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Eels

Although Eels are often marketed as a full-fledged band, singer/songwriter E (real name: Mark Oliver Everett) is responsible for the group's sound and direction. Born in Virginia on April 9, 1963, Everett became interested in rock music at an early age via his sister's record collection, and began playing drums at the age of six, as well as tinkering on his family's piano. As the years progressed, Everett found himself leading a troubled teenage life, which was further complicated by his father's death. However, the turmoil led to an even stronger interest in music, as he taught himself how to play his sister's guitar and began writing his own original compositions. (Tragedy would later form the catalyst for Eels' magnum opus, Electro-Shock Blues.)

Due to the fact that several of his friends were also named Mark, it was around this time that Everett began going by his initials -- and eventually, solely by the letter E. By his early twenties, E was recording demo material on a used four-track cassette recorder, and eventually decided to pursue his rock & roll dreams by relocating to Los Angeles. Due to his prolific songwriting, the quality of his tunes naturally began to improve, which led to a recording contract as a solo artist for Polydor Records. This was followed by a pair of underappreciated releases, 1992's A Man Called (E) (which was supported with a tour opening for Tori Amos) and 1993's Broken Toy Shop, before E left the label and formed Eels along with bassist Tommy Walter and drummer Butch Norton. The trio inked a deal with the then-newly formed Dreamworks label, which issued Eels' debut, 1996's Beautiful Freak. The album spawned a sizable MTV/alternative radio hit with "Novocaine for the Soul"; its promo clip received three MTV Video Music Award nominations the following year, and the group's popularity rose in England (resulting in a Brit Award, which was presented to the group by goof metallists Spinal Tap).

What should have been a time of great promise for E turned out to be one of tragedy, as both the singer's sister and mother passed away in quick succession. This was compounded by Walter's departure from the group. The dark mood resonated in Eels' sophomore effort, Electro-Shock Blues, which proved to be stronger than its predecessor, yet failed to fuel much commercial success. With new bassist Adam Siegal in tow, the group toured behind the album's release before returning to the studio immediately afterward to work on a third album. Issued in 2000, Daisies of the Galaxy offered a slightly brighter outlook and featured a guest appearance from R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, who also helped co-pen a track. Despite the album's commercial failure, E put together the Eels Orchestra and launched an international tour in support of its release. The six-piece band featured saxophone, trombone, trumpet, banjo, guitar, violin, upright bass, piano, melodica, clarinet, and timpani; to make it work on-stage, each bandmember was required to play three to four different instruments each night.

After a live recording of the 2000 Eels Orchestra tour, Oh What a Beautiful Morning, was issued via the group's official website, E began preparing for Eels' fourth studio release. Instead of penning the entire album by himself (as he'd done with the group's previous work), E turned to John Parish for help. The two created Souljacker, which was issued throughout most of the world in September 2001 and hit American shores early the following year (in the U.S., the first edition of the CD also contained a bonus four-track disc). The resulting tour saw E and Norton joined by multi-instrumentalist Parish, as well as new bassist/synthesizer player Koool G Murder. A live disc, Electro-Shock Blues Show, followed soon after to promote the tour.

Spring 2003 began a flurry of Eels/E-related releases, beginning with MC Honky and his SpinART release I Am the Messiah. While the man behind Messiah's splattering mix of hip-hop beats, dance grooves, and kitschy samples was little more than E in DJ drag, the album was nevertheless an enjoyable slice of summertime fun. E's score for the indie film Levity arrived in April, and June saw the release of Eels' fifth studio album, Shootenanny! Its follow-up, 2005's Blinking Lights and Other Revelations, was an ambitious double album including 33 songs. Eels' With Strings: Live at Town Hall album, recorded June 30, 2005, documented their New York Town Hall performance during their 2005 tour of the same name, and another With Strings: Live at Town Hall edition was simultaneously issued in February 2006 with a concert DVD.

In 2008, Eels released two CD/DVD sets, the first a best-of package and the second a collection of odds & sods. The band's music also comprised the bulk of the soundtrack for Yes Man, a comedy featuring Jim Carrey. E then returned to the drawing board and emerged with Hombre Lobo, a concept album about desire that arrived in mid-2009, followed closely by the MySpace Transmissions Session 2009 live EP.

