Purple Mountains (RIP David Berman, August 2019)

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Re the American Water talk up above, I was surprised by the prices it's going for as well - even the CD copy. I could have swore I had a copy, but I guess I never did upgrade my old cassette. Hopefully Drag City gets more in some day soon. I also never got around to getting Tanglewood either and it's out of stock.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 12 August 2019 16:44 (ten months ago) link

just dug up a copy of Minus Times from 2003 with a Berman poem called "The Irish Space Program."

Heez, Monday, 12 August 2019 17:29 (ten months ago) link

I vaguely remember that one. It was from around the same time as "The High Numbers." https://believermag.com/the-high-numbers/

If you want to post it here, I for one would be much obliged.

del griffith, Monday, 12 August 2019 17:38 (ten months ago) link

I'll have to transcribe it later when I'm less busy, but will do. A friend of mine got a story published in the same one.

Heez, Monday, 12 August 2019 17:49 (ten months ago) link

David Berman, “The Irish Space Program,” published in the Minus Times. pic.twitter.com/iilqtWUTq9

— William Boyle (@wmboyle4) August 8, 2019

Number None, Monday, 12 August 2019 17:50 (ten months ago) link

go raibh maith agat!

del griffith, Monday, 12 August 2019 17:55 (ten months ago) link

drag city eulogy up

https://www.dragcity.com/news/2019-08-12-call-me-from-albemarle

global tetrahedron, Monday, 12 August 2019 18:58 (ten months ago) link

I stopped by Amoeba earlier; the Silver Jews section was entirely cleaned out (no copies of Purple Mtns, either).

60... 90... 120 Minute IPA (morrisp), Monday, 12 August 2019 19:45 (ten months ago) link

Snow Falls in Manhattan is just so warm and wonderful, A writer's song. The hopeful heart of the album.

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Tuesday, 13 August 2019 00:44 (ten months ago) link

xp from the 2003 interview linked above:

”The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is like the “Stairway to Heaven” of twentieth-century poetry.

so this is a knock and not a compliment then ?

budo jeru, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 01:01 (ten months ago) link

Just now from Lloyd Cole.

You know the father. You know that haircut. He spent almost 40 years tilting against it, and we can be thankful for the spoils. It clearly wasn't all fun for him. I was a big fan. Recently, I was really happy to find that he enjoyed my stuff, too.

— Lloyd Cole (@Lloyd_Cole) August 13, 2019

DB told me that the time he was in Dallas, which inspired my favourite of his songs, they were listening to Rattlesnakes. Neil and I will figure a way to play Dallas on this upcoming tour.

— Lloyd Cole (@Lloyd_Cole) August 13, 2019

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 01:51 (ten months ago) link

Another remembrance, from one of the publishers of Actual Air:

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2019-08-12/david-berman-appreciation-thomas-beller

60... 90... 120 Minute IPA (morrisp), Tuesday, 13 August 2019 05:06 (ten months ago) link

the setback can be a setup for a comeback line is apparently from a self-help book.

https://www.amazon.com/Setback-Setup-Comeback-Willie-Jolley/dp/0312267738

☮ (peace, man), Tuesday, 13 August 2019 15:36 (ten months ago) link

that la times thing is like thomas-beller-appreciation-thomas-beller

adam, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 15:46 (ten months ago) link

i'm having such a laugh listening to joos. so many funny moments. the seagulls and horns on 'party barge'. i still can't really stomach purple mountains, but my god, what a swan song.

meaulnes, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 18:09 (ten months ago) link

my ex bandmate would sometimes play SJ albums - after picking up bright flight just because he liked the cover art, he became quite the fan. i'd listen casually, though somehow DB mostly flew under my radar all these years. i guess you can't always discover everything. i clicked on this thread last week as ned posted the news, but i didn't scroll to the most recent post -- i only saw the record cover. i thought that it looked like a cool album, and got listening - then read the news. i've been rinsing the catalogue since; reading poetry, his reddit ama, email screenshots, and i already feel so familiar - not to mention inspired. the songs are so effortless, simple, so much fun. he seemed so charismatic for a deep introvert. i hope actual air is reprinted.

meaulnes, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 18:17 (ten months ago) link

the setback can be a setup for a comeback line is apparently from a self-help book

Ah, good catch! He at least made it his own by grafting on the "if you don't let up" part, which allows the whole line to pass a google purity test, technically.

This reminds me, sometime around 2002 I was reading "The Wild Palms" by William Faulkner, and I happened upon the phrase "actual air" on page 161.

and now he knew it was not the same deer because he saw three at one time, does or bucks he did not know which since they were all antlerless in May and besides he had never seen one of any land anywhere before except on a Christmas card; and then the rabbit, drowned, dead anyway, already torn open, the bird, the hawk standing upon it - the erected crest, the hard vicious patrician nose, the intolerant omnivorous yellow eye and he kicking at it, lacking it lurching and broadwinged into the actual air.

