No City Fun

by American Mars

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about

After the collapse of the band’s original line-up following the release of Late (1997), singer/songwriter Thomas Trimble seriously considered drawing the curtain on AM. He continued to write songs, however, and in the spring of 1999 he got an invitation to perform at the North by Northeast Music Festival in Toronto. Thomas accepted the invitation and contacted Late producer David Feeny about accompanying him on pedal steel along with Detroit-based cellist Autumn Dunbar. The group performed as American Mars.

Shortly after returning to Detroit, Thomas and David decided to record the songs they had arranged for the NXNE performance. Discussions of a new American Mars record took place during those sessions and was followed by more writing and recording throughout 1999 and 2000.

While AM’s performance at NXNE featured the simple instrumentation of guitar, pedal steel, and cello, David and Thomas decided to approach the recording of No City Fun from a decidedly different direction. Says David, “We worked a bit backward by conventional standards, but by using the songs and lyrics as the bed we were able to capriciously add other elements to taste while never losing sight of the original character. I had long felt that the pedal steel guitar may be the most beautiful, ethereal instrument ever created and I loved the idea of smashing Americana/Country traditions into trancy found-sounds of the 21st century.”

Featured players on the recording include bassist Jim Johnson from the Come-Ons, Dirtbombs’ drummer Patrick Pantano, The Volebeats’ drummer Scott Michalski, AM alum Karla Richardson, and the rhythm section of drummer Mike Popovich and upright bassist Garth Girard.

No City Fun was released regionally in November of 2001 on the band’s own Diamond Wine Music label. Press for the record was glowing and No City Fun showed up on the Detroit Free Press’ top ten list for 2001 just behind the White Stripes Red Blood Cells. The record was re-released nationally in 2003 and was distributed by Chicago’s Carrot Top Records.

The touring band for No City Fun featured Trimble, Feeny, drummer Mike Popovich and bassist Garth Girard. The band supported the record with regional touring, an appearance at the 2003 South by Southwest music festival and supporting slots with Clem Snide, The National, Mark Eitzel, Tim Easton, Songs: Ohia, and The Handsome Family.

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released November 15, 2001

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American Mars Detroit, Michigan

Playing an atmospheric brand of roots-influenced Americana, American Mars' emotional live shows have earned the band supporting slots with The National, The Avett Brothers, Elbow, and Richard Buckner. The band features singer/guitarist Thomas Trimble, pedal steel/guitarist David Feeny, and bassist Garth Girard. Their latest full-length album is Exposure (2016). ... more

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