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For American Music Club, listen to Everclear from 1991, their best album before they split up, or Love Songs For Patriots, their outstanding return after reforming in 2003. Once you have those two, take your pick from United Kingdom, Mercury or California.
Mark Eitzel's solo albums are a bit more hit and miss, and it is difficult to pick one record that achieves the same constant quality as AMC, even though each one contains several Eitzel gems. Caught In A Trap And I Can't Back Out 'Cause I Love You Too Much, Baby is my personal favourite, whereas Pitchfork seems to rate West very highly.
my favourite song of his so far is 'anything'. chills man.
Regarding Mark, I would go for the first Sun Kil Moon album (Ghosts of the Great Highway) or the Red House Painters 'Rollercoaster' album. A few people I've tried to introduce him to have complained his work is quite homogenous over an 80minute album but those two are quite diverse musically.
After that he has several near masterpieces in his collection, April (maybe my favourite album of 2008) or Songs for a Blue Guitar are my personal favourites.
i meant mark eitzel.
read the RHP ReDiscover for my thoughts on Kozelek :)
The poster above me gave excellent advice for the other Mark, incidently.
and it's boring as fuck. I like RHP and Sun Kil Moon but it can get a bit too dreary. Generally I go for Songs:Ohia when I'm in the mood for this sorta stuff.
lionness and didn't it rain especially
If you can get hold of a copy of 'California' it is clearly their best record, one of the best albums of the 1980s and a massively influential record on the development of the whole 'alt country' scene that followed.
They've never released a bad record - the next best ones in order would be Everclear and Engine in my book.
Of Mark's solo material I would recommend 'Songs of Love Live' if you can get it, although it is solo recordings of early AMC songs so perhaps doesn't really count. I also really like '60 Watt Silver Lining'.
If you get a chance to see either the band or Mark Eitzel solo then grab it - the combination of the intensity of music with Mark's endearing personality is a unique experience
absolutely kills. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. As are United Kingdom and California (and Everclear, and also Mercury).
Solo Eitzel-wise The Invisible Man is really underrated.
agree 100% with all of the above recommendations ... California is a solid gold classic (can't believe it's unavailable) and Eitzel is always great live (I've probably seen AMC/Eitzel live more than any other band/artist)
also avoid 'West', it's pretty poor - just Eitzel singing over some REM cast offs
I've got it on CD and tape, go me. I offered the tape for free on here a couple of years ago but i've just seen it on amazon for £50 so that offer is now withdrawn! I also love Engine and United Kingdom, and I was at the gig that the live tracks on the latter were recorded. The latter albums are studded with classics, but for me aren't consistent enough. There are 4 albums on spotify, including Engine which has one of my favourite couplets in the history of songwriting...'and I think I just came in my pants, oh baby do you wanna dance?' Maybe that sums me up. Saw them again last year and I agree wholeheartedly with bornin69, quite unique.
california seems impossible to get hold of, even mp3 :(
That's the kind of thing that should be on there. I haven't been on there for months, but if it's still going maybe someone will put it on there tomorrow....
Well, some of the tracks are hard to enjoy, wallow may be a better word with the sadness going on. It's still ace though.