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20 Questions: Mark Eitzel

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Thursday, Apr 3, 2008
by PopMatters Staff
American Music Club frontman Mark Eitzel may be reserved, and his music may be filled with heartfelt sentiment leaning towards melancholy, but it's his smile that he wants you to remember -- if you can find it.

Reclusive, dour, spare, and possessed of a dry sense of humor he may be, but Mark Eitzel’s work with American Music Club is marked with beauty.  With complexly melodic ballads that range from the strikingly direct to airy dreaminess, Eitzel’s work is notable for its unreserved honesty and elevating sentimentality over the saccharine, all exemplified on American Music Club’s recent release, The Golden Age.  So it’s unsurprising that Eitzel would choose to say a lot in a few choice words. 

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
J.M. Coetzee’s Age of Iron.

cover art

American Music Club

The Golden Age

(Merge; US: 19 Feb 2008; UK: 4 Feb 2008)

Review [21.Feb.2008]

2. The fictional character most like you?
Crusty the Clown.

3. The greatest album, ever?
Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life.

4. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Trek—of course!
5. Your ideal brain food?

6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?
I am not proud of any accomplishment.

7. You want to be remembered for…?
My smile.

8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?
Rimbaud. James Baldwin. Tennessee Williams.

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?
“St John the Baptist” by Leonardo Da Vinci.

American Music Club

American Music Club

10. Your hidden talents…?
My smile.

11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?
“Bite on this and don’t speak for half an hour.”

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?
The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away.

13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or…?
I feel best when hidden from view.

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
It was my friend Patricia Twomey.

15. Time travel: where, when and why?
I don’t want to time travel.  I want to live forever.

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?
Hit man—definitely.

17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or…?

18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?
Don’t care anymore. Hate the country. Hate the city. Hate the suburbs.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?
Fuck off and die.

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
A musical called Marine Parade.

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The Golden Age marks the true return of American Music Club, as it is more consistent and assured in its subtleties than their last comeback album.
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