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and it's spotify now, wasn't the last time I looked. Gonna give it a listen later.
Best tracks are Ex-Girlfriend and Sick of Food
Crabwalk sounds like an Elvis Costello song
While this album is most certainly dead good I'm pretty sure I prefer Mercury. I will listen to the latter at some point to confirm. Watch this space.
What did you think confortedbybears?
not sure about crabwalk, its quite funny.
have you heard 60 watt bulb?
Definitely prefer it to Everclear. In fact, I'd forgotten just how good it is. Apology For An Accident, fucking hell.
Jordan: no I haven't heard 60 Watt Bulb
It's wonderful. Sick of Food, Ex-G and Dead Part of You all great. I remember the production not sounding quite right at the time but I like it now. I saw them at Reading in 1991 (the year this was released) and they were amazing.
California is the greatest AMC record though. It's tragically unavailable at the moment - one of the short list of wonderful records you can't buy or stream in the modern world. It truly is one of the best albums ever made in my view. If you haven't already got a copy then YouTube is the best you can do:
Since we're on DIS I would rank AMC records like this:
California > Everclear > Engine > United Kingdom > Mercury > San Francisco > The Golden Age > Love Songs for Patriots > The Restless Stranger.
that unless you are willing spend a fortune on a second hand copy of 'California', it is available to download for free via YouTube.
UK CD, USA CD and USA Cassette. It's a fabulous album, my favourite of theirs. I bought them all second hand and didn't pay much at all.
No- one can have too many copies of that record (I've got the vinyl and the CD myself)
is one of my absolute favourite AMC songs. Heartbreaking.
California > Everclear > Mercury > United Kingdom > Engine > San Francisco > The Golden Age > Love Songs for Patriots > The Restless Stranger.
Would hold 'Songs of Love Live,' the AMC period solo Eitzel album up with the very best of their work too. Heartbreaking and hilarious. Hell of a talent.
California > Everclear > United Kingdom > Engine > San Francisco > Restless Stranger > Mercury > Love Songs for Patriots > Golden Age
Seen him/them too many times to remember and it's such a perfect document of his very best qualities.
Haven't seen him for a couple of years but it was pretty nice to see him back in the ascendant last time. Touring with some sort of cabaret jazz band after a few years of one suit, a battered guitar and selling his own bootlegs from a suitcase at the front of the stage.
>United Kingdom>Engine>Mercury>Everclear>San Francisco>Love Songs for Patriots>Restless Stranger>Golden Age
and if you haven't heard it, Son, the album he recorded with Toiling Midgets is right up there with AMC's best.
Thought the new ones sounded promising on the whole, the oldies golden, and the 'rarities' endearingly under-rehearsed. Bit of a bumpy ride, as ever, but the dude is never less than captivating.
Some of the new songs sounded great, shambolic as ever.
Do we have any threads on bands splitting up, protecting their legacy etc.?
albums were a big improvement on the late ones before J jacked it in, and have remained reliably good. Not 'Living All Over Me' great, but definitely legacy preserving. Think that's pretty rare though...
They are still good records even if they don't quite match up to the peak period material. That's probably the most you can hope for from a reformed band.
Another band who achieved that are The Go-Betweens - their post-reformation records are really good, even if I'm not going to pretend they are better than Liberty Belle
is one of their very best. The other 2 are strong but not quite GBs classics. Such a shame about Grant, just when they were becoming more popular than ever...
"I saw them play the gigs in San Francisco that became the live half of 'United Kingdom' " Surely everyone who likes AMC on here knows that. Ask me for details.
I'm still impressed
I looked into this and it appears that they did three consecutive days of gigs at the Hotel Utah for the recordings so I may not have been at the show that the tracks released were recorded at anyway. However, they did two sets at the one I went two. The first set Eitzel was in a really foul mood, quite anguished and very passionate doing some of the more vitriolic songs which climaxed with him kicking a glass off stage which went all over a woman sat near the front. The venue was a basement/downstairs bar with lots of little wooden tables and chairs, couldn't have been more than 80 people there. I remember this woman leaving and Eitzel persuing her outside and apologising in front of the bar window on the street and hugging her. After that AMC came back on and did a beautiful set full of love songs and joyous singalongs. I've never seen another band show two completely different sides like that . I went to see The B-52s the next night who were also doing a three night residency in San Francisco but at the much bigger Fillmore. They didn't do an angry and maudlin set weirdly enough, just what you'd expect. Oh, summer 1989 what joy you were.
If I remember the story correctly his father died around that time. They had been due to go on holiday together to Hawaii but Mark ended up going alone - as documented on the song The Hula Maiden - possibly the bleakest song ever about going to Hawaii on holiday.
The band had also just been dumped by their record label.
he smashed a pitcher of beer on the floor, and the glass and beer hit two women in the front row, who he chased after when they left. they told him they were leaving anyway as he singing dreadfully. the second set is also mentioned.
Funny how memories can be not quite right. Looking on Amazon, is it "Wish the World Away" that you are referring to? Will have to get hold of that.
I loved the two comeback albums. Why did Eitzel shelve it? He's been mysteriously absent lately. This solo stuff has been a little inconsistent (his first two 60 Watt and Invisible Man are fantastic) but he's trailed off a bit. He's so prolific it's weird he hasn't released something in so long.
I particularly like Klamath, but Don't Be a Stranger is good too.
I think economics have a lot to do with AMC not carrying on and with the erratic nature of the solo releases. I think they struggle to make enough money to keep AMC going. His solo stuff is easier to keep going live as it super-cheap to put on - usually either solo or with one other musician. I don't think the records sell well enough to make them much of a commercial proposition.
Eitzel seems like a perfect candidate for crowd-funding - those of us who love with happily contribute on Kickstarter or Patreon to keep the music coming.
funded by a lottery winner who really likes Eitzel or something? Thought it was the best one in a while. Yeah, would happily sign up to a monthly Mark subscription to keep the hits coming...
who would happily give a couple of quid each a month to keep Mark making music?
Which must have slowed him down a bit. Don't be a Stranger is a very good album (2012).
to anyone interested enough to listen, ie virtually noone, that Jeff Buckley's "Grace" is to AMC what "Nevermind" was to Pixies, ie a slightly watered-down, more radio-friendly interpretation of the music that inspired it. I'm not knocking it as such - I used to be obsessed with "Grace" - but it's not a patch on AMC's best work.
I think AMC practically invented the whole 'Alt Country' scene.
They were writing complex alternative songs and using country instruments like pedal steel at least five years before bands like Uncle Tupelo emerged. Ryan Adams was a massive AMC fan long before he formed Whiskeytown.