Who knows, but I can only imagine the complete change of daily habits that go with dozens of profiles coming out about your life and your work, getting it right or not, plus everything that goes into starting a tour for the first time in forever. So much pressure and just being out in the world, even with stellar reviews and shows sold out (I had two tix for them in Chicago).
― ... (Eazy), Thursday, 8 August 2019 02:36 (one year ago) link
Huh, and related to that, just saw this quoted (by Howe Gelb on Instagram) from a 2006 Pfork Berman interview:
He talked to Pitchfork about his stance on performing in 2005, “I believe that intermittent live performance has cut short the writing lives of touring musicians. If you are making an argument with history you don’t waste your energy and brain cells on sales, publicity, relentless travel, and other adjoining tasks. The less my body moves, the more energy my brain has to write.”
― ... (Eazy), Thursday, 8 August 2019 02:46 (one year ago) link
― ... (Eazy), Thursday, 8 August 2019 02:49 (one year ago) link
I wonder if he reached out to, or reconciled with, his dad in some way before the end. I can’t help but think about his dad losing his son.
― 60... 90... 120 Minute IPA (morrisp), Thursday, 8 August 2019 03:34 (one year ago) link
oh no, just seen this. that’s terrible. fuck. all those wonderful lyrics.
― Fizzles, Thursday, 8 August 2019 03:50 (one year ago) link
goddam it’s so sad.
― Fizzles, Thursday, 8 August 2019 03:54 (one year ago) link
This is a tough one. Sometimes as I get older I feel an impulse to accept people's suicides, like "Maybe it's ok if someone doesn't want to be alive anymore." But when someone who continued to write so beautifully until the end somehow "doesn't want to be alive anymore" it's especially hard to accept and leaves me at a loss. I guess he suffered a lot and the suffering wouldn't end for him, and nothing about writing beautifully changed that.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 8 August 2019 04:13 (one year ago) link
Heartbroken pic.twitter.com/DuEmHrd1l4— 3 Songs Podcast (@3songspod) August 8, 2019
― Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 8 August 2019 04:43 (one year ago) link
i rewatched the Slow Century the other night, on a lark. it's all on YouTube.
Berman's in the background of all that old footage.
also, Bob is just the best.
Bob, DCB and SM forevah
― alpine static, Thursday, 8 August 2019 05:04 (one year ago) link
This is devastating
― flamboyant goon tie included, Thursday, 8 August 2019 05:49 (one year ago) link
Beneath the bitching and the bickeringWhen I try to drown my thoughts in ginI find my worst ideas know how to swim
RIP David Berman.
― Karl Malone, Thursday, 8 August 2019 06:02 (one year ago) link
this is bad :(
i felt like with this new Purple Mountains album he was on his way to become 'our' Leonard Cohen.
― Ludo, Thursday, 8 August 2019 06:29 (one year ago) link
It is a certain hill the one I imagine when I hear the word "hill" and if the apocalypse turns out to be a world-wide nervous breakdown if our five billion minds collapse at once well I'd call that a surprise ending and this hill would still be beautiful a place I wouldn't mind dying alone or with you.
― tashted the milk of human kindnesh - an' it's a lot of Fermillac (fionnland), Thursday, 8 August 2019 07:29 (one year ago) link
man this is terrible :(
― Le Bateau Ivre, Thursday, 8 August 2019 07:44 (one year ago) link
Oh no. :(
― pomenitul, Thursday, 8 August 2019 07:45 (one year ago) link
I've never really engaged with his work or been particularly motivated to do so, but I'm listening to the Purple Mountains album now and realising I was wrong in that. RIP.
― Matt DC, Thursday, 8 August 2019 07:51 (one year ago) link
I visited Philadelphia earlier this year and saw the American Water building across the Delaware, which immediately made me think of Berman and that fantastic album. Totally inconsequential but the kind of humdrum revelation that he seemed to be able to capture in his lyrics.
― Captain ACAB (Neil S), Thursday, 8 August 2019 07:55 (one year ago) link
Fuck. Fuck. This really, really hurts.
I feel so grateful for the art he created. His music touched a rarely accessible place in my soul; the way he combined humour, melancholy, truth....his storytelling...while having a distinct, original artistic voice. All of the things I most look for and value about art can be found consistently throughout his work. And his new album...just, one of those records that came along when I was starting to doubt whether music could have the kind of impact on me that it once did, and reminded me that the old feeling is still possible.
He had more knockout couplets and one-liners than any other lyricist I can think of. His lyrics are a constant part of my internal monologue. Like sometimes I'll think of a random Jews lyric and just smile. Thank you, David.
