Purple Mountains (RIP David Berman, August 2019)

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Not rly counting the lo-fi early stuff, kind of a different thing.

circa1916, Saturday, 17 August 2019 06:26 (two years ago) link

^ exactly right. i mean of course you have to rank Starlite Walker with the others, but it's not really a fair fight. Starlite is very much embryonic Joos. everything from Natural Bridge on is more fully Berman-ized and on equal footing.

alpine static, Saturday, 17 August 2019 07:48 (two years ago) link

"Nights That Won't Happen" is beautiful:

― djh, Friday, August 16, 2019 10:24 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

Was listening to Purple Mountains again the other day and when this came on I was just gutted. Not just over Berman's death, but over every death I've experienced and will experience in the future. Like, I haven't even listened to it in days, just writing a post about it, and I can feel the tears welling up in their ducts. I'm gonna go hug somebody I love now.

☮ (peace, man), Saturday, 17 August 2019 12:46 (two years ago) link

been spinning my peak trio today. hard to argue with American Water's popularity goddamn it what an album.

triple-washed (Sufjan Grafton), Saturday, 17 August 2019 22:43 (two years ago) link

apologies if it’s been linked but some Nashville folks talking Berman


A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Chooglin (will), Saturday, 17 August 2019 23:36 (two years ago) link

Great stories in that one, thanks

circa1916, Sunday, 18 August 2019 00:50 (two years ago) link

yes, very good. thank you.

triple-washed (Sufjan Grafton), Sunday, 18 August 2019 01:47 (two years ago) link

David had a universe of one-liners that were as profound as zen koans. One night, when load-out was taking too long and some of the band wanted to go out partying, he yelled: "We're adults — we are too old to make new friends." He was a true humanist both in his work and his outlook on life. He hated pretension. He told me his favorite novel was Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone. He valued real storytelling and real connection. I was always self-conscious about not going to college and reading the classics, and I remember one time he said, kind of dismissively: "You have to go to an academy to have someone walk you through Joyce and Ezra Pound." On an eight-week tour in 2008, I am pretty sure all we listened to in the S-Jews van was country oldies, Black Sabbath, Grateful Dead and Tennessee Titans games.

William Tyler OTM. I like his records, too.

del griffith, Sunday, 18 August 2019 02:04 (two years ago) link

his new album is wonderful. "nights that won't happen" is of a different tone than anything else i've heard from him

Karl Malone, Sunday, 18 August 2019 02:09 (two years ago) link

'tide to the oceans' such a standout track from starlite walker... played it about five times today

meaulnes, Sunday, 18 August 2019 22:10 (two years ago) link



Karl Malone, Monday, 19 August 2019 04:54 (two years ago) link

Was lurking BobNasty's IG, found these older posts:


Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 19 August 2019 05:04 (two years ago) link

Yeah that Darkness and Cold video is difficult to watch. xpost

Duke, Monday, 19 August 2019 16:23 (two years ago) link

Wow: “For pleasant accidents, “Nights That Won’t Happen”, came out of mishearing “Knight In White Satin” ”

— Marc Masters (@Marcissist) August 21, 2019

... (Eazy), Thursday, 22 August 2019 02:54 (two years ago) link

^^ from another new recent interview:


... (Eazy), Thursday, 22 August 2019 02:55 (two years ago) link

if you're into thinking about "pleasant accidents" or even unpleasant accidents I recommend clicking through the long history of the mostly desolately populated jibberish infested Silver Jews Bulletin Board, past all the dumb seemingly nonsensical pecker posts, to get to the the 2012-2015 era to find lots of rough drafts of now-familiar song lyrics and a lot of originals about marital dissolution, extramarital sex, Nashville, Brooklyn, alcoholism, homosexuality, suicide, and lots more (probably about 20-25 posts) posted by the poster breedlove, most often also under the lyrical pseudonym Kingston Bunkley, and also sometimes attributed to a "Craig Breedlove." ("Craig" of course being David's pre-Cloud middle name.) It's the same poster at the same time that posted the lyrics to songs called "The Veranda Over the Toy Shoppe" and "Wacky Package Eyes" that seems to line up with up what Bob Nastanovich was saying at the time about two new Silver Jews songs he said they'd written, but then later retracted as a joke. I'd post links to the posts directly but they don't seem to work. Other posts from around the same time suggest this is maybe an account operated by or shared with Chris Stroffolino, but then again there are also posts from breedlove saying "this is not Chris." I'll let the Nick Broomfields of ilx figure that out.



