Saturday, February 13, 2010

Emotional surgery

I dont know what to say about this post, except that I mentioned him below and if this performance doesn't touch you somehow then.. there are so many great clips from American Music Club's and Mark Eitzel's history on the internet now, of which this is only one small example. To this day, people talk about lugubriousness and other shorthand to box Mark off, but continue to miss the point..for me, he might just be one of the greatest there's ever been - although he'd undoubtedly hate to hear that and deny it completely if asked.

Anyway, is it just me?


Mnemonic said...

No, not just you! I found him through Mark68's RR Social compilation CD so I think you can count us both in there. I've just checked my charts and he's been at the top for the last 12 months. He was my fourth choice in the RR festive 50 with a track from Klamath (of which I have an autographed copy. Saw him on the tour this clip is from in a freezing cold church with only one loo and, fortunately given that lack of facilities, no bar. Still magic!

sourpus said...

Mnemonic, I've been listening to tracks only from YouTube by him all morning and its simply staggering..its like a glut of the best music you ever heard. Live in KCRW, Live in Chico California 1989, Hotel Utah 1988, all the gigs I read about in Sean Body's 'Wish the World Away' (the only AMC and Mark biog - also signed :))are all on YT now.. too perfect. AMC is one band you DON'T want to be alone with :)

My first sighting was on the Everclear tour in 1989 - I never recovered.

Mark68 said...

It's never occurred to me to search for this sort of thing on youtube - I know what I'll be doing when I next get some free time.

Eitzel's an utterly captivating performer - even with the full band I often find I can't take my eyes off him. The first time I saw AMC was on the Everclear tour. I was only vaguely aware of them, but some mates had a spare ticket so I went along. He walked onstage alone, announced he had laryngitis, swigged some medicine, then launched into a jaw-dropping What The Pillar of Salt Held Up. Still one of the greatest moments I've ever experienced at a gig. I went out the next day and bought everything I could find, and have never looked back.

sourpus said...

Mark68, it was kind of like that for me too. I dont recall exactly, but I read one of those reviews of Everclear, saying that they were the best band on the planet and maybe in the whole of musical history (ever!) and it made me feel like I had to be there. There was only about 60 or so of us in the Princess Charlotte pub in Leicester, but (as you know) they had Bruce Kaphan with them, which set light to the sound and just blew my mind. I left the show like a changed man, banging on about them to everyone.

This new stuff on You Tube is just incredible. I'd almost forgotten how incendiary Eitzel's performing was and its all there; not to mention the most recent solo tour - this version of 'For the Good Times' (always one of my favorite songs of all time) is just..I dont even have words.

There's also this EXCELLENT interview with Eitzel. If you have a bit of freetime, take the time and watch the whole of this first. What he says about artists who are obviously capable being 'a dime a dozen', all the veering between perspectives on the band and on his work, it so reminds me of why I got into AMC in the first place. I think they just spoke a language I could really relate to.. used to worry me actually :)

sourpus said...

Here's the link:

It takes a while to watch, but its worth it!

sourpus said...

Actually, I just watched this interview again. It makes me remember who I was clearly. He makes me realise how much I surrendered over the years. I dont know how better to put it.

Like most people, I was stumbling around (at 25 years old) looking for a band (without knowing it) that said something to me and Eitzel was really doing that. There was no seperation between him and the work he was coming up with - maybe he was the last person to do that like he did. I called this thread emotional surgery because that exactly what it was to listen to his songs. You knew he was trying for something real, in an ever increasing pool of fake and horrible, which he also saw himself just as capable of being.

He even makes you think about what you write here on the Spill..

Probably my favorite interview on YouTube.

Mark68 said...

sourpus - great post. I'll definitely check it out, hopefully in the next couple of days.

The Princess Charlotte! That brings back memories. I used to go to a lot of gigs in Leicester as it was the nearest city to where I grew up (albeit 30 miles away). Happy days.