― triggercut, Thursday, 8 August 2019 09:24 (one year ago) link
Ah christ - that's some horrible news to wake to. The P in RIP never made so much sense.
― Good cop, Babcock (Chinaski), Thursday, 8 August 2019 09:52 (one year ago) link
Nastanovich’s quote in the pitchfork rememberances really hits home: It was enlightening to have such a talented friend at a young age and realize that the talent wasn’t always a blessing.
― “Hakuna Matata,” a nihilist philosophy (One Eye Open), Thursday, 8 August 2019 10:00 (one year ago) link
real mc recognize real mc
rest in peace to the great David Berman 😞— el-p (@therealelp) August 8, 2019
― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 8 August 2019 12:38 (one year ago) link
I have no words for this, really. I was going to see him play on Monday, and was looking forward to it, having never gotten a chance to catch the joos. I'd been listening to the new album a ton since it came out. I don't know if I can listen to it again for a while.
― Auld Drink of Misery (zchyrs), Thursday, 8 August 2019 12:46 (one year ago) link
The dead know what they are doing when they leave this world behind.
A little spooky, as if he had planned it in advance...
― je est un autre, l'enfer c'est les autres (alex in mainhattan), Thursday, 8 August 2019 13:00 (one year ago) link
Definitely. The whole song comes off as foreboding in hindsight:
And as much as we might like to seize the reel and hit rewindOr quicken our pursuit of what we're guaranteed to findWhen the dying's finally done and the suffering subsidesAll the suffering gets done by the ones we leave behindAll the suffering gets done by the ones we leave behind
― pomenitul, Thursday, 8 August 2019 13:02 (one year ago) link
Some of the heaviest lyrics on the album, for sure. I hadn't really fully finished processing a lot of parts of the record (and now it will probably be a very long time before I return to it, if ever), but up until yesterday I'd bean hearing those lyrics as an argument against suicide, an indictment of it from someone who'd been there and only in hindsight understands the magnitude & consequences. Now I feel like a dope for thinking that, like I was grafting an optimistic reading onto it to make myself feel good. I dunno. Today that verse just reads like a blunt statement of fact. Awful.
― “Hakuna Matata,” a nihilist philosophy (One Eye Open), Thursday, 8 August 2019 13:13 (one year ago) link
I went through the exact same process.
― pomenitul, Thursday, 8 August 2019 13:14 (one year ago) link
Just miserable at this news. My favourite living songwriter, and now he isn't. Sound-magic & richness of all those lyrics. So many ways of being brilliant.
I'd been treating it as an out-the-other-side album, but it wasn't, obviously. Peace to you, DB.
― woof, Thursday, 8 August 2019 13:30 (one year ago) link
I listened to Purple Mountains for the first time this morning. I hadn't realized the whole thing was on Spotify yet. I had heard Margaritas at the Mall first and kinda waved it off. I wasn't really ready to hunker down with David Berman in the excitement of early summer. Oh my god, what a record.
― ☮ (peace, man), Thursday, 8 August 2019 13:44 (one year ago) link
I never listened to his shit, as WORDS WORDS WORDS is not really my preference… but I hung out with him 2 or 3 times, and found him to be very engaging, not in the least sadsack… at the time, I very much hated my boss, and when I was introduced to him and I told him where I worked, he asked me why my boss is such a asshole, and launched into a diatribe about how unpleasant she was…he and got along great afterwards…
― veronica moser, Thursday, 8 August 2019 13:50 (one year ago) link
I hadn't taken the time with the Purple Mountains record until now, sadly, and fuck, it's good. It has some of his best lyrics ever. It has cringey moments too, the way a suicidal person's self-pity often does, where you just want to scream "No! You don't have to see things that way!" but you know that something in their chemistry or their soul just makes it that they can't help it. But the best moments are so good.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 8 August 2019 14:12 (one year ago) link
And yeah, the suicide note aspects are all over it, sadly. He's pretty frank and straightforward about how he came to feel about his life and it's gut-wrenching.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 8 August 2019 14:19 (one year ago) link
why can't monstersget along with other monsters?
― jakey mo collier (voodoo chili), Thursday, 8 August 2019 14:28 (one year ago) link
joining the chorus of people really devastated by this news last night. in a way that no artist/musician passing has hit me since i was 18 or 19.
one of the greatest nights of my life was out-of-nowhere getting guest-listed into the first silver jews tour at 40 watt in athens, while in town on tour for a single night...and just being awash in how great it was. thanks for that, dcb.