I emailed David to ask if that's where he borrowed it from, and he said he might've, but if he did it wasn't intentional. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but the fact that The Arizona Record had a song called "The Wild Palms" can probably be introduced as evidence.

del griffith, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 18:41 (ten months ago) link

Hey Del G., do you remember what year we saw him give a reading at St. Mary's?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 13 August 2019 18:55 (ten months ago) link

xp I always assumed the title "The Wild Palms" had something to do with the TV series which aired a few months before The Arizona Record came out; but I guess a Faulkner novel seems like a more likely source.

60... 90... 120 Minute IPA (morrisp), Tuesday, 13 August 2019 18:56 (ten months ago) link

that reading at Saint Mary's must've been 2002? 2003? I'm having no luck googling for a trace of it.

How have I never heard of the 1993 teevee Wild Palms? It sounds totally badass!

In the United States in the year 2007, the right-wing "Fathers" dominate large sections in politics and in the media. A libertarian movement, the "Friends", opposes the government, often making use of underground guerrilla tactics. The Fathers' leader is California's Senator Tony Kreutzer, who is also the leader of the religious sect "Church of Synthiotics" (similar to Scientology) and owner of the "Wild Palms" media group. Kreutzer's TV station "Channel 3" is about to start a new television format, "Church Windows", which creates a virtual reality on the basis of popular shows like sitcoms, using a new technique called "Mimecom".

Harry Wyckoff is a successful patent attorney on the brink of becoming a partner in the legal agency where he works. He has two children with his wife Grace, a perfect housewife who also moonlights as a boutique owner: 11-year-old Coty, who has just been cast for the new "Channel 3" series, and the ever-silent 4-year-old Deirdre. His mother-in-law is the impossibly chic socialite and interior decorator Josie Ito, a woman of strong will and numerous connections. At night, Wyckoff is plagued by strange dreams of a rhinoceros and a faceless woman who has palm trees tattooed on her body.

del griffith, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 19:20 (ten months ago) link

Lol, I think I watched that entire show and was very into it, but my recollection is quite vague (I.e I had to click the link to even recall it).

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Tuesday, 13 August 2019 19:32 (ten months ago) link

Snow is Falling is so comforting tonight. I still haven't processed this and how sad am I about someone I never met.

kraudive, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 20:34 (ten months ago) link

I started a trip the morning I heard the news. Just digesting now from home. Lots to read in this thread, for which I'm grateful.

Duke, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 21:11 (ten months ago) link

the penultimate verse of snow is falling, the "songs build little rooms in time" one, struck me as being too perfect to exist when i first read it on the lyric sheet, it just hovered an inch above the paper. A couple of days later it was still beautiful but a lot more concretely sad.

Yeah party barge is a riot, i feel like if i had ever made a silver jews c90, i would bookend it with that and silver pageant off starlite walker. the joos gave you the full emotional spectrum.

Does anyone have the DCB's favourite chords insert that came with (i think) Bright Flight (or maybe tanglewood numbers?) I spent many happy hours mangling away inchoate SJs numbe

cw, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 22:16 (ten months ago) link

...rs to that. i think it said "put your fingers on the polar bears noses" if anyone has it and could scan it i would be eternally grateful.

cw, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 22:18 (ten months ago) link

That's the insert with Lookout Mountain... I can't scan right now, I'm afraid.

Duke, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 22:25 (ten months ago) link

I noticed he gave the chords on the lyric sheet to the songs on the Purple Mountains album. But sometimes they were not quite right. And he wrote "Fm7" for F7.

Duke, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 22:27 (ten months ago) link

This reminds me, sometime around 2002 I was reading "The Wild Palms" by William Faulkner, and I happened upon the phrase "actual air" on page 161.

and now he knew it was not the same deer because he saw three at one time, does or bucks he did not know which since they were all antlerless in May and besides he had never seen one of any land anywhere before except on a Christmas card; and then the rabbit, drowned, dead anyway, already torn open, the bird, the hawk standing upon it - the erected crest, the hard vicious patrician nose, the intolerant omnivorous yellow eye and he kicking at it, lacking it lurching and broadwinged into the actual air.

I emailed David to ask if that's where he borrowed it from, and he said he might've, but if he did it wasn't intentional. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but the fact that The Arizona Record had a song called "The Wild Palms" can probably be introduced as evidence.

― del griffith, Tuesday, August 13, 2019 2:41 PM (three hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

This reminds me of when I was visiting a friend in Virginia and happened to see her utility bill from the water company - it was called American Water! Probably not a coincidence.

Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 22:36 (ten months ago) link

(via discogs)

☮ (peace, man), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 00:00 (ten months ago) link

silver chords via discogs via peace, man

thank you!

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 00:15 (ten months ago) link

wait what's the significance of that chord chart?

husserl gang (rip van wanko), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 02:31 (ten months ago) link

Does anyone have the DCB's favourite chords insert that came with (i think) Bright Flight (or maybe tanglewood numbers?) I spent many happy hours mangling away inchoate SJs numbe

― cw, Tuesday, August 13, 2019 5:16 PM (four hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

...rs to that. i think it said "put your fingers on the polar bears noses" if anyone has it and could scan it i would be eternally grateful.

