Mark Eitzel

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Mark Eitzel
Birth name John Mark Eitzel[1]
Born (1959-01-30) January 30, 1959 (age 58)
Origin Walnut Creek, California[2][3]
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1980–present
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

Mark Eitzel (born January 30, 1959) is a musician, best known as a songwriter and lead singer of the San Francisco band American Music Club.[4][5][6]


Eitzel spent his formative years in a military family living in Okinawa, Taiwan, Ohio and the United Kingdom.[7] He moved to America in 1979.

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[8] 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[9] 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[10] on Matador Records. This was followed by two covers projects in 2002: Music for Courage and Confidence,[11] which was material written by other songwriters, and The Ugly American,[12] 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[13] and toured both the United States and Europe several times. The album received glowing reviews across the world. In 2008 the band line up changed again and the band released The Golden Age[14] 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.[15] In 2009, he released Klamath 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 Eitzel 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".[16] 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 Eitzel 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 eleventh solo studio album, Don’t Be a Stranger, was released in October 2012 on Merge Records and produced by Sheldon Gomberg.



The Naked Skinnies

American Music Club

Toiling Midgets



  1. ^ MetroLyrics, American Music Club: "Why Won't You Stay?" Songwriters: John Mark Eitzel
  2. ^ AllMusic Overview, Mark Eitzel
  3. ^ California Births, 1905 - 1995, John M. Eitzel – Birth Date: 01/30/1959, County of Birth: Contra Costa (Walnut Creek)
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Buckley, Jonathan (1999-11-18). Rock: the rough guide. Rough Guides. pp. 25–. ISBN 978-1-85828-457-6. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Belcher, David (February 13, 1998). "All on his own and more's the pithy...". Glasgow Herald. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  8. ^ 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.  C1 control character in |pages= at position 4 (help)
  9. ^ Eggers, Dave (May 8, 1997). "Mark Eitzel". Salon. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  10. ^ Harrington, Richard (May 24, 2002). "The Melancholy Man Lightens Up". Washington Post. p. T6. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  11. ^ Caligiuri, Jim (May 31, 2002). "Mark Eitzel - Music Review". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  12. ^ Sanders, Mark (February 13, 2008). "American Music Club's San Francisco Fixation". SF Weekly. p. 1. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  13. ^ Foster, Patrick (November 6, 2004). "POP MUSIC". The Washington Post. p. C3. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  14. ^ Sweeney, Eamon (February 4, 2008). "A divine evening at the music club with old friends". Irish Independent. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Spin control". Chicago Sun-Times. November 27, 2005. p. D2. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "How One Man Changed The World With a Pair of Scissors". Vidal Sassoon The Movie. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  17. ^ "American Music Club  » Glory". Retrieved 2016-02-09. 
  18. ^ "American Music Club  » The Konk Sessions". Retrieved 2016-02-09. 

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