Film by Brent Stewart and Matt Boyd. From Purple Mountains, due July 12 on Drag City. Single out now.
Jeez, has it really been ten years since David Berman pulled the plug on the Silver Jews? I guess it has. Wow.
Well he’s back and just as twisted as ever. The fact that one of the greatest lyricists in rock and roll spends the first two minutes of his public reintroduction strumming and humming wordlessly is quite a trick. I was fooled on first listen.
Spoiler: Once the song kicks in it’s as good as anything he’s ever done. Over a melody as poppy as “I Melt with You” by Modern English, Berman explores the idea of aging in a world where “the fear’s so strong it leaves you gasping.”
Friends are warmer than gold when you’re old
And keeping them is harder than you might suppose
Lately, I tend to make strangers wherever I go
Some of them were once people I was happy to know
As a fellow sufferer of the middle-aged-white-guy blues I can vouch for the accuracy of this sentiment.