― cw, Tuesday, August 13, 2019 5:18 PM (four hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

That's the insert with Lookout Mountain... I can't scan right now, I'm afraid.

― Duke, Tuesday, August 13, 2019 5:25 PM (four hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 02:45 (ten months ago) link

aha, ty

husserl gang (rip van wanko), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 02:50 (ten months ago) link

thanks a million, peace, man

cw, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 07:59 (ten months ago) link

yeah XX3210 is an Fmaj7 not an Fm7

this is the chord mentioned by DCB as being the one ("looks like a staircase") that he identified as being his chord (cf. the opening of Dallas) in those amazing Paula Crossfield phone interviews xxxxxxp thread

it does have a kind of weirdly minor feel in that voicing though (say vs. X8109108 or 1X332X)

linee, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 09:01 (ten months ago) link

Yeah, I see he means Fmaj7. Just knew Fm7 sounded wrong and an F7 sounded fine, e.g. on That's The Way That I Feel.

Duke, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:41 (ten months ago) link

Yeah thanks peace, man -- hadn't ever seen that before. And it just occurred to me there's a good chance I learned Fmaj7 from playing Trains Across the Sea when I was first learning guitar.

Looking forward to a time when I can listen to the Purple Mountains album again without feeling completely gutted. I did tell my therapist to check out Storyline Fever today though.

Vaguely Threatening CAPTCHAs, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 19:36 (ten months ago) link

A last interview and remembrances from Will Oldham and a few others:

https://www.leoweekly.com/2019/08/remembering-david-berman-leader-silver-jews-purple-mountains

... (Eazy), Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:44 (ten months ago) link

From Oldham's tribute:

It was in recent weeks, David proposed that he, Bill Callahan and I tour together as the ‘Monsieurs of Drag City,’ with all three of us on stage trading off songs.

... (Eazy), Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:46 (ten months ago) link

From Oldham's tribute:

/It was in recent weeks, David proposed that he, Bill Callahan and I tour together as the ‘Monsieurs of Drag City,’ with all three of us on stage trading off songs./


That trio basically defined my college years. Despite the fact that they’re all friends, can’t imagine that ever would’ve happened.

circa1916, Thursday, 15 August 2019 03:11 (ten months ago) link

that would have been amazing

Karl Malone, Thursday, 15 August 2019 05:47 (ten months ago) link

it is tough to get me out of the house sometimes. i would logroll down valleys for that show

Karl Malone, Thursday, 15 August 2019 05:47 (ten months ago) link

yeah i woulda driven cross-country for that, basically my dream show

Clay, Thursday, 15 August 2019 06:11 (ten months ago) link

In That's Just the Way That I Feel, is he pronouncing 'gin' with a hard G? It sure sounds like it to me and kinda reminds me of 'gime' from Send in the Clouds. Does he have other purposeful mispronunciations in his work?

☮ (peace, man), Thursday, 15 August 2019 12:48 (ten months ago) link

https://youtu.be/MdNeRgPKfOI

33:00 in

Bob Nastanovich tells a pretty funny story about how he and Berman heckled Nirvana at NYC before they blew up.

circa1916, Thursday, 15 August 2019 15:52 (ten months ago) link

*At a NYC show

circa1916, Thursday, 15 August 2019 15:53 (ten months ago) link

He was a notorious heckler in his Nashville years.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 15 August 2019 16:09 (ten months ago) link

haha, "Sub Pop destruction!" I'd heard tell of the night David yelled upstage to Krist "you look like a dork up there!" but I didn't know it escalated like that. Dollar budweisers at the grocery store afterwards, so perfect. That's almost as good as Bob's recollection that Kim and Thurston's phone number was 212-219-2658.

by the way, that story reminds me of David getting the cops called on him for throwing a CD at Frank Black's head in 1994:

"I remember years ago I got into a fight with Frank Black backstage at a concert. It was right after 'Starlite Walker' had come out... It was after his second album came out and I liked that. I had gone backstage to ask him to produce something of mine and he'd been this total bitch, you know I hate people who treat you with contempt who're like 'who the fuck do you think you are coming backstage into my dressing room?' and such and so what I'd done was I'd taken the CD and had brought it to give it to him to listen to and I like just went phssssss..." David takes a Josh Rouse CD off the table and imitates throwing it. "Right at his head like a Chinese throwing star and it went tchhhh and kinda glanced off the top of his forehead and his manager just freaked out and called the police and was like 'I want this man arrested for attempted assault on Frank Black, and I was 'oh god, bullshit man!' I was like, 'you're such a pussy, Frank Black, you're gonna have this guy arrest me for that? Come on.' So they handcuffed me and took me out to the police car. All the bouncers in the club and the police were like, 'god this guy's been...' they probably were basically saying behind my back, 'this guy's a fucking complaining New York Jew' you know, bitching da da da and they finally came back and said they'd decided not to press charges."

del griffith, Thursday, 15 August 2019 17:55 (ten months ago) link

Here's his obituary in The Tennessean, published yesterday.

O to be a fly on the wall at that tangle of nicotine swans to be held in Nashville at a later date.

del griffith, Thursday, 15 August 2019 18:02 (ten months ago) link


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