Purple Mountains (RIP David Berman, August 2019)

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I think it's the best the music behind DCB has sounded since American Water.


Just based on the first two tracks, I think I’m already inclined to agree with this. The beginning of All My Happiness Is Gone actually feels kind of thrilling coming off of the first track. That’s some great sequencing. Have a feeling I’ll be playing these two songs over and over until the album comes out.

Vaguely Threatening CAPTCHAs, Tuesday, 21 May 2019 03:41 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

Really interesting article... I didn’t know a lot of the backstory (or even that Drag City has a “message board”).

get your hand outta my pocket universe (morrisp), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 06:06 (eleven months ago) link

Yeah, not sure if they meant the Drag City newsletter or what. Also, surprised there's a place to live above their offices -- mostly artist-studio-type spaces without showers and so on.

... (Eazy), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 11:52 (eleven months ago) link

it's neither, it's the old disc.server board:

http://disc.yourwebapps.com/Indices/18043.html

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 13:26 (eleven months ago) link

He toggles from the virtues of silence as the most powerful artistic statement, as laid out by Susan Sontag in her 1967 essay “The Aesthetics of Silence” (which he insisted I read before our first meeting), to the virtues of getting banned from websites for trolling (which he admits happened to him)

Odds on Berman posting on here at some point?

Position Position, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 14:43 (eleven months ago) link

I don’t get the feeling he necessarily “loves music.”

get your hand outta my pocket universe (morrisp), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 15:23 (eleven months ago) link

hasnt stopped any of us before tbf

One Eye Open, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 15:28 (eleven months ago) link

lol

get your hand outta my pocket universe (morrisp), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 15:44 (eleven months ago) link

The wapo interview's pretty good. Answers a few questions I had and confirms a few suspicions about the Chicago loft and the separation.

The option of anonymous posting on the disc.server board was one of the greatest things about it in its heyday. Guaranteed daily chaos. That's the board where, late one Friday night around the time of Bright Flight, someone posted David's home phone number. I called it, thinking I could just say I was only trying to alert him to its presence if he was irritated about it, but sure enough he picked up and gave no indication of irritation whatsoever but was in fact totally cheery about it and chatted with me, the lowly internet fanboy, for a good ten minutes, wouldn't let me go even, despite the fact there were all kinds of voices and noises in the background on his end from a party at his house that sounded like it was still going strong.

del griffith, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 18:06 (eleven months ago) link

“He liked it when I called Jack White ‘Sir Edgar Scissor Blues.’ ”

lol

The wapo interview's pretty good. Answers a few questions I had and confirms a few suspicions about the Chicago loft and the separation.

The first thing I thought on watching the "All My Happiness Is Gone", was 'oh no, he and Carrie have separated'

Duke, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 19:02 (eleven months ago) link

Cassie not Carrie

Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 19:20 (eleven months ago) link

morrisp -- there are a bunch of tourdates announced upthread.

new album is ... pretty great? still absorbing, but a bunch of really good songs / lines.

tylerw, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 19:26 (eleven months ago) link

Cassie not Carrie

Yes! Sorry Cassie.

Duke, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 19:29 (eleven months ago) link

xp Thanks, I missed or glossed over that

get your hand outta my pocket universe (morrisp), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 19:39 (eleven months ago) link

Interesting how this isn’t sold out in a small Chicago club, whereas Silver Jews would certainly sell out the Metro or Vic pretty quickly.

... (Eazy), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 21:44 (eleven months ago) link

don't underestimate brand recognition. I doubt Robert Pollard sells anywhere close to the number of records Guided by Voices does. The mid-or-late-career moniker change is a tough thing to navigate (though Sun Kil Moon, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Magnolia Electric Company--to name three off the top of my head--made it work, I guess)

I bet labels hate when established bands / artists / solo acts change their name

Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 22:02 (eleven months ago) link

Yup. I bet 80+% of people who'd pounce on a Silver Jews ticket don't have any idea that Berman is back under this name.

alpine static, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 22:42 (eleven months ago) link

We ended up buying tix for that L.A. show (final show of the tour?); I bet it would have sold out already under the Joos name / "back in the day."

get your hand outta my pocket universe (morrisp), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 22:53 (eleven months ago) link

intentional sabotage?

calstars, Wednesday, 5 June 2019 00:06 (eleven months ago) link

Listening to the promo right now, as it happens.

