Purple Mountains (RIP David Berman, August 2019)

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Lol at the Steve McNair action figure.

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 14:46 (one year ago) link

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

... (Eazy), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 15:41 (one year ago) link

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

calstars, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 16:58 (one year ago) link

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

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

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

I'm struggling to like these two new tracks.

Duke, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 20:36 (one year 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 (one year ago) link

Vish tackles DCB:


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

Thanks Al

calstars, Friday, 14 June 2019 16:32 (one year ago) link

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

calstars, Friday, 14 June 2019 18:13 (one year ago) link

Yeah its great hearing about his process & approach here

One Eye Open, Friday, 14 June 2019 18:32 (one year ago) link

The “hundred nights” comment was pretty harrowing

calstars, Friday, 14 June 2019 18:53 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year ago) link

"commerce is a purgatory"


del griffith, Saturday, 29 June 2019 22:20 (one year ago) link

^ song of the year, IMO

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

A few weeks ago I noticed the nine photos on the album cover correspond with the themes of the first nine songs on the album, in sequential order. Track ten, about self-acceptance, can be symbolized by all previous tracks/images together. That kind of thoughtful, subtle attention to detail keeps unfolding with every listen.

del griffith, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 17:12 (one year ago) link

Perpetua ticked off about him poo-pooing Pearl Jam over on Twitter

badg, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 17:16 (one year ago) link

who's Pearl Jam?

oh and re: the chorus of Margaritas at the Mall, I guess the lyrics are actually "magenta, orange, and acid green, peacock blue and burgundy," but I actually prefer my initial interpretation of berberine. After all, there's already red representation with magenta, so it just makes sense to get some yellow in there for a more robust sampling of the frozen beverage spectrum.

del griffith, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 17:20 (one year 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...

There seemed to be surprisingly few people listed as Interested/Going on the Facebook event for this show around here, so yeah, I think this is likely flying past people at the moment.

circa1916, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 17:35 (one year ago) link

Perpetua ticked off about him poo-pooing Pearl Jam over on Twitter

followed this guy for years and he never bugged me till the past few months. he thinks he knows all!

alpine static, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 19:48 (one year ago) link

who the hell would ever think Berman would like Pearl Jam?

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 19:59 (one year ago) link

lol pretty dumb that people got up in arms about that quote — it's just him kinda rambling about old legacy artists who keep going and how critics give them a pass a lot of the time.

If critics were harder on the musicians that they love, there would be better songs. But as they grow older and they lose their talent, critics refuse to let them know that and protect them, and they get to the point where they put out music that just isn’t up to the levels where they’ve already been. It must be very strange to live in the world of Willie Nelson or Bruce Springsteen or Pearl Jam. I don’t know what kind of handle they have on their own loss of talent. Obviously Willie Nelson understands that it’s been forty-five years since anyone’s really cared about any song of his, but I feel like I don’t see very much vocational unhappiness. I heard Springsteen was an unhappy person. I don’t know, I haven’t read his biography. But a lot of people in my field should be a lot more unhappy than they are. They go to press with bullshit.

tylerw, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 20:10 (one year ago) link

it's a good interview though! https://aquariumdrunkard.com/2019/07/08/david-berman-the-aquarium-drunkard-interview/

tylerw, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 20:10 (one year ago) link

Thanks NA
That lying on his back / heroin comment tho

calstars, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 21:00 (one year ago) link

That’s a weird quote — why would any of those artists be unhappy? (Willie Nelson’s awesome, btw)

stan by me (morrisp), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 21:19 (one year ago) link

Others artists enjoy touring and playing music, they don’t hinge their self-worth on critical assessments or album sales, surely he must realize this

stan by me (morrisp), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 21:25 (one year ago) link

I think he realizes that, because no one in their right mind could possibly dislike Willie Nelson regardless of what they know or don't know about anything he's done in the last generation or two. But I get his point all the same. I think he's just trying to be fair about something that no one really needs to be, because that's just the way he is.

del griffith, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 23:08 (one year ago) link


another interview, I guess he's holding that 3/4 size guitar mentioned in one of the other ones, with the kitsch that decorates his room in the background?

calstars, Thursday, 11 July 2019 01:42 (one year ago) link

> That’s a weird quote — why would any of those artists be unhappy?

Oh, honey...why assume *anyone* is happy?

john. a resident of evanston. (john. a resident of chicago.), Thursday, 11 July 2019 01:53 (one year ago) link

xp Interesting piece (he disses Bruce in that one too, lol)

stan by me (morrisp), Thursday, 11 July 2019 01:55 (one year ago) link

“Whenever a Bruce Springsteen album comes out, you’re always told it’s a return to form; it never is.”

genuine lol

triggercut, Thursday, 11 July 2019 01:58 (one year ago) link

I’ve really loved his recent interviews, whether I think some comments are otm or not. He’s a guy who spends a lot of time in his head and seems to have no qualms about being totally honest about what’s there. Doesn’t seem to come from a place of bitterness or anything.

circa1916, Thursday, 11 July 2019 02:35 (one year ago) link

That’s a great way to put it. Yeah he’s always really engaging to listen to, even when he’s off the mark. Like critics who I often disagree with but enjoy reading anyway, he seems to come by his opinions pretty honestly & with some thought.

One Eye Open, Thursday, 11 July 2019 03:15 (one year ago) link

This is great. 2019 is turning out pretty good for most of my fave sad lad songwriters. Just need a new Destroyer lp.

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Friday, 12 July 2019 10:35 (one year ago) link

Snow Is Falling in Manhattan + Nights That Won't Happen <3

triggercut, Friday, 12 July 2019 10:47 (one year ago) link

The backing vocals/melodies all across this thing are so nice.

triggercut, Friday, 12 July 2019 10:52 (one year ago) link

i'm not sure the rest of the album lives up to the singles but it's a good listen overall

na (NA), Friday, 12 July 2019 14:44 (one year ago) link

like this album a great deal

Guardian review of it today states confidently that 'Storyline Fever' is about Trump which unless I've missed an explanation to that effect seems wildly speculative?

wot's the tea mum? (not beef again) (DJ Mencap), Friday, 12 July 2019 14:45 (one year ago) link

I spose it is, in as much as it's about publishing and consuming your own fake news

del griffith, Friday, 12 July 2019 17:43 (one year ago) link

man, between sites and writers posting their reviews and Drag City retweeting, my twitter feed is all Berman today

alpine static, Friday, 12 July 2019 18:34 (one year ago) link

Was hoping that sonically this would sound a bit more Woods-y. It's hard to figure out what they brought to this tbh.

Position Position, Friday, 12 July 2019 22:03 (one year ago) link

This is a DB record, not a collaboration. They sound fine in the background. If the Bejar stuff had worked out I’m sure it would have been a different story.

calstars, Friday, 12 July 2019 22:05 (one year ago) link

They've probably given him his most accessible album. It's easy to imagine it arranged like an earlier Silver Jews album

PaulTMA, Friday, 12 July 2019 22:24 (one year ago) link

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