#36: Mark Eitzel- 60 Watt Silver Lining

Posted on Sep 16, 2005

I’m going to start with this one because I’ve been in a pretty crappy mood for the past 24 hours or so. I completely forgot about an important meeting yesterday, and mysterious bugs in Rails are keeping me from sharing my project with the team. Thus, like this album on the charts, I’m in a bit of a freefall. I’m sure Mark would find that only appropriate.

There was a time some years ago when this album would easily have been in my top ten, if not number 1. Mark Eitzel was the first artist I really followed. After I discovered Mark, and his band, American Music Club (on an album to be named later here in this series), I joined the (apparently now defunct) Firefly mailing list in 1994. Firefly was the first real Internet community that I felt like I was a part of—as the youngest member. I bought all the Eitzel related records I could get my hands on. I made mix tapes for myself consisting entirely of their songs. I included a song from them on the mix tapes I made for other people. I listened to my favorite albums like Songs of Love Live, Mercury, and Lovers Leap USA (which was stolen from me) over and over again. But the jazzy tones on this record and the overall grey feeling made an indelible impression, and that’s what lands 60 Watt Silver Lining on the top of the AMC/Eitzel stack.

Unfortunately for this record’s overall ranking, it was on the player during a part of my life I don’t recall that fondly. My freshman year of college was a real downer. Compared to the rest of my college life where I was either partying or dealing with the consequences of partying, I really didn’t do anything my freshman year except piss off my friends back home and play Diablo. Don’t get me wrong, though, Diablo is a great game.

It does make me wonder: do depressing albums like this face a disadvantage when facing the inevitable ranking? Wouldn’t anyone, regardless of their disposition, prefer happy feelings to sad ones?