Lactose Shaolin Wanker (Raymond Cummings), Wednesday, 5 June 2019 00:43 (eleven months ago) link

That's the board where, late one Friday night around the time of Bright Flight, someone posted David's home phone number. I called it, thinking I could just say I was only trying to alert him to its presence if he was irritated about it, but sure enough he picked up and gave no indication of irritation whatsoever but was in fact totally cheery about it and chatted with me, the lowly internet fanboy, for a good ten minutes, wouldn't let me go even, despite the fact there were all kinds of voices and noises in the background on his end from a party at his house that sounded like it was still going strong.


I mean this era was, according to the article, his “crack” phase

circa1916, Wednesday, 5 June 2019 01:39 (eleven months ago) link

I mean this era was, according to the article, his “crack” phase

Well sure, that is true, but it was also soon after 9/11, which was everyone everywhere's crack and/or some crack variant phase. Besides, I also got to chat with him after the Asheville show in 2006, with all crack and/or crack variants out of his system, and he was still equally cheery.

del griffith, Wednesday, 5 June 2019 03:07 (eleven months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZKMa-ByLBQ

mizzell, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 14:20 (eleven months ago) link

ok that little thing at the end made me laugh hard

still these videos might be getting a little too real for me

One Eye Open, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 14:36 (eleven months ago) link

i laughed when he was sweeping something into a dustpan and then looked up at the camera to deliver the back-up vocal

na (NA), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 14:37 (eleven months ago) link

Lol at the Steve McNair action figure.

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 14:46 (eleven months ago) link

Kind of a slacker “Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town.”

... (Eazy), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 15:41 (eleven months ago) link

I didn’t think I would enjoy that but it was great! Stone cold deadpan

calstars, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 16:58 (eleven months ago) link

not to be all gossip-y but aren't they separated?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 17:57 (eleven months ago) link

The ending is funny, but yeah, not sure how to "take" this particular kind of thing.

Theodor Adorno, perhaps the greatest philosopher alive today (morrisp), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 19:54 (eleven months ago) link

I'm struggling to like these two new tracks.

Duke, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 20:36 (eleven months ago) link

not to be all gossip-y but aren't they separated?

― Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 19:57

Yes this was one of the revelations from the WaPo interview that saddened me. Maybe not so clear cut

Duke, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 20:38 (eleven months ago) link

Vish tackles DCB:

http://kreativekontrol.eone.libsynpro.com/ep-481-david-berman

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 14 June 2019 16:16 (eleven months ago) link

Thanks Al

calstars, Friday, 14 June 2019 16:32 (eleven months ago) link

Refreshing honesty and openness from David there. Nice to hear an interview free from bullshit

calstars, Friday, 14 June 2019 18:13 (eleven months ago) link

Yeah its great hearing about his process & approach here

One Eye Open, Friday, 14 June 2019 18:32 (eleven months ago) link

The “hundred nights” comment was pretty harrowing

calstars, Friday, 14 June 2019 18:53 (eleven months ago) link

loved the bits about songs as architectural instantiation
and disturbing (?) lack-of-anxiety about musicians coming up behind him

sean gramophone, Friday, 14 June 2019 19:33 (eleven months ago) link

There were a few moments in that interview that straight choked me up. His candor was really touching.

circa1916, Saturday, 15 June 2019 20:10 (eleven months ago) link

I like Vish, but sometimes I find him to be a bit of a cringey interviewer. This one worked just right.

circa1916, Saturday, 15 June 2019 20:11 (eleven months ago) link

Al, thanks much for posting that. Hard to describe the feeling of hearing his voice crack and bend under the emotional weight of what he's talking about, hearing him re-realize and re-resist his own storyline fever as he speaks, I guess. Amazing.

