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American Music Club is a San Francisco-based band led by singer-songwriter Mark Eitzel. Although commonly lumped with other bands from the "slowcore" and "sadcore" movements, like the Red House Painters, AMC is better known for mastering the disparate strands of American music into a wholly unique synthesis all their own.
Although born in California, Eitzel spent his formative years in Great Britain and Ohio before returning to the Bay Area in 1980. After a brief stint with the punk band The Naked Skinnies he founded American Music Club in 1983 with guitarist Vudi, bassist Dan 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.
Their 1985 debut, The Restless Stranger, offers a rough outline of their increasingly eclectic sound and firmly established Eitzel's worldview, a harrowing vision of life as seen through the bottom of a shot glass. 1987's Engine honed the formula: the addition of producer Tom Mallon as a full-time member expanded the group's sonic palette.