American Music Club
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|American Music Club|
|Origin||San Francisco, California|
|Genres||Alternative rock, Americana, Psychedelic, Sadcore, Shoegaze|
|Years active||1982–1994, 2004–present|
|Associated acts||The Cowboys
The Naked Skinnies
|Past members||Danny Pearson
Although born in California, Eitzel spent his formative years in Okinawa, Taiwan, Great Britain and Ohio before returning to the Bay Area in 1981. After a brief stint with the bands The Cowboys (one single: "Supermarket"/"Teenage Life") and The Naked Skinnies (one single) he founded American Music Club in San Francisco in 1983 with guitarist Scott Alexander, drummer Greg Bonnell and bass player Brad Johnson. The band went through many personnel changes before arriving at a stable line up of guitarist Vudi, bassist Danny Pearson, keyboardist Brad Johnson and drummer Matt Norelli. This lineup would change over the next several years but Eitzel always remained the core of the band in terms of its vocals, lyrics and thematic focus with Vudi and Danny Pearson accompanying him on guitar and bass.
American Music Club earned a solid cult following on the strength of 1988's California. Their next LP, 1989's United Kingdom, appeared only in the nation which lent the record its name and consisted of new material, some of which was recorded live at the Hotel Utah, San Francisco.
In 1991 American Music Club emerged with the record that is widely considered their masterpiece, Everclear. Critical acclaim attracted the attention of several major labels. Rolling Stone called it the Album of the Year and named Eitzel Songwriter of the year for 1991. Eventually AMC, now consisting of Eitzel, Vudi, Pearson, multi-instrumentalist Bruce Kaphan and drummer Tim Mooney, signed with Reprise in the US and Virgin throughout the rest of the world.
The band contributed the track "All Your Jeans Were Too Tight" to the 1993 AIDS-Benefit Album No Alternative produced by the Red Hot Organization. Mercury followed in 1993 and, despite positive reviews, Mercury fared poorly on the charts and earned virtually no recognition from radio or MTV. In 1994, AMC issued San Francisco, which balanced confessional tunes like "Fearless" and "The Thorn in My Side Is Gone" alongside more accessible offerings such as "Wish the World Away," one of the band's biggest hits.
The band disbanded soon after San Francisco was released and reunited in 2003 to record a new album, Love Songs for Patriots, which is described by reviewer Mark Deming as "a stronger and more coherent effort than the group's last set, 1994's San Francisco, and while it's too early to tell if this is a new start or a last hurrah for AMC, it at least shows that their formula still yields potent results. Here's hoping Eitzel and Vudi have more where this came from."
On June 20, 2007, AMC announced a new lineup connected to the band's base of operations moving to Los Angeles. Eitzel and Vudi remained, while Mooney and Pearson stayed behind in San Francisco. They are replaced by bassist Sean Hoffman and drummer Steve Didelot from the band The Larks. AMC's next record, entitled The Golden Age, was released in the UK on February 4, 2008 on Cooking Vinyl and in the US on Merge Records on February 19.
- The Restless Stranger (January 1985)
- Engine (October 1987)
- California (October 1988)
- United Kingdom (October 1989)
- Everclear (October 1991)
- Mercury (March 1993)
- San Francisco (September 1994)
- Love Songs for Patriots (September 2004)
- The Golden Age (February 2008)