What? With lyrics such as, “Pain works on a sliding scale / So does pleasure in a candy jail,” it’s no wonder that Silver Jews leader David Berman is considered one of indie rock’s foremost poets. Since 1994’s Starlite Walker, Berman and his ever-revolving door of band members have churned out classic American rock that has as much literary bark as it does riff-worthy bite. And the Jews’ latest set, the excellent Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea, continues the tradition and drops this week via Drag City.
Who? Silver Jews were formed in 1989 by Berman and Pavement members Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich, although the latter two have only played on select records. Throughout the group’s six full-lengths, scores of musicians have offered contributions, such as folkie Will Oldham, bassist Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle, Zwan), and former Rites of Spring member Mike Fellows. Currently David and his wife, Cassie Berman, are the only constant members of the Silver Jews.
Fun Fact: David Berman’s knack for poetry isn’t solely a musical affair, in fact, the songwriter’s own collection of poems, entitled Actual Air, was published in 1999 and received positive reviews from literary publications.
Now Hear This: Silver Jews,”Strange Victory, Strange Defeat” (DOWNLOAD MP3)