del griffith, Thursday, 22 August 2019 04:02 (two years ago) link

btw that IP address can be traced to Brooklyn, New York.

del griffith, Thursday, 22 August 2019 04:04 (two years ago) link

(also, he said in an interview that he intentionally chose "Nights that Won't Happen" as a titleplay on "Knights in White Satin," and was surprised when his friends didn't immediately realize it. so, there's that)

del griffith, Thursday, 22 August 2019 04:10 (two years ago) link

Snow is Falling, New York City
Mon Jan 26, 2015 22:03

Snow is falling in Manhattan, I’ve got my coat, I’ve got my hat on
Falling deepler down in Brooklyn, someone cold that I just took in
Snowflakes causing quite a scene, Staten Island, The Bronx and Queens
Softly falling, oh so pretty, snow is falling, New York City

Falling down on Brooklyn Bridge, from Riverdale down to Bay Ridge
From the narrows, to the heights, falling on the city lights
See the city in a rush, transformed with a quiet hush
Come tomorrow it’s all gone, still it falls on and on

Snow along the sidewalk sweeps, across the city that never sleeps
Children sledding in the park, couples skating after dark
Sounds of laughter in the air, snow plows rushing here and there
Snowmen, snowballs, snowflakes fall, snow draped buildings big and small

Snow is falling in Manhattan, I’ve got my coat, I’ve got my hat on
Falling deeply out in Brooklyn, someone cold that I just took in
Snowflakes causing quite a scene, Staten Island, The Bronx and Queens
Softly falling, oh so pretty, snow is falling, New York City
Kingston Bunkley

Karl Malone, Thursday, 22 August 2019 04:17 (two years ago) link

The more I listen to this, the more I believe it's his finest group of songs (really a musical suicide note). I applaud him for finding a way to write this stuff while (likely) suffering through the worst depression of his life. This album is as chilling as any in recent memory. The fact that it's also hilarious at times is all the more remarkable. Album of the year.

Wally P. Doyle, Thursday, 22 August 2019 06:07 (two years ago) link

(also, he said in an interview that he intentionally chose "Nights that Won't Happen" as a titleplay on "Knights in White Satin," and was surprised when his friends didn't immediately realize it. so, there's that)

― del griffith, Thursday, August 22, 2019 4:10 AM (thirteen hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Had a feeling that was the case.

☮ (peace, man), Thursday, 22 August 2019 17:34 (two years ago) link

oh duh haha I'm so dense

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 22 August 2019 17:58 (two years ago) link

Bill Callahan did a couple Silver Jews songs last night:



Vaguely Threatening CAPTCHAs, Friday, 23 August 2019 15:43 (two years ago) link

I became momentarily and unwittingly internet famous for posting a bad 40-second-clip of one of those. Glad someone else did a better job capturing.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 23 August 2019 19:22 (two years ago) link

("internet famous" on a very low level but high relative to my day-to-day anonymity)

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 23 August 2019 19:22 (two years ago) link

how many rt

husserl gang (rip van wanko), Friday, 23 August 2019 19:44 (two years ago) link

instagram - hundred someodd likes and climbing, but point being that it's in pitchfork

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 23 August 2019 19:48 (two years ago) link

This might have been mentioned but reading that alternative version of Snow is Falling in Manhattan i wonder if it's an (not that) oblique reference to Joyce's The Dead.

Good cop, Babcock (Chinaski), Sunday, 25 August 2019 10:08 (two years ago) link

It's interesting what he changed with the released version of Snow is Falling in Manhattan - I think its vastly superior to the version KM posted above. Changes the song from a one-dimensional observation/scene of a winter day to a multi-dimensional metaphor for writers/musicians and their relationship with readers/listeners. The song became less repetitive, but deeper.

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Sunday, 25 August 2019 16:34 (two years ago) link

Put off listening to this until finally today, driving through the mountains of Vermont. Seemed like a good setting. It was a very hard, rewarding listen. Held it together until the 1-2 punch of “I Loved Being My Mother’s Son” and “Nights That Won’t Happen.”

