Purple Mountains (RIP David Berman, August 2019)

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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 (ten months 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 (ten months 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 (ten months 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 (ten months ago) link

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

circa1916, Saturday, 16 November 2019 03:52 (ten months 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 (ten months ago) link

this record is incredible

treeship., Sunday, 17 November 2019 20:05 (ten months 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 (ten months 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 (ten months 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 (ten months 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 (ten months 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 (ten months 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 (ten months 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 (ten months 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 (ten months 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 (nine months ago) link

is there a video? i love that song

treeship., Sunday, 1 December 2019 22:21 (nine months ago) link

I’ll keep an eye out for one...0

... (Eazy), Sunday, 1 December 2019 22:31 (nine months 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 (nine months ago) link

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

tylerw, Monday, 2 December 2019 00:15 (nine months ago) link

pic.twitter.com/KAGRSUBHob

— Bill Callahan (@BillCallaman) December 4, 2019

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

I miss him, and will forever.

Mule, Sunday, 8 December 2019 11:43 (nine months 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 (nine months ago) link

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

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/23/magazine/david-berman-death.html

Lily Dale, Friday, 27 December 2019 03:38 (nine months ago) link

NYC & Portland, Ore live music tributes looked nice

curmudgeon, Monday, 6 January 2020 20:15 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months ago) link

Any interest in measures to overcome vote-splitting?

Yes.

enochroot, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 02:28 (eight months ago) link

tbh I'm expecting ppl to gravitate towards "Nights" even without strategery

bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Wednesday, 8 January 2020 03:01 (eight months ago) link

I think Snow vs Margaritas

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 8 January 2020 03:02 (eight months ago) link

I nominated and voted for “Snow.”

Don’t yell ‘Judas!’ in a crowded theater (morrisp), Wednesday, 8 January 2020 03:13 (eight months ago) link

I'll certainly vote for "Nights That Won't Happen" either way. Happy to add a further crowd-pleaser...

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 03:24 (eight months ago) link

this is gonna be the ultimate vote splitter. my vote went to 'happiness'

culture of mayordom (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 8 January 2020 04:01 (eight months ago) link

i think it'll get one or two songs on the countdown regardless

culture of mayordom (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 8 January 2020 04:01 (eight months ago) link

just voted for all of em!

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Wednesday, 8 January 2020 10:10 (eight months ago) link

Snow will definitely be high on my ballot. Margaritas will be on there somewhere too.

Life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering...save string (Chinaski), Wednesday, 8 January 2020 16:48 (eight months ago) link

'Snow' seems popular. I'll make that my second PM vote then!

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 9 January 2020 11:23 (eight months ago) link

See if you recognize the former ilxor as MC:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHTXXzdbf6s

The surviving members perform:

Secret Knowledge of Back Roads (Pavement version)
Buckingham Rabbit
Advice to the Graduate
Random Rules
Welcome To The House of the Bats*
Trains Across the Sea

*post-song banter refers to SM wanting Bob to reprise the monologue that Bob did as his first performance on a Pavement record ("Sue Me Jack") in a tribute to his good friends Slint's then-newly-released Spiderland. The monologue lyrics iirc refer to Bob's mom finding a Frederic Remington painting on the cheap somehow. Yes, I know deep Pavement trivia in case you were wondering.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 9 January 2020 23:14 (eight months ago) link

I can't decipher the "Sue Me Jack" monologue, but are you referring to the monologue on "Welcome to the House of the Bats"?

Don’t yell ‘Judas!’ in a crowded theater (morrisp), Thursday, 9 January 2020 23:20 (eight months ago) link

Thanks for sharing that video, btw. And yes, I recognize D. Wolk (I worked w/him a million years ago)

Don’t yell ‘Judas!’ in a crowded theater (morrisp), Thursday, 9 January 2020 23:25 (eight months ago) link

SM asked Bob to do a monologue referencing Remington (i.e. the "Sue Me Jack" bit) during the Bats coda, I'm just providing some trivial background on it.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 9 January 2020 23:44 (eight months ago) link

Cool, I just got to that part in the video (and sorry if I sounded confused -- I was referring to the fact that the Remington monologue can be heard very clearing in the original recording of "House of the Bats"; I didn't realize that the "Sue Me Jack" bit had the same subject, as it's buried so deep in the mix.)

Don’t yell ‘Judas!’ in a crowded theater (morrisp), Thursday, 9 January 2020 23:47 (eight months ago) link

I attended the Portland thing. Was hoping Stephen and Bob would say a bit more about David, but there wasn't much. Ever-guarded Stephen - as you might guess - said basically nothing. Bob had an emotional moment you can watch in the 22nd minute of that video up there.

That pretty much sums the two of them up.

Their relationship and the way it benefitted both of them in Pavement really fascinates me.

alpine static, Friday, 10 January 2020 05:51 (eight months ago) link

That performance was rough.

Duke, Friday, 10 January 2020 17:09 (eight months ago) link

They didn't practice. The songs are super old and they haven't played them in years. What they did is exactly what I expected (and wanted).

alpine static, Friday, 10 January 2020 19:29 (eight months ago) link

it was great — sounded like early joos.

tylerw, Friday, 10 January 2020 20:03 (eight months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Another Titans tribute:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7ZWAIMF3Tr/?igshid=1ns9wfh71uam4

dad genes (morrisp), Saturday, 25 January 2020 20:30 (eight months ago) link

Mentioned it in another thread, but I’d like to hear Pet Shop Boys do “Margaritas at the Mall.”

... (Eazy), Monday, 27 January 2020 19:03 (eight months ago) link


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