Silver Jews Album Poll

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Vote for your favorite album by the band Silvr Jews.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
American Water (1998) 28
The Natural Bridge (1996) 13
Tanglewood Numbers (2005) 7
Starlite Walker (1994) 5
Bright Flight (2001) 5
Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea (2008) 3


mizzell, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 14:18 (ten years ago) link

american water. the perfect mix between the earlier swaggery playfulness and the later heavier country rock. some of dave's best lyrics and steve's best guitar licks (including pavement). the album ends really strong too. "the wild kindness" is one of the greatest songs ever. always wondered though why the album cover looks like roger waters' pros and cons of hithhiking. maybe he's trying to tell us he's the american waters

kamerad, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 14:37 (ten years ago) link

the title came from a poster he saw at a vet's office of the american water spaniel

mizzell, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 14:40 (ten years ago) link

I think American Water is probably the most consistent but Starlite Walker is my personal favourite, if only for "Advice To The Graduate."

Number None, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 14:43 (ten years ago) link

AZ Record? was that an ep?

*⁂((✪⥎✪))⁂* (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 2 September 2009 15:20 (ten years ago) link

yes, it's listed as an ep. i'm quite surprised that drag city hasn't issues some sort of odds n sods comp.

mizzell, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 15:27 (ten years ago) link

didn't hear the last one, but i gusee i'm torn betweeen AW & SW. But then I think how much I enjoy BF. Don't sleep on BF.

feed them to the (Linden Ave) lions (will), Wednesday, 2 September 2009 16:20 (ten years ago) link

guess

feed them to the (Linden Ave) lions (will), Wednesday, 2 September 2009 16:20 (ten years ago) link

"Punks in the Beerlight," esp. the part where that solo kicks in, might be the perfect song.

Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea was, eh, not very compelling.

kshighway, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 16:21 (ten years ago) link

i love lookout mountain, prolly my second or thrid favorite.

mizzell, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 16:22 (ten years ago) link

Why do you love it, mizzell? Perhaps I need to revisit it!

kshighway, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 16:23 (ten years ago) link

there are some great songs (suffering jukebox, san francisco bc, we could be looking for the same thing) and the best playing and production of any of their records.

mizzell, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 16:35 (ten years ago) link

love american water but almost voted for the natural bridge because oh dallas always makes me think of odalis perez.

ojo, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 16:48 (ten years ago) link

american water is their most consistent and a big fav of mine, then i'd say, starlite walker followed by tanglewood numbers. haven't listened to the rest except fora couple songs.

sandwiches, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 20:45 (ten years ago) link

"the title came from a poster he saw at a vet's office of the american water spaniel" -- this is kinda a useless approach to analysis tho - guy mentions water a LOT, f'rinstance there's something someone is quoted as saying in one of the poems in 'actual air': "all water is classic water"

i don't really want to get into close reading of david berman lyrics though, that would be a bit pitchfork-circa-2002 and ppl would probably make fun of me

thomp, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 21:25 (ten years ago) link

would find it hard to decide between voting for that record and bright flight - one is the best silver jews record at sounding like just a buncha guys who enjoy playing together, other is the best at sounding like an lp of musicians recruited to play for a certain sound in a studio

thomp, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 21:27 (ten years ago) link

Actually really love Bright Flight. Never listen to any of these anymore. Still their most consistent, if you ask me.

slagterm, Thursday, 3 September 2009 04:36 (ten years ago) link

ya lookout mountain is tite

wilter, Thursday, 3 September 2009 04:48 (ten years ago) link

starlite walker. it's more or less perfect being what it is. i'm not so much into the later years, too produced, not enough nastanovich

sonderangerbot, Thursday, 3 September 2009 12:11 (ten years ago) link

this is kinda a useless approach to analysis tho

Unless it's based on DB saying this was indeed the case, it's not quite so useless then

American Water for me anyhoo I think

DJ AMencap (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 3 September 2009 12:20 (ten years ago) link

oops. meant to cover connect the roger waters album and american water. anyways, the similarities are uncanny, i tell you

kamerad, Thursday, 3 September 2009 12:52 (ten years ago) link

smith and jones
forever

mookieproof, Thursday, 3 September 2009 17:45 (ten years ago) link

"Punks in the Beerlight," esp. the part where that solo kicks in, might be the perfect song.

Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea was, eh, not very compelling.