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Sunday, 25 August 2019 23:03 (two years ago) link

For any Toronto-based fans, there's a tribute happening on the night that would have been the Purple Mountains show

Simon H., Sunday, 25 August 2019 23:07 (two years ago) link

this briefly warmed my spirits


"there is no leisure with dignity in an unfinished world"

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Tuesday, 27 August 2019 06:33 (two years ago) link


A few weeks ago we planned on seeing Purple Mountains together. Instead we spent the night listening to David’s records and talking about how much his music and art meant to us. He was an inspiration for decades. One we wouldn’t be here without. We’ve been playing covers of his music since 1994 when we first picked up guitars together, so it felt like one of the few things we could do to get through the sadness. The next day we worked on this cover of “Ballad of Reverend War Character”. Per the request from David’s family, all of the proceeds will be donated to MusiCares and Music Health Alliance, so pay as much as you want.
- Avey Tare & Geologist

flappy bird, Saturday, 31 August 2019 06:40 (two years ago) link

Looks like Drag City is taking preorders on their website for represses of all the Silver Jews LPs

“Hakuna Matata,” a nihilist philosophy (One Eye Open), Saturday, 31 August 2019 17:56 (two years ago) link


na (NA), Tuesday, 3 September 2019 16:45 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

"Nights That Won't Happen"

flappy bird, Tuesday, 24 September 2019 04:54 (two years ago) link


Simon H., Tuesday, 24 September 2019 06:43 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Episode 100: a tribute to the life, words, and music of David Cloud Berman. Songs from Silver Jews and Purple Mountains, stories from @BNastanovich. https://t.co/iu4DjR3Yus

— 3 Songs Podcast (@3songspod) October 14, 2019

drunk on hot toddies (morrisp), Tuesday, 15 October 2019 02:01 (two years ago) link

That was enjoyable, thanks for sharing that link. It'd be great to hear an unfiltered account of DCBs hijnks, understandable why people would be hesitant to do so though

badg, Tuesday, 15 October 2019 16:56 (two years ago) link

Heartening (&heartbreaking) to hear about Jeffrey Lewis and DBs respect & admiration for him, Jeff was over the moon to be collabing with him & took it hard afterward.

I so glad that Bob has this podcast, I could listen to him talk about anything for pretty much any length of time.

“Hakuna Matata,” a nihilist philosophy (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 15 October 2019 17:47 (two years ago) link

Jeffrey Lewis is a treasure. One of the few lyricists I can think of that can measure up to DCB (though obviously coming from a very different place).

Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, 15 October 2019 17:52 (two years ago) link

still best album of the year, even if i can only listen to it in very specific moods and so not really that often.

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Monday, 28 October 2019 15:45 (two years ago) link

in fact i'd say it's Mr Berman's best since Bright Flight.

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Monday, 28 October 2019 15:50 (two years ago) link

"i loved being my mother's son" is the most heartbreaking song of 2019. oh my god. in the villa or ormen

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 20:17 (two years ago) link

Tennessee Titans honor David Berman with scoreboard message https://t.co/vU9qnaUDt4 pic.twitter.com/pEXsArZxSG

— Stereogum (@stereogum) November 11, 2019

quinn morgendorffer stan account (morrisp), Tuesday, 12 November 2019 21:18 (two years ago) link

That rules so much -- I would love to know how it happened, i.e. did someone pay for it, is there a fan in the ownership or mgmt, is he better recognized in Nashville than I realized, etc.

I haven't been able to listen to the record for months -- it's just too heartbreaking.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 12 November 2019 21:24 (two years ago) link

I can't resist listening, despite it being a long suicide note. Some beautiful songs. Definitely one of his best.

Duke, Tuesday, 12 November 2019 21:45 (two years ago) link

Oral history of DCB's time in Virginia/NYC:


Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 15 November 2019 05:34 (two years ago) link

& WTJU is having a tribute/memorial concert this weekend. They put together a band called The Wild Kindness. I am out of the loop so I don't know all the people involved but I see Matt D4tesman, Sh4nn0n W0rrel, G4te, N3d Oldh4m.

Yerac, Friday, 15 November 2019 12:22 (two years ago) link

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