Mark Eitzel 's new record, Don't Be a Stranger , will be released by Décor Records in Europe/Australia/NZ on and Merge Records in the USA.
::: LIVE ::: Irish Tour February 2013
Feb 21 Dublin - Workman's Club
Feb 22 Cork - Cyprus Ave
Feb 23 Kilkenny - Cleere's
Feb 25 Galway - Roisin Dubh
26 Belfast - Errigle Inn
For Information / Interview requests / Promotional CDs:
Chris Metzler / Décor Records (London): info@decorrecords
Stevo Berube / Berube Communications (Dublin): email@example.com or +353 (0)87 244 2695
After a string of bad luck that included a heart attack that set him back several months and the implosion of his band American Music Club , Mark Eitzel fortuitously found himself in the studio with celebrated producer Sheldon Gomberg (Rickie Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Ben Harper ), thanks to the generosity of a an old friend. The result is Eitzel's finest solo album in over a decade.
Mark began writing and recording the songs that would become Don't Be a Stranger in early 2010. Initially planned as the next American Music Club album, it quickly became evident that the new songs would work better as a solo album. He visited the UK for a few months to play the All Tomorrow's Parties festival and to help launch Marine Parade , the musical he co-wrote with Simon Stephens, which premiered at the Brighton Festival and has gone on to be produced in Germany.
Then in May of 2011, Mark suffered a serious heart attack that kept him flat on his back and out of circulation until the following October, he had to seriously re-evaluate his lifestyle and habits and take a step back from the recording. Good luck suddenly appeared in the form of a friend who had just won the lottery and offered to fund his recording in a professional studio. Producer Sheldon Gomberg put together a band that included Attraction's drummer Pete Thomas and American Music Club guitarist Vudi on a few songs, as well as a full string section and many Los Angeles musical luminaries. The collaboration between Mark and Sheldon had an organic sound resulting in a generous and beautiful record, about which Mark says, “I wanted to make an album more reminiscent of records like Harvest by Neil Young or Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake than anything I've previously done.”
Inspired by his experience writing a musical, Mark's songwriting is simpler on this record and lyrically reflects a more straight-ahead approach. There is a haunted quality to tracks like “I Love You But You're Dead” (a song based on seeing the punk band Destroy All Monsters) and “The Bill Is Due,” which are about broken promises, leftover people, the desperation one feels when time and cash are running out, and ultimately, the feeling of not knowing what comes next. “Break the Champagne” and “Nowhere to Run” were written in a fit of creativity just days before the album was completed.
Mark Eitzel has released over 15 albums of original material with his band American Music Club and as a solo artist. The Guardian has called him “ America's Greatest Living Lyricist ” and Rolling Stone once gave him their Songwriter of the Year award. Originally formed in 1983, American Music Club released seven albums before breaking up in 1995 and finally reuniting in 2004 for two more albums.
Mark plans to tour Europe in early 2013 and the US later this year with his band Mark Eitzel's Warm Gentle Rain . His live set consists of a mixture of songs from his rich catalog, including selections from American Music Club as well as newer material. Mark's touring band will consist of piano, bass, and drums in the classic lounge style, but he also plans to “bring the chaos” in the form of his electric guitar. Renowned for his self-deprecating sense of humor, Mark's live shows are always unique and unpredictable in the best possible way.
Music Club are set to release their 9th long player, The Golden Age, their
strongest album in over a decade, in Ireland on Friday 25th January 2008.
Uncut Magazine has already called it their best since 1993’s masterpiece
Mercury. The Golden Age follows the band’s 2004 release, the much
lauded Love Songs For Patriots, which had the Guardian calling lead singer
and songwriter Mark Eitzel “America’s greatest living lyricist”.
American Music Club was formed in San Francisco by Eitzel, in 1982, after
he moved from Ohio back to his native California. The band started out
with a steady revolving door of musicians, none of which survived the
first year, but 1983 brought with it band stalwarts Vudi on guitar and
Danny Pearson on bass who both shared Eitzel’s love of rock, country,
blues, folk, pop and punk, synthesizing it into an incredibly unique and
engaging musical melting pot. Eitzel's enigmatic presence, heartfelt vocals
and brilliant song writing featured alongside Vudi’s highly original
guitar playing. Songs often became an unpredictable marriage of Vudi and
Danny’s free-form jazz tendencies and Eitzel's downbeat poetics.