― kshighway, Wednesday, September 2, 2009 4:21 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark

its so tough bw AW and TNs, the latter mostly for nostalgia-of-the-time

69, Thursday, 3 September 2009 17:51 (ten years ago) link

i love American Water more than the last two Pavement records (which lol is not saying much) but for some reason I slept on The Natural Bridge until last year. . . AW is still my favorite record, but I think I almost dig "How to Rent a Room" more than "The Wild Kindness."

Mr. Que, Thursday, 3 September 2009 17:57 (ten years ago) link

Tanglewood has the highest number of songs that i love (punks, how can i love you, i'm getting back, sleeping is the only love, there is a place)

mizzell, Thursday, 3 September 2009 18:00 (ten years ago) link

Starlite Walker is cool, but it's like 3 great songs (Advice to the Graduate, Trains Across the Sea, New Orleans) and a bunch of stuff I just end up skipping over.

Natural Bridge is my favorite. Shit is dark.

American Water is, as said, quality all the way through. Relatively sunny.

REALLY dig Bright Flight. Similar to Natural Bridge and probably my 2nd favorite SJ album.

Tanglewood Numbers, outside of Punks in the Beerlight, just didn't do it for me

Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea left me pretty cold. Easily my least favorite.

circa1916, Thursday, 3 September 2009 18:21 (ten years ago) link

americna water is pretty good but now better than any pavement record

king dom, come (k3vin k.), Thursday, 3 September 2009 18:22 (ten years ago) link

no

Mr. Que, Thursday, 3 September 2009 18:31 (ten years ago) link

whoops, "now" should be "not"

king dom, come (k3vin k.), Thursday, 3 September 2009 18:32 (ten years ago) link

hahaha okay fair enough

Mr. Que, Thursday, 3 September 2009 18:33 (ten years ago) link

American Water and Bright Flight are my faves as well. Of course Malkmus's contribution to AW is considerable; Bright Flight more of a Berman solo affair.

I also dig Look Out Mountain... Tanglewood Numbers is my least favourite. I think it might be the production on TN that I dislike -- it always sounded unclear, murky to me. Am I alone in thinking that?

Duke, Thursday, 3 September 2009 19:37 (ten years ago) link

I asked the painter why the roads are colored black.
He said, "Steve, it's because people leave
and no highway will bring them back."
So if you don't want me I promise not to linger,
But before I go I gotta ask you dear about the tan line on your ring finger.

post-contrarian meta-challop 2009 (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 3 September 2009 19:38 (ten years ago) link

A band I regretfully never got to see live.

I can imagine David Berman starting a new musical project 5 years down the line.

Duke, Thursday, 3 September 2009 19:47 (ten years ago) link

He taught a songwriting course at my college the semester after I graduated. He did a poetry reading and Q&A at the end of the course. It was great... really regret not being able to take that class.

NB = AW > BF > TN = SW >>> LOM

Moreno, Thursday, 3 September 2009 20:42 (ten years ago) link

that sounds fantastic

in re tanglewood numbers i think hearing the demos / live versions makes it a little clearer how the arrangements work as actual live arrangements & not faked-up studio versions of same: i think the record kind of falls between two stools, there, with all the guest starring

also berman's ad-libbing unfinished lyrics is kinda funny "i've been living in k- hole since you went away / i've been down here day after day / you went and fucked all those fucking nerds / why'd you fuck all those fucking ner-erds"

thomp, Thursday, 3 September 2009 21:18 (ten years ago) link

hahahaha so amazing, i'm going to be singing that for the next 77 years

Mr. Que, Thursday, 3 September 2009 21:19 (ten years ago) link

are those still around, the demos?

Mr. Que, Thursday, 3 September 2009 21:19 (ten years ago) link

http://boxingduck.blogspot.com/2008/08/silver-jews-tanglewood-numbers-demos.html

links still seem active

thomp, Thursday, 3 September 2009 21:57 (ten years ago) link

natural bridge, one of the great all time downer records

iago g., Friday, 4 September 2009 14:28 (ten years ago) link

American Water narrowly edging out Natural Bridge for me, but Natural Bridge/American Water/Bright Flight is one of the all-time great runs imo

Man Is Nairf! (J0hn D.), Friday, 4 September 2009 14:44 (ten years ago) link

hmm, i'm gonna have to go back to Bright Flight. It's the only one I don't own, but always remember it being quite poor.

