Monday, October 15th, 2007

The Victory Choir

I am fully prepared to accept that I may have been the only music blogger to get excited when I received the press release on Friday afternoon announcing that the new American Music Club record was completed, had a title – The Golden Age – and would be hitting stores on February 19 of next year via Merge.

AMC were never the most popular band in their first go-around and when they reunited a few years ago, the news didn’t necessarily set the world afire. But while all the other bands from the 80s burying hatchets in hopes of a nostalgia-fueled payday might be making more money, they could only dream about releasing a new record half as vital as 2004’s Love Songs For Patriots. Of course, I bet AMC would like to have made half the money that those other bands have, but I digress. Love Songs proved that Mark Eitzel’s pen hadn’t lost any of its wit, pathos, romanticism and venom and years of driving a bus in Los Angeles hadn’t dulled Vudi’s guitar chops either – its place in my favourite albums of 2004 was well-earned.

In the three years between then and now, there’ve been membership changes in the Club – the rhythm section of Danny Pearson and Tim Mooney have left the band on account of the shift of their base of operations from San Francisco to Los Angeles, their places taken by Steve Didilot and Sean Hoffman from The Larks. I am going to resist copying and pasting the notes on the new album on the band’s website, presumably penned by Eitzel, but encourage you to click through and give a read – they’re hilarious.

Also worth noting is that the band is planning a North American tour for Spring of next year – NORTH AMERICAN. To me, that implies Canada. Unless they mean Mexico. But I’m hoping Canada. They passed us by when touring Love Songs – Toronto, anyways, maybe they played Vancouver – necessitating a trip to Chicago to properly pay homage. Which was great, but it’d be much nicer (and economical) to have them come to me this time.

No previews of the new record yet, so in the meantime sample something from the last one and their meagre pickings on YouTube. You know a band is underground when they’ve got videos out there (whither “Johnny Mathis’ Feet”?) and they haven’t made it to YouTube.

MP3: American Music Club – “Another Morning”
Video: American Music Club – “Electric Light” (YouTube)
MySpace: American Music Club

But those of us wanting to hear new material from American Music Club need not wait until February – Hard To Find A Friend has curated a holiday compilation entitled Peace on Earth: A Holiday Album that features a new track from AMC amongst offering from Great Lake Swimmers, The Long Winters and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. The comp will be available in digital form on November 13 for $7 and all profits will go to Toys For Tots. A great idea and worth your money. And I apologize for bringing up the holidays in mid-October.

But if we must look to December, let’s not look past the first week of said month for that’s when the venerable Horseshoe Tavern here in Toronto celebrates its 60th anniversary. While festivities will run the whole week, the actual birthday is December 5 and that evening, it will host the first-ever local show by former Pulp and Longpigs guitarist and producer extraordinaire, Richard Hawley. I’m only just discovering his stuff but already I’m certain it’s going to be a pretty special show and though it’s probably too much to hope he tours with an orchestra… I hope he tours with an orchestra. Or a big band at the very least. His latest album is Lady’s Bridge and you can watch the first couple videos from it below. Tickets are $15 and should go on sale this week.

Video: Richard Hawley – “Tonight The Streets Are Ours” (YouTube)
Video: Richard Hawley – “Serious” (YouTube)

Also coming to town for a little ‘Shoe-shaped cake are the Jon Langford’s Waco Brothers – they’re going to be playing on December 7 and if you were planning on seeing any of Joel Plaskett’s five gigs there from December 10th through the 13th, you better call ahead and make sure that the Waco Brothers have left the place standing.

Pitchfork has an interview with Steve Earle covering all breadth of topics (Dylan, Springsteen, Emmylou, Sex Pistols) but not his new record Washington Square Serenade. NPR is also streaming a concert recorded at the World Cafe.

Muzzle Of Bees reports that the new Drive-By Truckers album will be out in early 2008 and be called Brighter Than Creation’s Dark.

Chart and The Montreal Mirror chat with Rolf Klausener of The Acorn. They’re at the Horseshoe November 24.

Jeff Tweedy talks to Billboard about FINALLY working older Wilco material into their live setlists. Now if they could only reach back a little further into the Tupelo vaults…

Justin from An Aquarium Drunkard interviews Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers for The Arizona Republic.

By : Frank Yang at 8:23 am
Category: Uncategorized
RSS Feed for this postNo Responses.
  1. brads says:

    No need to feel alone, this blogger shares the AMC appreciation. Fingers tightly crossed that the tour hits Boston. Damn well better.

  2. Frank says:

    yeah brad – aged music bloggers represent!

  3. Tualla says:

    Shit that is a total drag about Ted Leo. Have to but something from his website, have to buy something from his website.

  4. Karl says:

    I’m an even more aged blogger representing that I remember playing the AMC’s debut LP on the radio. Dang.

    Glad you found Hawley; dig into Cole’s Corner!

  5. Beth says:

    Saw Eitzel last night in London. He’s still got it, folks.

  6. annie z says:

    i would have blogged about this had i known it; man!

  7. John says:

    Another blogger here very eager to hear new AMC. I saw them tour before <i>LSFP</i> came out and was disappointed at how ragged they were, but they pulled it together nicely in the studio. Good to see this reunion is more than a one-off.

  8. Stephen says:

    Thanks for the AMC news! Gotta go grab my tix for the Rickshaw. It’s a tiny bar in San Francisco, so that’s one not to be missed. I thought that last record was the best they’d ever done.

  9. gjv says:

    keep the AMC news coming! my fave band and songwriter by a country mile.

  10. earlebird says:

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    alternative, americana, good ol’ classic rock and country with limited to no commercial interruption! Pretty rare these days.
    If you’re lookin’ for local concert dates in the great state of Texas, free tickets, free listenin, whatever you’re country music needs are, has what you’re looking for.
    Also – they’re giving away TWO FREE tickets to the Black Crowes concert on October 26th – VIP passes, backstage tour, the works. So if you’re a fan of them,
    or just a fan of free concert tickets, come check out the site. Being a longtime fan of the country music lifestyle and
    Working with the station, I can guarantee these guys have what you’re looking for. Give it a shot ya’ll, come check it out!