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American Music Club

Mark Eitzel biography 2010 As both a solo artist and the front man for enduring cult favourites American Music Club , Mark Eitzel established himself among the truly powerful forces in contemporary music; a hauntingly evocative singer, he earned even greater notoriety for his brilliance as a composer, combining the energy of punk, the pastoral beauty of folk, and the melodrama of lounge music to build one of the most impressive and darkly poetic bodies of songs in the modern pop canon. Born January 30, 1959 in Walnut Creek, CA, Eitzel's military upbringing led him everywhere from Great Britain to Columbus, OH; as a teen, he became a born-again Christian, but at the age of 16, he rejected religion in favour of alcohol, his love/hate relationship with the bottle going on to fuel much of his subsequent work as a performer. Inspired by punk, he eventually formed his own group, the Naked Skinnies, and with them relocated to San Francisco in 1980; there the band quickly dissolved, and three years later he formed American Music Club . AMC's 12-year existence was tumultuous, to say the least; Eitzel, prone to facing his demons while onstage, earned a reputation as a loose cannon, and despite the lavish critical praise heaped on albums like “California”(’89) , “Everclear” (‘91) and “Mercury”(‘93), their first for Virgin Records which went on to sell over 70,000 in the UK and Europe with sold out shows at the London Astoria and Forum but the group was never able to rise above this point. Eitzel quit the band on numerous occasions, once joining another Bay Area group, the Toiling Midgets ; in 1991, while still fronting American Music Club , he issued his solo debut, “Songs of Love” , a live acoustic set recorded in London (British audiences being much more receptive to his music than their American counterparts). A subsequent solo single on Matador, the lovely "Take Courage," increased rumours of the band's impending break-up, but they did not truly implode until after the release of 1994's “San Francisco” . At that point, Eitzel began pursuing his solo career in earnest, debuting in 1996 with the jazzy “60 Watt Silver Lining” . Eitzel's subsequent solo career soon found him following a wildly eclectic path. In 1997, Eitzel teamed up with R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck , and in a matter of days they wrote and recorded “West” , which matched Eitzel's verse with Buck 's intelligent and engaging pop melodies for Warner Brothers. His next album, 1998's “Caught In A Trap…” , was an unusually stark and downbeat affair, recorded in part with the assistance of Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth and James McNew from Yo La Tengo saw him change labels again to Matador. Eitzel next embraced both pop and electronics with 2001's “The Invisible Man” , and in 2002 he recorded two albums of covers - a tribute to the work of other songwriters on “Music for Courage and Confidence” , and a look back at his own songs for American Music Club as performed with a group of Greek folk musicians on “The Ugly American” . After the recent re-union of American Music Club which included sold out shows at London’s South Bank Centre and the new album “Love Songs for Patriots” in 2004. The new album was given 5 stars and Album of the Month in UNCUT calling it a “brilliant return to form”. Mark then returned with a new solo album on Cooking Vinyl records entitled “Candy Ass” which was primarily electronic and instrumental based. In early 2008 American Music Club return with a new line-up and renewed vigour with the release of “The Golden Age”, again the album received glowing reviews and UNCUTs Album of the Month whom said it was their best album since Mercury and the band embarked on their longest ever tour. Mark is currently working on his first musical “Marine Parade” with UK Olivier Award winning play write Simon Stephens which will debut in 2010. Mark is about to release his primarly acoustic based new album called “Klamath” which was written in the Klamath mountains in the Happy Camp retreat. The album will be released throughout Europe this Oct. Mark is readying himself for his tour in support of the album where he will be joined with Marc Capelle on piano leaving Eitzel to do what he does best…sing. “America’s Greatest Living Lyricist.” – The Guardian

My Artists Sessions

Friday, March 18

9:45pm CDT