mizzell, Friday, 4 September 2009 15:47 (ten years ago) link

the first time I heard it I kinda hated it too but then I came around

Man Is Nairf! (J0hn D.), Friday, 4 September 2009 15:49 (ten years ago) link

man this is tough. and i haven't even heard the last couple

i'm beasting off the riesling (M@tt He1ges0n), Friday, 4 September 2009 16:26 (ten years ago) link

Bright Flight is sneaky. And great.

bear, bear, bear, Friday, 4 September 2009 16:28 (ten years ago) link

yeah coming off AW i was a little eh. but it definitely snuck up on me. "Tennessee" is one of Berman's dopest singles imo.

feed them to the (Linden Ave) lions (will), Friday, 4 September 2009 16:46 (ten years ago) link

He probably hates it, but I think DCB did his best work with SM:

Dime Map of The Reef
Silver Joos & Nico
Trillion Story Walk Up
American Water
Send In The Clouds single

*⁂((✪⥎✪))⁂* (Steve Shasta), Friday, 4 September 2009 17:01 (ten years ago) link

(the Jews turn 20 years old this month by the way)

*⁂((✪⥎✪))⁂* (Steve Shasta), Friday, 4 September 2009 17:04 (ten years ago) link

the Jews turn 20 years old this month by the way

they would have, had they not split.

Duke, Friday, 4 September 2009 17:28 (ten years ago) link

"tennessee" b-sides weren't bad either, especially "i'm gonna love the hell out of you"

kamerad, Friday, 4 September 2009 17:44 (ten years ago) link

tennessee ep works really well bcz of how everything on the album is more hi fi and less high-spirited than that song, and all the other tracks on the EP are less hi fi and more high-spirited

i did not know there was a send in the clouds single with more malkmus b-sides: is it the same lineup as 'american water'?

i can't decide how resigned i am to the failure of the natural bridge's dynamics - like how the epic guitar finish to the frontier index is kind of totally limp - i can't decide if that's fitting or not

thomp, Friday, 4 September 2009 18:44 (ten years ago) link

there's more than one of those

maybe of more use: their entire final gig is up there

thomp, Friday, 4 September 2009 20:20 (ten years ago) link

You got
Tennessee tendencies and
Chemical dependencies
You make the same old jokes
And malaprops on cue

Duke, Friday, 4 September 2009 20:53 (ten years ago) link

belly dance=eh...

bear, bear, bear, Friday, 4 September 2009 22:28 (ten years ago) link

yeh but check out his introductory monologue to 'we are real'

thomp, Friday, 4 September 2009 22:31 (ten years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 23:01 (ten years ago) link

another vote for 'bright flight', tho i probably listen to certain tracks on 'starlite walker' the most

psychgawsple, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 23:16 (ten years ago) link

"People" is a song that I thought stank when it came out and now I realize how great it is.

Change Display Name: (Steve Shasta), Tuesday, 29 September 2009 23:36 (ten years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 23:01 (ten years ago) link

i feel bad for david that his evil corporate lobbyist dad is one of rachel maddow's top punching bags lately.

dudamel (get bent), Thursday, 1 October 2009 01:22 (ten years ago) link

(i missed this poll but would have voted for natural bridge.)

dudamel (get bent), Thursday, 1 October 2009 01:23 (ten years ago) link

bright flight deserved that #3 spot imo. didn't realize people actually dug tanglewood numbers that much.

circa1916, Thursday, 1 October 2009 01:27 (ten years ago) link

richard berman will be a guest on maddow next week btw

dudamel (get bent), Thursday, 1 October 2009 01:33 (ten years ago) link

^^this is on tonight.

dudamel (get bent), Wednesday, 7 October 2009 01:03 (ten years ago) link

eight months pass...

We don't get much news on this stuff in England- has DB scored any strikes on Vader yet?

Miss him. Listening to Natural Bridge tonight.

kraudive, Sunday, 27 June 2010 21:06 (nine years ago) link

can't speak to his relations with the Empire, but in an interview a few months ago, he said he's "going into a totally new project right now. I have a feeling you'll hear about it when the time is nigh."

del griffith, Sunday, 27 June 2010 21:13 (nine years ago) link

missed out on this but def would have voted for Tanglewood. American Water is a close second though. Lookout is half great.

chromecassettes, Monday, 28 June 2010 14:24 (nine years ago) link

a "Random Rules" video consisting of slides from the movie version of "The Name of the Rose"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx8d8-YPLW0

congratulations (n/a), Monday, 28 June 2010 14:30 (nine years ago) link

alternately: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZGxeswa728&feature=related

congratulations (n/a), Monday, 28 June 2010 14:31 (nine years ago) link

people are weird

congratulations (n/a), Monday, 28 June 2010 14:31 (nine years ago) link

has DB scored any strikes on Vader yet?
seems that's all died down since his retirement announcement? maybe this "big project" he's working on is a 'daddy knows best' style roman a clef?

kamerad, Monday, 28 June 2010 14:53 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

yes, it's listed as an ep. i'm quite surprised that drag city hasn't issued some sort of odds n sods comp.

― mizzell, Wednesday, September 2, 2009 11:27 AM (2 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

finally
http://pitchfork.com/news/46093-silver-jews-collect-early-recordings/

mizzell, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 23:00 (eight years ago) link

Were the other early singles and EPs not on DC? Hot as Hell and Silver Jews and Nico come to mind....

Iago Galdston, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 00:46 (eight years ago) link

'starlite walker' shouldve won

Lamp, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 01:39 (eight years ago) link

show yr work

boxall, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 02:08 (eight years ago) link

'new orleans', 'rebel jew', 'advice to the graduate'

Lamp, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 02:21 (eight years ago) link

seven years pass...

the least loved one is pretty much perfect imo

geoffreyess, Saturday, 4 April 2020 01:35 (two months ago) link

It’s really well put together, but too studied and impersonal.

circa1916, Saturday, 4 April 2020 10:27 (two months ago) link

The brilliance of Lookout Mountain only really hit me the week after he died, oddly. Lately the "We're coming out of the black patch! We're coming out of the pocket! We're calling into question such virtue gone to see-eeeed" section seems to enter my head every few days, for some reason.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Saturday, 4 April 2020 14:03 (two months ago) link

Would have voted for Lookout Mountain if I was voting in polls back then.

It was my first, so that could be why I'm partial to it. I've never understood why it seems to get little love from Jews fans. It definitely is the least Pavementy of their albums and is less shaggy than the others.

When I look at the tracklist, it's perfect. The opening cut which is a beautiful statement of purpose. Maybe the most optimistic Bergman song? Then the Bluegrass Drummer (!) song that goes by so fast with so many great details that I'm still picking out, especially "Suet, tallow, LIQUID SQUEALS, Great mounds of plastic lard." SUFFERING JUKEBOX!!!!!! Which I think is about a miserable musician in a bar taking requests. Maybe? Cassie's best vocals in a Jews song? My Pillow Is The Threshold, a portrait of a depressive longing for sleep so he can dream of his lost love. Every fucking stanza has gems in it. "I throw my thoughts like tomahawks into this world which I disown." Strange Victory with the bit about the young band proclaiming"We're coming out of the black patch!
We're coming out of the pocket! We're calling into question such virtue gone to seed!" Open Field, the lone cover that seems to express the freedom of childlessness with a slight melancholy. San Francisco BC! Bergman's best short story of a song? "It wasn't New Wave it was human error." Candy Jail! Kettle Drums, swedish fish! A heartbreaking sugar coated portrait of addiction. Party Barge makes me think of the guys from Smith & Jones carrying on and floating down a river on a busted raft, longing for a St. Bernard to bring them some booze. Then an affirming closer that in a perfect world would have been covered by George Jones. All this in just a hair over thirty minutes.

It's the best one from start to finish. Except for maybe Purple Mountains.

I was thinking last night that a Drag City Troubadours poll would be interesting, if I knew how to make polls. Callahan vs Oldman vs Bergman. Bergman would probably get it but I'm not sure how I'd vote.

Cow_Art, Saturday, 4 April 2020 14:13 (two months ago) link

agree with most of that. i love lookout mountain.

mizzell, Saturday, 4 April 2020 14:44 (two months ago) link

i think that poll has been done.

mizzell, Saturday, 4 April 2020 14:44 (two months ago) link

I've probably put the most hours in listening to Lookout Mountain, although I expect Purple Mountains will surpass it in time. San Francisco BC is def in my top 10 Jews songs

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Saturday, 4 April 2020 16:05 (two months ago) link

My favorites are the albums with Malkmus -- not necessarily all because of his involvement, though I guess it doesn't hurt. The others never really connected with me too strongly.

morrisp, Saturday, 4 April 2020 16:14 (two months ago) link


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