Mark Eitzel

Record Review

Phases and Stages

Mark Eitzel

Music for Courage & Confidence (New West) If there's one sure thing about Mark Eitzel, it's his unpredictability. What one makes of Music for Courage & Confidence will depend on where you stand on the Bay Area-based singer-songwriter/ex-American Music Club-er as an artist, and just how far you're willing to follow him. A collection of covers ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime, his initial offering for the locally based New West label begins as a curious listen and ends up just being a drag. One can almost see Eitzel smirking through laconic versions of Anne Murray's "Snowbird" and Culture Club's "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me." Whether or not we want to hear him sing these songs is another matter. He ruins an almost straight take on Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make it Through the Night" with some phony stage patter that recalls a bad lounge singer at the local Holiday Inn. It's at that point you're likely to wonder if he can't play it straight, what's the point? The range of original artists represented is truly bizarre. Beyond those already mentioned, he cops from the Andrea True Connection ("More, More, More"), Curtis Mayfield ("Get On Up"), Glen Campbell/John Hartford ("Gentle On My Mind"), and Phil Ochs ("Rehearsals for Retirement"). After a while, Music for Courage & Confidence becomes a trying experience, since almost all the material herein is rendered with the same funereal manner, and in the end, tongue planted firmly in cheek or not, the joke just isn't that funny. (Mark Eitzel plays Stubb's inside, Friday, June 7.)

**

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Bright Light Social Hour
Jude Vol. 1 (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 8, 2019

Texas Platters
Charlie Faye & the Fayettes
The Whole Shebang (Record Review)

Libby Webster, Feb. 8, 2019

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle