Right off the bat, I’m going to openly and officially claim the proceeding interview as a “success“. I’m sure that you will all draw your own conclusions and, most likely, many of them will be different than mine. Many of you will even leave your own comments contradicting my assessment. I probably didn’t ask the “right” questions as you “would have” and I may not have even gotten the answers that you would have wanted to hear but, if this was a Myspace page, I would be posting a goofy ass little emoticon with some bullshit smiley face next to this article that read “Mood: accomplished“. To me it is successful. This interview almost didn’t happen or, more accurately, it ALMOST did happen more times than I could count.
When David Berman formed the group Silver Jews 20 years ago, he did so with cohorts like Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich. The production of the early EPs and recordings were extremely low-fi, with the use of such unorthadox recording equipment as a walkmen and answering machines. By the time the full-lenghth Starlite Walker (1994 Drag City) was released, Malkmus and Nastanovich had already made a name for them selves in the band Pavement and the Silver Jews were wrongly classified by many as a Pavement side-project. Regardless of the facts that the two bands were very separate entities and that Berman was the primary driving force behind the group, David lived with that tag stapled to his forehead for the better part of the following decade. Although Malkmus was again featured on the 1998 release, American Water, “The Joos” were comprised of a revolving door of musicians over their 20 year stint. Throughout that time, Berman overcame struggles with crack addiction and even a suicide attempt. Eventually, he would even make a conversion to Judaism. In many ways, these became just more incidents that overshadowed the work of the prolific songwriter and poet. Read the rest of this entry →