Eitzel had spent most of his teen years growing up in Southampton, England,
where he witnessed the birth of the UK punk movement, and this provided
him with a musical background he now built on.
The band's debut album, Restless Stranger, their American answer to Joy
Division, steeped in post punk, received little attention on its release
in 1985. AMC's first UK release, Engine (1987), featuring the first of
Eitzel's many classic songs, 'Outside this Bar', a theme he carries with
him to this day, was closely followed by what many critics call the first
of their three masterpieces, California. The next year built on their
new-found British following, with a UK-only release aptly titled United
Kingdom - a collection of live tracks and superb studio tracks, not merely
a stop-gap record but a release that still stands on its own merit to
this day. Like many US bands at this time (Green on Red, Gun Club etc),
AMC found they were given more attention on European shores than back
in the States. Everclear came out in 1991, with the addition of pedal
steel maestro Bruce Kaphlan who produced the album as well. It landed
Eitzel "Best Songwriter of the Year" in the Rolling Stone Critics
Poll, not to mention a "Hot Band" pick from the same publication.
With all this attention and sell-out performances on both sides of the
Atlantic, the major labels stepped in to release the band’s sixth
album, Mercury (1993), considered by many to be a masterpiece of modern
popular music and AMC’s most focused record.
The band’s live shows were incendiary and unpredictable, swinging
between quiet acoustic moments to soaring guitar and pedal steel heights,
the dynamics of which matched that of the Bad Seeds or the Bunnymen at
their best. AMC played with Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam and the Bad Seeds, incessantly
touring through the early 90s, but the spring of 1994 saw the band settle
down to produce a set of songs that emphasized the line-up's new-found
steadiness and a wealth of new perspectives. They called it San Francisco.
This, their seventh album, was full of introspective songs that twisted
and turned like the ambivalent emotions that created them. Once again,
though critically acclaimed, it failed to produce the radio hit they needed
to move on to the next level. In part due to this frustration of being
only critics darlings but not commercially successful, American Music
Club split up, albeit amicably.
Eitzel went on to create of reservoir of much-loved solo efforts, including
60 Watt Silver Lining for Virgin, moving over to Matador Records for Caught
in A Trap, which included members of Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo. The
electronic based Invisible Man followed and Eitzel began the new century
with two albums’ worth of covers. Pearson went on to play with Clodhopper
and release solo recordings, while Vudi fronted LA band Clovis de Foret,
as well as playing with 80s revisionists Ariel Pink and Mooney set up
his own Closer studios.
Interest in the band grew with the likes of Divine Comedy recording AMC’s
‘Johnny Mathis Feet’, with a 30-piece orchestra to back it
up. Calexico, Lambchop, M Ward, Willard Grant, Steve Wynn and Chris &
Carla soon followed, recording AMC covers for AMC tribute album Come on
Beautiful. With heavyweights Coldplay, Radiohead, REM and Pearl Jam publicly
proclaiming their love of AMC, offers for them to reform rolled in from
Europe. In the summer of 2004, AMC got back together for a sold-out performance
at London’s Southbank Centre and began recording together again.
Eitzel had been working on a batch of songs and the band decided that
these would be the seeds for their new record Love Songs for Patriots.
Uncut gave it Album of the Month, with a 5-star review and said it was
“Absolutely fu*king brilliant … this band belongs together”.
The rest of Europe’s press agreed. The band followed this up with
a European and US tour and went straight into composing and performing
a live soundtrack for the silent film classic ‘Street Angel’,
in San Francisco. Sadly the film’s European tour was cancelled due
to major problems obtaining a workable film print of adequate quality.
Four years on and the band is back with an even greater album, The Golden
Age, written and recorded throughout 2007. This release sees the band
exploring their quieter side, and it also sees a new rhythm section, with
Steve Didelot on drums and Sean Hoffmann on bass and guitars. While not
disbanding the old line-up, Eitzel felt that he wanted to involve Vudi
more with the recordings than he was able to on Love Songs for Patriots,
and the only way to do that was to move to Los Angeles where Vudi lives
and works. Vudi had been working with a local rhythm section from a band
called the Larks. At the AMC rehearsals, it soon became clear that it
was not workable for Pearson and Moody to be constantly traveling to and
from LA, so after months of rehearsals with Didelot and Hoffmann, Eitzel
felt the new line-up was far better suited to the new material and recruited
them in as the new rhythm section. The band will be embarking on their
longest ever tour early in 2008.