Clip: News on the AMC recording sessions
- "Brothers in Arms" is a Dan Pearson composition and as such I'd be a little
surprised to see it survive to the released CD. "Patriot's Heart" is
hilarious and if Eitzel doesn't release it I will be very annoyed with him.
(Of course, he omitted "Losing Yourself" from _The Invisible Man_,
depriving that album of its catchiest song...)
American Music Club Reuniting for LP, Shows
Still owe us 12 records for one penny
[Posted Tuesday, August 5th, 2003 06:00:00 Pitchfork Central Time]
Rod Waterman reports:
Ten years after their last record, San Francisco, American Music Club are
back in the studio recording a new album. Tentatively titled You Better
Watch What You Say, the album will feature tracks with titles such as "Job
to Do," "Team USA," "Home," "Brothers in Arms," "You Can Be Anyone,"
"Ladies and Gentlemen, It's Time," "Crowd" and "Patriot's Heart." Mark
Eitzel's reunited band has recorded eight tracks so far with Tim Moody at
Closer Studios in San Francisco, with more on the way. If those titles are
anything to go by, it sounds like they might have a few particularly
sardonic things to say about our color-coded Homeland Security era,
although they're probably all thinly disguised analogies for a series of
dysfunctional relationships, if we know our Music Club history. But
Eitzel's website is all about the "Stop The War" campaign, so who knows,
maybe politics outweigh relationships this time around. We're also kind of
hoping that the aforementioned "Brothers in Arms" is not a Dire Straits
cover, because really, who needs that?
Eitzel spoke to Pitchfork via email and confirmed the reunion, but in his
trademark deadpan style, left us with more questions than answers. When
asked why the reunion had come about, Eitzel eloquently responded with "It
felt like the right time... plus the drummer owns the recording studio."
OK, fair enough, but it begs the question-- if the drummer owns a studio,
why hasn't this reunion taken place sooner? Was that all it would have
taken? Damn. So if anybody wants to buy Mike Joyce a recording studio, can
we get on with the Smiths reunion already?
The prospects for this being an extended détente seem somewhat slim. In
confirming a live AMC date at San Francisco's Make Out Room on August 21st,
Eitzel said that this show would probably be "the first and last for a long
while." The band may try to do a date in Los Angeles as well, "if we can
find a place that isn't a 'showcase' but this is pretty doubtful. We want
to tour to support the record but who knows when that will be released or
if there will be enough interest." Mark has a reputation for being
somewhat, well, laconic, for want of a better expression, as if you
couldn't tell from that little snippet.
American Music Club generated a fierce loyalty among their fans, and an
equally dogged indifference among their detractors and the oblivious (see
the Go-Betweens for a similar schism). They made seven beautifully crafted
and often bewilderingly subtle albums over a dozen years (including the
exquisite trio of California, Everclear and Mercury) until their demise in
1993. Eitzel has brought those fans along with him in a pretty eclectic
solo career which has included a number of interesting diversions into
lounge-style crooning and even a stab at electronica with 2001's Invisible
Man. Perhaps we should have seen this reunion coming from Eitzel's recently
released solo album The Ugly American, where he covers a few old American
Music Club tunes-- notably "Western Sky," "Last Harbor" and "Jenny" (from
AMC's 1988 classic California, not from the block).
.: Pitchfork Review: Mark Eitzel: The Invisible Man
.: Mark Eitzel: www.markeitzel.com