David Berman / Silver Jews


Flow on, silver juice, flow on…into the vein-streams of the nu generation via 90s classics like American Water and Starlite Walker and thence to the new century. How many lifetimes have we lived since the salad days and nightz of the original Silver Jews, when they walked the back-alleys of the earth just a scant couple decades ago? Who knows how many fans of the arena-rock Silver Jews (circa Tanglewood Numbers and Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea) even know of the humble-yet-powerful origins of the band captured in the hiss-laden boombox mics of 1990-91?


Just a few guys in a room, that’s what makes these recordings comprising Early Times: muppet baby versions of the David BermanStephen Malkmus and Bobby Nastanovich that we know today. There wasn’t much going on back then, though we’d hardly call it nothing. Still, these young post-collegiates were footloose and fancy-free, to say the least – working day-jobs with all the impermanence that implies – and not just working for the weekend, but trying to live the weekend every day of the week! Tough guys at a party; quick studies, quicker still with the wit. Legends of their own minds . . . prophets even. The stupid little laws they broke. The archaic little drugs they took. Those endless nights-into-dawns. All these things that might not hardly mean anything anymore added up to make these songs, to make these moments in a room, captured so incredibly imperfectly! The air is still locked inside them; the space in the room has depth and definition, defying all laws of audio science. Now these moments feel like they’ll last for centuries, growing stranger all through time.


David Berman / Silver Jews Early Times

The Walnut Falcon
September 1999
The Unchained Melody
Secret Knowledge of Back Roads
I Love the Rights
Jackson Nightz
The War in Apartment 1812
West S
You Can't Trust it to Remain
The Wild Palms
Welcome to the House of the Bats
Bar Scene from Star Wars

David Berman / Silver Jews Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea

What Is Not But Could Be If
Aloysius, Bluegrass Drummer
Suffering Jukebox
My Pillow is the Threshold
Strange Victory, Strange Defeat
Open Field
San Fransisco B.C.
Candy Jail
Party Barge
We Could Be Looking for the Same Thing

David Berman / Silver Jews Tanglewood Numbers

Punks in the Beerlight
Sometimes a Pony Gets Depressed
Animal Shapes
I'm Getting Back Into Getting Back Into You
How Can I Love You if You Won't Lie Down
The Poor, the Fair and the Good
Sleeping is the Only Love
The Farmer's Hotel
There is a Place

David Berman / Silver Jews Bright Flight

Slow Education
Room Games and Diamond Rain
Time Will Break the World
I Remember Me
Horseleg Swastikas
Transylvania Blues
Let's Not and Say We Did
Friday Night Fever
Death of an Heir of Sorrows

David Berman / Silver Jews Tennessee

Long Long Gone
I'm Gonna Love the Hell Out of You
Turn Your Guns Around

David Berman / Silver Jews American Water

Random Rules
Smith & Jones Forever
Night Society
Federal Dust
Blue Arrangements
We Are Real
Send in the Clouds
Like like the the the Death
Buckingham Rabbit
Honk if You're Lonely
The Wild Kindness

David Berman / Silver Jews The Natural Bridge

How to Rent a Room
Pet Politics
Black and Brown Blues
Ballad of Reverend War Character
The Right to Remain Silent
Inside the Golden Days of Missing You
Albemarle Station
The Frontier Index
Pretty Eyes

David Berman / Silver Jews Starlite Walker

Introduction II
Trains Across the Sea
The Moon is the Number 18
Advice to the Graduate
Tide to the Oceans
Pan-American Blues
New Orleans
The Country Diary of a Subway Conductor
Living Waters
Rebel Jew
The Silver Pageant