― dronestreet, Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:03 (one year ago) link
God he was funnyFrom a David Berman interview I did in 2001. "I don’t expect to be insulted by being told Ryan Adams in the best songwriter in America. Maybe mid-period Steve Forbert B sides sound fresh to some ears. It's just self-pity in rock. These people have no compassion for anybody."
― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:11 (one year ago) link
watched the Israel doc which is on YouTube last night, been putting it off for The Right Time and obviously, well, cried and cried and cried
― Clay, Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:17 (one year ago) link
I've never even heard of Steve Forbert before, but just looking at his album covers and song titles that sounds OTM
― ☮ (peace, man), Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:17 (one year ago) link
he is also otm about ryan adams and seems like a very compassionate person in addition to being funny and clever and gifted with sight & the ability to translate the seeing into words for us to enjoy :(
i like when someone can be amusing without being mean and he never seemed mean to me. his father was so mean & cruel that i think it made him aggressively the opposite, afaict. selfish wrt self-destructive habits, but kind at heart? is this accurate?
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:18 (one year ago) link
He strikes me as a guy who possessed a high level of empathy and sensitivity and I think when faced with a brazen and smug lack of empathy (let alone in one’s own family) it can be extremely painful. Everything I’ve read about his father suggests that’s the type of person he is.
― omar little, Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:24 (one year ago) link
people that knew him seem to speak affectionately of himRyan Adams is so thoroughly phony and full of shit, I can imagine it rankled someone who seemed to try to look life in the eye
― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:25 (one year ago) link
i totally understand that about him, that is why i was asking to confirm. i don't know the guy personally and there is something about his relationship with his (legitimately terrible) father that struck a nerve w me when i heard it years ago. when one's father is so awful and one is so sensitive, how does one cope? it's a very lonely feeling. idk if he had siblings or not, or if they felt the same way.
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:27 (one year ago) link
I remember seeing an interview with the surviving members of joy division where they said they never paid much attention ian curtis' lyrics. Then he killed himself and they realized how much of his suffering was laid bare in those lyrics.I'm having a similar moment listening to the purple mountains album this morning.
Just in the first minute of the first song:"the life I lead is sickening / i spent a decade playing chicken with oblivionday to day i'm neck and neck with giving in / i'm the same old wreck i've always been"
― enochroot, Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:32 (one year ago) link
awful awful news. Back in ‘98, I remember seeing how the spine of the American Water CD mimicked the old Bob Dylan style and laughing at the chutzpah of that move – and then listening to the record over and over and thinking … “Well, fair enough.” I’m thinking now of seeing him play about a decade ago in Denver. When the last song was over, he didn’t go backstage. He hopped down and walked through the crowd, shaking hands and grinning, before cruising out into the Colfax night.
― tylerw, Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:33 (one year ago) link
I don't even really care about Ryan Adams but I hated the sort of "Ryan Adams culture" that existed at his peak, this weird, phony, cold, music-critic driven rockism that felt like a bunch of desperate paleontologists dusting off rocks and bones to find something "real." A certain kind of doucheyness that is not a jock doucheyness but the guy-who-resented-the-jock-in-high-school doucheyness and thinks that the resentment = victimhood = entitlement.
I never met David Berman but he definitely seemed in his public persona and music like the opposite of that, a kind person who was really afraid he wasn't kind enough, a person driven by shame that he never did anything to deserve, who couldn't believe that he was good enough.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:37 (one year ago) link
him, jason molina, vic chestnutt - a whole generation of great songwriters already gone.
― Heez, Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:42 (one year ago) link
Elliott Smith, too...
― flappy bird, Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:48 (one year ago) link
yeah i thought about "farewell transmission" last night
― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:49 (one year ago) link
i'm crushed, too, but ... i mean there are lots of great songwriters in that generation still around!
― alpine static, Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:50 (one year ago) link
I'm assembling people to read from David Berman's work outside of the Met Breuer (former location of the Whitney) as an informal memorial gesture. 7pm Thurs Aug 7th. Please spread the word, let me know if you would like to read anything, and check on your friends. #DavidBerman pic.twitter.com/3QiAz2yzqB— Lance Bangs (@lancebangs) August 8, 2019
― Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 8 August 2019 15:58 (one year ago) link
(sic: tonight, Aug 8th)
― woof, Thursday, August 8, 2019 9:30 AM (two hours ago) bookmarkflaglink
Yeah it's really painful to realize he wasn't reflecting on past struggles.
― Evan, Thursday, 8 August 2019 16:16 (one year ago) link