This week, Merge releases Mark Eitzel's haunted and haunting Don't Be A Stranger, his first solo album since 2009's Klamath (Decor Records). Producer Sheldon Gomberg assembled a collection of crack studio players, including a full string section and Attractions drummer Pete Thomas, to record the album, whose more straightforward songs sprang from Eitzel's recent experience co-writing a musical, 2010's Marine Parade, with friend Simon Stephens. Longtime fans of the former lead singer of American Music Club, who cherish the grim, soaring beauty of his lyrics, where people are lonely, bad liquor is a refuge, "Lazarus wasn't grateful for his second wind," and "the applause grows louder the lower [...]
The clear, steady gaze of Mildred Jeter Loving looks right at you from the photographs. Then there’s the shy, smitten glance of her husband Richard at the skinny woman he called “Bean.” In never-before-seen archival footage, their daughter, Peggy, faces down the camera as her mother pulls knee socks onto her legs, her brothers playing in the background. We’re getting a privileged glimpse into a loving family. The Loving family, who lent their name to the Loving v. Virginia decision, delivered on June 12, 1967, by the unanimous Warren Court, which invalidated anti-miscegenation laws in Virginia and 15 other Southern states.