This was a particularly interesting revelation to me:

"I think that Silver Jews was a very burdensome band name. It confused people, or I never made it clear what I meant by it. I think it was wasn't really until the end that I realized what the proper definition of a Silver Jew would be outside of the context of my music, which would be a Jew that's not a Jew, really. It's the outsiders to the outsiders. It really sucks when you're Jewish from patrilineal descent because you get the last name but none of the benefits of being Jewish. So, you get the marker, but as you know, in Judaism, your mother has to be Jewish. And my mother converted before I was born, but it never really took. So, there aren't different kinds of Jews - I mean, there are, there's Sephardic and Ashkenazi - but Judaism's Judaism and there aren't secondary Jews. There aren't partial Jews. So, a Silver Jew isn't a Jew at all, really. But it conveys belatedness in and of my interest in Judaism, which came very late in life. But in the end I felt alienated for precisely those reasons, from fully dissolving myself from Judaism."

del griffith, Sunday, 16 June 2019 01:05 (eleven months ago) link

This is America goddamnit, and I think people should be free to be secondary Jews if they want to, but what the hell do I know.

del griffith, Sunday, 16 June 2019 01:08 (eleven months ago) link

"commerce is a purgatory"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BamaU09AdGA

del griffith, Saturday, 29 June 2019 22:20 (ten months ago) link

^ song of the year, IMO

Auld Drink of Misery (zchyrs), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 13:54 (ten months ago) link

name change totally threw me off - got pretty excited when i realised there's a new Silver Jews lp out in 2 days! I bet a ton of people are the same and don't realise this is a thing...

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 14:10 (ten months ago) link

It's good! His band (Woods) sounds strong, and he hasn't lost the lyrical magic, imo.

alpine static, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 15:24 (ten months ago) link

another long, detailed profile, this time in the ringer: https://www.theringer.com/music/2019/7/10/20686306/david-berman-silver-jews-purple-mountains-drag-city

na (NA), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 15:38 (ten months ago) link

Wikipedia says they were formed at roughly the same time, fwiw, both in 1989

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 21:52 (three months ago) link

Pavement was not a side project of the Silver Jews. Like I said upthread, they were operating in parallel. One was some drunk roommates living room "recordings", and one was a cross-country project that would record on the occasional holiday break.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 22:05 (three months ago) link

Al -- thx for posting that Sugartime single. I love the riff... the vocals are SO in that '80s NYC zone, they sound like Das Damen or any number of other bands.

dad genes (morrisp), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 22:24 (three months ago) link

As far as the Sliding Doors game, if Berman had stayed only a poet, he probably would be at the fame level of Matthew Zapruder or Dean Young.

... (Eazy), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 22:54 (three months ago) link

Thx @morrisp,

Both David & Rob were huge Cure/Echo fans, you never heard it in David's voice but I hear a lot of goth/crossover in Rob's. I have a pic of them looking pretty gothy somewhere, it was sent to me around the time of David's passing.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 23:15 (three months ago) link

This is a good one (Rob & David):

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2srCfuDSFp/

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 23:23 (three months ago) link

This IG account was their other roommate at the time, she has a bunch of old pics of Rob & David:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2stEsKjxWl/

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 23:24 (three months ago) link

Re: the 2nd pic (with the cig) -- looks like Malkmus borrowed that shirt at one point (or vice-versa).

dad genes (morrisp), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 23:31 (three months ago) link

Good eye, the first pic was taken ~86, the Starlite Walker pix ~8 years later.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 23:34 (three months ago) link

i had that exact shirt around 9th grade lol. surprised i didn't make the connection before

otm into winter (rip van wanko), Wednesday, 5 February 2020 00:22 (three months ago) link

https://i.imgur.com/PE32eVG.jpg

PaulTMA, Thursday, 13 February 2020 13:22 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...
three weeks pass...

https://youtu.be/nsjQ3Gblzys?t=177

enochroot, Thursday, 26 March 2020 19:50 (two months ago) link

Weeeiiiird. I've never been able to get into Avalanches, but I guess it's cool to see them pay tribute to David.

☮️ (peace, man), Thursday, 26 March 2020 20:03 (two months ago) link

i'm sure this is in this thread elsewhere, but

https://youtu.be/7XTrz0yvxe0

circa1916, Thursday, 26 March 2020 20:08 (two months ago) link

Oh, I didn't know they had worked together.

☮️ (peace, man), Thursday, 26 March 2020 20:14 (two months ago) link

i'm sure this is in this thread elsewhere, but

https://youtu.be/7XTrz0yvxe0🕸


if it was upthread i missed it. that’s really lovely.

Fizzles, Thursday, 26 March 2020 20:17 (two months ago) link

i've listened to this album far more than any other over the past 8 months.

treeship., Thursday, 26 March 2020 20:27 (two months ago) link


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