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Tanglewood Numbers

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Editors’ Notes

A lot has changed in David Berman's life since his initial success with Silver Jews. He married his true love, Cassie Marrett, then descended into an addiction to crack cocaine that led to a suicide attempt in 2003. Following that, he became sober and reinvested himself in the Jewish faith. Tanglewood Numbers is the outcome of those experiences. It's impossible to not read the album’s upbeat energy as a reflection of Berman’s new lease on life. The songs are fun and familial in a manner that Silver Jews albums have rarely been before. On hand are many of Berman’s friends, including Pavement's Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich, as well as a host of esteemed musicians from Chicago and Nashville. Producer Mark Nevers helps bring an orchestral air to “Sometimes a Pony Gets Depressed,” which bursts with Berman’s simultaneous enthusiasm for both Bob Wills and Dinosaur Jr. Gone is the finely embroidered moroseness that elevated The Natural Bridge, but it's replaced by a hard-won conviction in love and persistence, carried to the listener in the form of wry folk yarns and truck-stop koans.

Customer Reviews

the Good, the Great

Those familiar with David Berman's writing and music won't be surprised by the jarring insight, strange warmth, and dark, puzzling humor of his latest album, but they might be surprised by a few additions; the lovely, stubborn density of sounds (sometimes sort of orchestral, sometimes jangly, lots characterized by the type of hinged/unhinged sound people tend to remember fondly as rock), and the frequency of Cassie's vocals, which compliment the album to the nth-est degree. This album is worth every run-on sentence it'll inspire. "How Can I Love You If You Won't Lie Down" is a good place to start.

If Horse's Could Make You Think...

If you aren't familiar with the Silver Jews; let me be the first to tell you that Mr. Berman is a genius with words. Then, put him AND Stephen Malkmus in the same band and what you have is poetry to guitars, drums, and Bob Nastanovich. If you want to try out a couple songs a great place to start is How Can I love You If You Won't Lie Down or Sleeping is the Only Love. If you do like this, be sure to check out another great album by them, American Water. Also check out Stephen Malkmus's new album, Face the Truth, especially the song Freeze the Saints.

David Berman

Is a genius, everything he does turns to poetic gold! the Silver Jews are great, this cd is much more different from the previous ones because david berman attempted suicide before recording this album. Buy this cd and every other one you can get your hands on ESPECIALY AMERICAN WATER!!!!

Biography

Formed: 1989 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A beautiful mess of indie rock, country-rock and lo-fi with lyrics both witty and profound, the Silver Jews were formed in 1989 by writer/musician David Berman with his friends, guitarist/singer Stephen Malkmus and drummer Bob Nastanovich. The trio performed together as Ectoslavia when they studied at the University of Virginia; after graduation, they moved to New York and shared an apartment. Dubbing themselves the Silver Jews — after the Silver Apples, the Silver Beatles, and slang for blonde-haired...
Full Bio