Mark Eitzel with Paula Frazer and Goldring and Thompson, 9:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Bottom of the Hill. $12-$15. Also with Muralismo, 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. $12-20.
"I Love You But You're Dead" is the first single from Don't Be a Stranger, the new album from American Music Club singer-songwriter Mark Eitzel, and a harrowing demonstration of his talents. Over a soft curtain of guitars, Eitzel describes going to a show, describing the night in rich detail — the beer-stained carpet, the plywood stage, the band "so loud they're lighter than air." But while the lyrics confirm the narrator's presence, the swirling, intoxicated feel of the music suggests that he's at a delirious distance from the action, alone even with the crowd. The chorus all but confirms it: "But when she signed my poster/ She wrote I love you .../ but you're dead," Eitzel sings. This eye for detail and sense of three-dimensional desolation run through much of the S.F. singer's music, making his new album cause for downbeat celebration.