Purple Mountains (RIP David Berman, August 2019)

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Not all messages are displayed: show all messages (779 of them)

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

closest i've been able to get to listening to the album has been listening to covers & tributes, including repeat listens to this one of Dean Wareham doing 'Snow Is Falling In Manhattan (cant remember if its been posted itt): https://soundcloud.com/section26/dean-wareham-snow-is-falling-in-manhattan

Initially thought of 'Snow' as a pleasant romantic interlude on an otherwise very intense album, its gradually risen in my estimation to my favorite song on the record

“Hakuna Matata,” a nihilist philosophy (One Eye Open), Friday, 15 November 2019 13:20 (two years ago) link

I had never listened to this guy before his death (I’m a pavement skeptic) but this album is really great. I know no one needed to hear that, but I wanted to say it.

L'assie (Euler), Friday, 15 November 2019 13:23 (two years ago) link

Snow is the beating heart of the album. It is the song where you get the sense of Berman's warmth and humanity without the weight of his depression.

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Saturday, 16 November 2019 02:31 (two years ago) link

i've mulled that "songs build little rooms in time" verse over in my head so many times this year and i'm in awe at how perfect it is

Heez, Saturday, 16 November 2019 03:47 (two years ago) link

Initially thought of 'Snow' as a pleasant romantic interlude on an otherwise very intense album, its gradually risen in my estimation to my favorite song on the record

Totally agree on these takes on that song. Initially disliked it, but it’s absolutely swelled in me as something enormous and special.

circa1916, Saturday, 16 November 2019 03:48 (two years ago) link

Most of us haven’t even gotten a winter day to fully appreciate it in.

circa1916, Saturday, 16 November 2019 03:52 (two years ago) link

The horns on Snow... are so damn perfect.

And I crapped on about this upthread but it's become so entwined with Joyce in my head I'm convinced Berman was communing with The Dead when he wrote Snow is Falling on Manhattan.

Generous tears filled Gabriel’s eyes. He had never felt like that himself towards any woman, but he knew that such a feeling must be love. The tears gathered more thickly in his eyes and in the partial darkness he imagined he saw the form of a young man standing under a dripping tree. Other forms were near. His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself, which these dead had one time reared and lived in, was dissolving and dwindling.

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

Life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering...save string (Chinaski), Saturday, 16 November 2019 11:04 (two years ago) link

this record is incredible

treeship., Sunday, 17 November 2019 20:05 (two years ago) link

i also read actual air recently. really lovely poems.

"if Christ had died in a hallway we might pray in hallways
or wear little golden hallways around our necks."

treeship., Sunday, 17 November 2019 20:08 (two years ago) link

i don't see the purple mountains album as a suicide note btw. it seems more therapeutic--facing up to the horror of the present in order to shake loose of it.

treeship., Sunday, 17 November 2019 20:33 (two years ago) link

Nights That Won’t Happen is the only song on here that feels utterly posthumous

flappy bird, Sunday, 17 November 2019 20:52 (two years ago) link

The line “I wasn’t done being my mother’s son” gets me every time.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Monday, 18 November 2019 00:39 (two years ago) link

<q>i don't see the purple mountains album as a suicide note btw.</q>

I pretty much do.

alpine static, Monday, 18 November 2019 00:54 (two years ago) link

ugh, my bad on the formatting. i knew it didn't look right but i hit "submit" anyway.

alpine static, Monday, 18 November 2019 00:55 (two years ago) link

i don't see the purple mountains album as a suicide note btw.

I pretty much do. But have felt hesitant to say it out loud / online.

alpine static, Monday, 18 November 2019 00:56 (two years ago) link

i don't see the purple mountains album as a suicide note btw. it seems more therapeutic--facing up to the horror of the present in order to shake loose of it.

But this kind of hurtin' won't heal

That's the devastating conclusion of the first song. I know the suicide note thing sounds trite, but it feels like that to me.

Duke, Monday, 18 November 2019 17:52 (two years ago) link

I just watched william tyler and Cassie Berman cover silver jews’s punks in the beer light and sure did cry in my car after pic.twitter.com/5H9LPoKMSc

— marty in my mind (@Jorty_Spice) December 1, 2019

... (Eazy), Sunday, 1 December 2019 22:18 (two years ago) link

is there a video? i love that song

treeship., Sunday, 1 December 2019 22:21 (two years ago) link

I’ll keep an eye out for one...0

... (Eazy), Sunday, 1 December 2019 22:31 (two years ago) link

I was wondering how the members of Woods were doing, how they've been feeling since August. It'd be sweet to see more tribute shows, maybe with them? Pretty bummed the Purple Mountains record never got played live.

flappy bird, Sunday, 1 December 2019 23:39 (two years ago) link

a snippet here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B5ishqDBgpg/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

tylerw, Monday, 2 December 2019 00:15 (two years ago) link


— Bill Callahan (@BillCallaman) December 4, 2019

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 4 December 2019 18:25 (two years ago) link

I miss him, and will forever.

Mule, Sunday, 8 December 2019 11:43 (two years ago) link

I finally gave a good listen to the lyrics of “nights that won’t happen.” That song certainly sounds like a suicide note... But the thing ends with “maybe i’m the only one for me” where he describes a future where he resigns himself to loneliness. (“I need to learn to love myself”)... is this just - very cruel kind of irony? And what does it say to his wife who apparently had left him?

As a sufferer of depression I recognize all the thought patterns in these lyrics, and why I loved that he could have such humor about it. The ugly feelings were transmuted into something rollicking and playful, which is really what a lot of American music is about. But like—i feel personally invested in finding hope in this record for some reason

treeship., Thursday, 19 December 2019 21:39 (two years ago) link

Nice essay about David Berman in the NYT Lives They Lived:


Lily Dale, Friday, 27 December 2019 03:38 (two years ago) link

NYC & Portland, Ore live music tributes looked nice

curmudgeon, Monday, 6 January 2020 20:15 (two years ago) link

i've mulled that "songs build little rooms in time" verse over in my head so many times this year and i'm in awe at how perfect it is

― Heez, Friday, November 15, 2019 10:47 PM (one month ago) bookmarkflaglink

Lots of references to Berman's approaching demise throughout the album, but the third verse of "Snow" is absolutely the most spectral and most sublime of these. It's a little scary almost to contemplate how perfect all those verses are. "Snow" is probably song of the year imo

PLEB AF (Drugs A. Money), Monday, 6 January 2020 20:33 (two years ago) link

This was probably my most played album of 2019 and, I think, has my favourite song of the year ... but I'm not really comfortable with the songs that clearly reference his partner, I don't think. Life/great records aren't necessarily about being comfortable but that isn't quite what I mean. Might come back and re-explain when not on wine.

djh, Monday, 6 January 2020 22:36 (two years ago) link

Probably my my most played longplayer too.

Half of the PM album (Happiness, Darkness, Snow, Margaritas, Nights) was nominated for the 2019 tracks poll. Not undeservedly. Any interest in measures to overcome vote-splitting?

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Tuesday, 7 January 2020 01:08 (two years ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.