The lo-fi End Times, which revolved around the central theme of broken love, arrived in 2010, but was followed in August by Tomorrow Morning, a much more polished album of upbeat optimism that relied heavily on analog electronics to drive its songs. Eels' tenth album -- the eccentric, hard rock-focused Wonderful, Glorious -- arrived early in 2013. The stripped-down, acoustic, and lightly orchestrated The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett followed it roughly a year later in 2014. On June 30 the band performed at London's Royal Albert Hall. The show was filmed and recorded, then released as an audio and video disc package in the spring of 2015. ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett

1. Where I'm At

2. Parallels

3. Lockdown Hurricane

4. Agatha Chang

5. A Swallow In The Sun

6. Where I'm From

7. Series Of Misunderstandings

8. Kindred Spirit

9. Gentlemen's Choice

10. Dead Reckoning

11. Answers

12. Mistakes Of My Youth

13. Where I'm Going

x

Track List: Wonderful, Glorious

Disc 1

1. Bombs Away

2. Kinda Fuzzy

3. Accident Prone

4. Peach Blossom

5. On The Robes

6. The Turnaround

7. New Alphabet

8. Stick Together

9. True Orignal

10. Open My Present

11. You're My Friend

12. I Am Building A Shrine

13. Wonderful, Glorious

Disc 2

1. Hold On To Yout Hat

2. Your Mama Warned You

3. I'm Your Brave Little Soldier

4. There's Something Strange

5. Happy Hour (We're Gonna Rock)

6. That's Not Really Funny (Live)

7. In My Dreams (Live 2010)

8. Prizefighter (Live 2011)

9. Looking Up (Live 2011)

10. What I Have To Offer (Live At Kexp)

11. I Like The Way This Is Going (Live At KEXP)

12. Spectacula Girl (Live KEXP

13. Summer In The City (Live KEXP)

x

Track List: Tomorrow Morning

1. In Gratitude For This Magnificent Day

2. I'm A Hummingbird

3. The Morning

4. Baby Loves Me

5. Spectacular Girl

6. What I Have To Offer

7. This Is Where It Gets Good

8. After The Earthquake

9. Oh So Lovely

10. The Man

11. Looking Up

12. That's Not Her Way

13. I Like The Way This Is Going

14. Mystery Of Life

x

Track List: Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs Of Desire

1. Prizefighter

2. That Look You Give That Guy

3. Lilac Breeze

4. In My Dreams

5. Tremendous Dynamite

6. Longing

7. Fresh Blood

8. What's A Fella Gotta Do

9. My Timing Is Off

10. All The Beautiful Things

11. Beginner's Luck

12. Ordinary Man

x

Track List: Meet The Eels: Essential Eels, Vol. 1 (1996-2006)

Disc 1

1. Novocaine For The Soul

2. Susan's House

3. My Beloved Monster

4. Your Lucky Day In Hell

5. 3 Speed

6. Last Stop: This Town

8. Flyswatter

9. I Like Birds

10. Mr. E's Beautiful Blues

11. It's A Motherf**ker

13. That's Not Really Funny

14. Fresh Feeling

15. Get Ur Freak On

16. Saturday Morning

17. Love Of The Loveless

19. I Need Some Sleep

20. Hey Man (Now You're Really Living)

21. I'm Going To Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart

22. Trouble With Dreams

23. Railroad Man

24. Losing Streak

Disc 2
x

Track List: Blinking Lights And Other Revelations

Disc 1

1. Theme From Blinking Lights

2. From Which I Came / A Magic World

3. Son Of A B**ch

4. Blinking Lights

5. Trouble With Dreams

6. Marie Floating Over The Backyard

7. Suicide Life

8. In The Yard, Behind The Church

9. Railroad Man

10. The Other Shoe

11. Last Time We Spoke

12. Mother Mary

13. Going Fetal

14. Understanding Salesmen

15. Theme For A Pretty Girl That Makes You Believe God Exists

16. Checkout Blues

17. Blinking Lights (For You)

Disc 2

1. Dust of Ages

2. Old S**t / New S**t

3. Bride of Theme From Blinking Lights

4. Hey Man (Now You're Really Living)

5. I'm Going To Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart

6. To Lick Your Boots

7. If You See Natalie

8. Sweet Li'l Thing

9. Dusk: A Peach In The Orchard

10. Whatever Happened To Soy Bomb

11. Ugly Love

12. God's Silence

13. Losing Streak

14. Last Days Of My Bitter Heart

15. The Stars Shine In The Sky Tonight

16. Things The Grandchildren Should Know

x

Track List: Shootenanny!

