Silver Jews - Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea

on Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Silver Jews - Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
Today in between trying to put together some of the ideas in my head for my band/project/shambles i have found myself deeply charmed by the wonderful new Silver Jews album, a band i have previously had nothing to do with though very familiar with the name. The thing that drew to me to the album, shallow as it may seem was the knowledge that they had a covered a song by a band very dear to me, namely, Maher Shalal Hash Baz, a lovely cover it is too.
Elsewhere they sound like the faster bits of Smog, Johnny Cash and on Aloyisius, Bluegrass Drummer like Calexico or some Holiday programme i vaguely remember from back when we had TV.
San Francisco BC stands out, somewhere between those fast Smog songs we love, Dress Sexy at My Funeral, Hit the Ground Running, you know the ones, and Only Fools and Horses. A charming album featuring a charming cover and a charming front cover.

You make the same old jokes and same old malapropes

Maher Shalal Has Baz - Open Field mp3
Source: Letterarms
Silver Jews - San Francisco B.C. mp3
Source: Earfarm
Silver Jews - Suffering Jukebox mp3
"well I guess all that mad misery must make it seem to true to you
but money lights your world up, you're trapped what can you do?
you got Tennessee tendencies and chemical dependancies
you make the same old jokes and malaprops on cue"
Source: The Finest Kiss

Last Fm: Silver Jews’ earliest incarnation was the college band Ectoslavia, formed by future Pavement founders Bob Nastanovich, Stephen Malkmus and frontman David Berman at the University of Virginia in 1989. An exercise in joyous noise, the band disbanded after graduation and the three friends moved to New York to take up various jobs - Nastanovich, a bus driver, and Berman and Malkmus, art museum security guards. Determined to continue the happiness they got from playing with one another, they dubbed themselves the Silver Jews, a reference to the legendary Silver Apples and the tragically blonde Jews that walked New York’s streets. Pavement, a band started by Malkmus post-Ectoslavia, pre-New York, at this point began to gain attention. This attention resulted in a record deal and a constant inferiority plague placed upon the ‘Joos with Berman totally at the forefront of the group. Misinformed music fans now saw the band as a side-project and, even worse, Berman as being not good enough to play with Pavement, many band members being shared between the two bands. The connection to Malkmus and the now blossoming Pavement was not all negative, however. Drag City, then not the bastion of American folk music it is today, agreed to release the band’s debut EPs which has led to a fruitful relationship (the label continues to release the band’s records, right up to album number 7 in 2008, ]Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea). The Silver Jews these days primarily consists of David and Cassie Berman who contribute most of the lyrics, and a changing cast of characters. They have numerous indie stars that rotate in the line up to include Willie T., of Lambchop, and Brian Kotzer of Tim Chad and Sherry. David Berman is also a poet and has been published in numerous poetry magazines and journals. He also has a book of poetry and rants entitled “Actual Air,” which was released in 1999 and received favorable reviews from The New Yorker and GQ.