|Birth name||John Mark Eitzel|
|Origin||Walnut Creek, California|
|Labels||Decor, Cooking Vinyl, Thirsty Ear Recordings, New West Records, Matador Records, Diablo Records, Warner Brothers|
|Associated acts||American Music Club, Toiling Midgets, The Naked Skinnies, Peter Buck, The Undertow Orchestra|
He started making music while he was a teenager in Southampton, England. His first band was a punk band called the Cowboys when he moved to Columbus, Ohio at 19. They released one single in 1980. His second band was called The Naked Skinnies and they released one single in 1981. He moved to San Francisco with The Naked Skinnies in 1981 where they disbanded in 1982. Eitzel formed American Music Club (AMC) in San Francisco in 1982. The band performed and created albums for twelve years. At one point, Eitzel also sang with San Francisco's Toiling Midgets, and often recorded solo work while involved in AMC.
American Music Club disbanded in 1994, and Eitzel focused on his solo career, releasing 60 Watt Silver Lining in 1996. It was a surprisingly smooth, jazz-pop departure. Also in 1996, Eitzel contributed to the AIDS benefit album Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip produced by the Red Hot Organization. Following this, he released West in 1997 co-writing all of the songs with R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, with whom he also toured. He followed up with Caught in a Trap and I Can't Back out 'Cause I Love You Too Much, Baby, assisted by Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo bassist James McNew.
Eitzel released more music in 2001, beginning with a more electronic turn in The Invisible Man on Matador Records. This was followed by two covers projects in 2002: Music for Courage and Confidence, which was material written by other songwriters, and The Ugly American, an album which included reinterpretations of American Music Club songs performed with a band of traditional and non traditional Greek musicians.
American Music Club reformed in 2003 for a sold out show at the London South Bank Centre, The following year they released Love Songs For Patriots and toured both the United States and Europe several times. The Guardian Newspaper called Mark "America's greatest living lyricist" and the album received glowing reviews across the world. In 2008 the band line up changed again and the band released The Golden Age which UNCUT magazine said was their best since Mercury with a 5 star album of the month review.
Eitzel released a compilation album of electronic soundtrack material in 2005, Candy Ass. His most recent album is Klamath which was released at the end of 2009 on Decor Records. UNCUT magazine said it was his best solo album yet. 2010 saw the launch of Marine Parade. This was a musical written by Simon Stephens for which Mark had written all the music. It was premiered in the 2010 Brighton Festival to good reviews and featured two of the songs from Klamath. He also contributed a cover of the Ira Gershwin song 'S Wonderful to the soundtrack of "Vidal Sassoon - The Movie". The film was directed by Craig Teper, and the soundtrack was produced by David Spelman. The soundtrack also included music by post-rock chamber ensembles Clogs (featuring Padma Newsome and Bryce Dessner of The National), Redhooker, and Arcade Fire side project Bell Orchestre. The film had its premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.
In addition to all the above albums Mark has also released many mail order tour CDs, his most recent being the limited edition (500 copies) Brannan St., which is available at his concert dates and at the Decor records website. His new album, "Don’t Be a Stranger", will be released by Décor Records in the UK on October 1st.
- Supermarket / Teenage Life (7") Tet Offensive Records - 1980
- All My Life / This Is The Beautiful Night (7") - Naked House Records - 1981
- The Restless Stranger (LP) - Grifter Records (January 1985)
- Engine (LP) - Frontier Records (October 1987)
- California (LP) Frontier Records (October 1988)
- United Kingdom (LP) - Demon Records (October 1989)
- Everclear (CD) - Alias Records (October 1991)
- Mercury (CD) Reprise Records - (March 1993)
- San Francisco (CD) Reprise Records - (September 1994)
- Love Songs for Patriots (CD) Cooking Vinyl - (September 2004)
- The Golden Age (CD) Merge Records - (February 2008)
- Mean Mark Eitzel Gets Fat (Self-released Cassette) - 1982
- Songs of Love (CD) - Diablo Records - 1991
- 60 Watt Silver Lining (CD) - Warner Brothers - 1996
- Lover's Leap USA (CD) - 1997
- Words and Music (CD) - 1997
- West (CD) - Warner Brothers - 1997
- Caught in a Trap and I Can't Back out 'Cause I Love You Too Much, Baby (CD) - Matador Records - 1998
- The Invisible Man (CD) - Matador Records - 2001
- Music for Courage and Confidence (CD) - New West Records - 2002
- The Ugly American (CD) - Thirsty Ear Recordings - 2002
- Candy Ass (CD) - Cooking Vinyl - 2005
- Klamath (CD) - Decor Records - 2009
- Brannan Street (CD) - 2010
- Don't Be A Stranger (CD) - 2012
- MetroLyrics, American Music Club: "Why Won't You Stay?" Songwriters: John Mark Eitzel
- AllMusic Overview, Mark Eitzel
- California Births, 1905 - 1995, John M. Eitzel – Birth Date: 01/30/1959, County of Birth: Contra Costa (Walnut Creek)
- Strong, Martin Charles; Peel, John (2004-10-25). The great rock discography. Canongate U.S. pp. 37–. ISBN 978-1-84195-615-2. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Taylor, Steve (2006-08-29). A to X of Alternative Music. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 12–. ISBN 978-0-8264-8217-4. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Buckley, Jonathan (1999-11-18). Rock: the rough guide. Rough Guides. pp. 25–. ISBN 978-1-85828-457-6. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Belcher, David (February 13, 1998). "All on his own and more's the pithy...". Glasgow Herald. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- George-Warren, Holly; Romanowski, Patricia; Bashe, Patricia Romanowski; Jon Pareles (2001-10-30). The Rolling stone encyclopedia of rock & roll. Fireside. pp. 18–. ISBN 978-0-7432-0120-9. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Eggers, Dave (MAY 8, 1997). "Mark Eitzel". Salon. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Harrington, Richard (May 24, 2002). "The Melancholy Man Lightens Up". Washington Post. p. T6. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Caligiuri, Jim (May 31, 2002). "Mark Eitzel - Music Review". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Sanders, Mark (February 13, 2008). "American Music Club's San Francisco Fixation". SF Weekly. p. 1. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Foster, Patrick (November 6, 2004). "POP MUSIC". The Washington Post. p. C3. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Sweeney, Eamon (February 4, 2008). "A divine evening at the music club with old friends". Irish Independent. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- "Spin control". Chicago Sun-Times. November 27, 2005. p. D2. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- "How One Man Changed The World With a Pair of Scissors". Vidal Sassoon The Movie. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- Wish The World Away: Mark Eitzel and the American Music Club by Sean Body, SAF Publishing, Ltd. (April 1999), ISBN 0-946719-20-9, ISBN 978-0-946719-20-4
- Official site
- American Music Club Official Site