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American Music Club - The Horseshoe Wreath In Bloom


The Horseshoe Wreath In Bloom
American Music Club
Love Songs For Patriots
2004

here's the story of the incredible shrinking man
of fatal disappointment met with a frozen margarita grin
blinking in time to the hour hand
funny red nose, Rudolph jokes, memory failing

if you buy lottery tickets youll win one day
a pile of dead scratchers with the gold and silver all
scratched away

see him face the manageress he feels her bright disdain
watches as she yawns all the way through his final scene
she makes it clear my dear in no way does she wish him ill
says there's no justice there's just this bill

10 years at the Columbia Hotel
for that there should be a fabulous prize
a lifetime room for a life that slipped away
to hide his asphalt and tarmac eyes

if you buy lottery tickets youll win one day
a pile of dead scratchers with the gold and silver all
scratched away
and im sure my horseshoe wreath will surely bloom

if I wait in the hotel bar all afternoon
just wait in the hotel bar every afternoon

Ed Mc Mann and the models will emerge from the gloom
with big thanks for the life you lead and the joy you made
give up a wad of paper and all my favorite balloons
Ill make a kick ass speech how you never let the bastards kill your soul
how those who pound sun to dawn you pound of the walls of doom
and fight the vacuum in a world without supermen
how a star must never cast a shadow across the room
Im a king i know i wrote it on my tomb.

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While San Francisco's American Music Club was one of the finest, most idiosyncratic alt-rock bands of the 1990s (not to mention '80s), their permanent cult status and interpersonal volatility brought about the group's end in the mid-'90s. Singer/songwriter Mark Eitzel and other members pursued various solo projects, but could never equal the tragic majesty of AMC's sad-and-beautiful oeuvre. The band's eventual reunion resulted in 2004's LOVE SONGS FOR PATRIOTS, a comeback album stronger than fans might have dared to hope.

Vudi's twisted, barbed-wire guitarscapes twirl with brutal elegance around Eitzel's tortured croon and sarcastic-but-poetic lyrics. While the former kings of misery (once termed the American Smiths) are still not exactly gleeful-sounding here, the self-loathing and romantic desolation of old has been partially supplanted by a new degree of sociopolitically motivated invective, presumably in reaction to post-9/11 life in the US. Former AMC keyboardist/pedal steel guitarist Bruce Kaphan's lush textures are missed, but new member Marc Capelle does an admirable job in his stead, and the rest of the band locks in together in the agreeably spiky, subtly disconsolate manner that was always a huge part of their appeal.

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