love Theme” for the spotlight dance at Duluth’s Geek Prom, despite being “one of the most undanceable songs ever recorded.”

That same year, the Hospital People were tapped to play Geek Prom with a lineup of Sparhawk, Chris Bacigalupo and Brian Ring. In order to create some buzz for the emergent event, a local Duluth television station brought in a studio full of geeks/spazzes/nerds to do some impromptu dancing while the Hospital People performed their song “Crash” during a morning newscast. Check it out here in all of its glory…

(Performance starts at :50 mark.)

Special thanks to Paul Lundgren, co-founder of Geek Prom, for sharing this video with the world.

On the subject of Duluth videos, the recently held Duluth Homegrown Music Festival (which I direct) featured a presentation of locally created music videos created for local Duluth bands. The videos produced run the gamut from professionally animated presentations to songs edited to found video footage to a comical tale of an aspiring magician’s affair with a top hat. Here is a sample of some of the videos. The entire roster of videos can be found on Perfect Duluth Day, but here are a couple highlights:

–Walt Dizzo, host of the Current’s Duluth Local Show

Catch Walt Dizzo hosting the Duluth Local Show on the Local Current Stream Wednesdays at noon, Thursdays at 11 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 p.m. You can listen to the Local Current stream at thecurrent.org/local, on HD radio in the Twin Cities at 89.3 HD2, and via the MPR Radio app, which is available for iPhones and Androids.