1. All In A Day's Work

2. Saturday Morning

3. The Good Old Days

4. Love Of The Loveless

5. Dirty Girl

6. Agony

7. Rock Hard Times

8. Restraining Order Blues

9. Lone Wolf

10. Wrong About Bobby

11. Numbered Days

12. Fashion Awards

13. Somebody Loves You

x

Track List: Souljacker

Disc 1

1. Dog Faced Boy

2. That's Not Really Funny

3. Fresh Feeling

4. Woman Driving, Man sleeping

5. Souljacker, Part I

6. Friendly Ghost

7. Teenage Witch

8. Bus Stop Boxer

9. Jungle Telegraph

10. World Of S#!t

11. Souljacker Part II

12. What Is This Note?

Disc 2
x

Track List: Daisies Of The Galaxy

1. Grace Kelly Blues

2. Packing Blankets

3. The Sound Of Fear

4. I Like Birds

5. Daisies Of The Galaxy

6. Flyswatter

7. It's A Motherf**ker

8. Estate Sale

9. Tiger In My Tank

10. A Daisy Through Concrete

11. Jeannie's Diary

12. Wooden Nickels

13. Something Is Sacred

14. Selective Memory

15. Mr. E's Beautiful Blues

x

Track List: Electro-Shock Blues

1. Elizabeth On The Bathroom Floor

2. Going To Your Funeral Part 1

3. Cancer For The Cure

4. My Descent Into Madness

5. 3 Speed

6. Hospital Food

7. Electro-Shock Blues

8. Efil's God

9. Going To Your Funeral Part II

10. Last Stop: This Town

11. Baby Genius

12. Climbing To The Moon

13. Ant Farm

14. Dead Of Winter

15. The Medication Is Wearing Off

16. P.S. You Rock My World

x

Track List: Beautiful Freak

1. Novocaine For The Soul

2. Susan's House

3. Rags To Rags

4. Beautiful Freak

5. Not Ready Yet

6. My Beloved Monster

7. Flower

8. Guest List

9. Mental

10. Spunky

11. Your Lucky Day In Hell

12. Manchild

x

Track List: End Times

1. The Beginning

2. Gone Man

3. In My Younger Days

4. Mansions Of Los Feliz

5. A Line In The Dirt

6. End Times

7. Apple Trees

8. Paradise Blues

9. Nowadays

10. Unhinged

11. High And Lonesome

12. I Need A Mother

13. Little Bird

14. On My Feet

x

Track List: New Alphabet (Single)

1. New Alphabet

x

Track List: Royal Albert Hall

1. Where I'm At

2. I Like Birds

3. When You Wish Upon A Star

4. My Beloved Monster

5. The Morning

6. Gentlemen's Choice

7. Parallels

8. Mistakes Of My Youth / Wonderful, Glorious

9. Addressing The Royal Audience

10. Where I'm Going

11. Mansions Of Los Feliz

12. I Like The Way This Is Going

13. My Timing Is Off

14. Blinking Lights (For Me)

15. A Line In The Dirt

16. Last Stop: This Town

17. Where I'm From

18. The Beginning

19. It's A Motherf**ker

20. Can't Help Falling In Love

21. Lockdown Hurricane

22. Turn On Your Radio

23. A Daisy Through Concrete

24. Flyswatter

25. Introducing The Band

26. The Sound Of Fear

27. Grace Kelly Blues

28. Fresh Feeling

Comments

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Saw them at Lollapalooza 2006... very nice
Report as inappropriate
You ain't wrong
Report as inappropriate
Where's all the Eels love? E rocks!
Report as inappropriate
lame

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