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Silver Jews, ‘Tanglewood Numbers’ (Drag City)

Scattered across car floors are thousands of mix-tape liner notes dotted with pearls of David Berman’s wit. That’s what college-radio America used to do with its free time: watch SportsCenter, sort Tuscadero seven-inches, and debate what made lines like “In 27 years, I’ve drunk 50,000 beers / And they just wash against me like the sea into a pier” so goddamn sad and funny and flawless. Berman, leader of Silver Jews, is our Robert Hunter and Jackson Browne, our Tab Hunter and Jackson Pollock — our poet in residence and perhaps the only indie dude who looks good with a beard.