Silver Jews – The Natural Bridge
Drag City, 1996
Acquired: Love Garden, New, 2006
I have a very hard time picking a favorite Silver Joos record. It usually waffles between all of them depending on my mood. This is often my favorite, though. After the loose ramble of Starlite Walker, it's great to see that he's finally figured it all out. And on top of that, the lyrics are better. The lines more memorable. “Pet Politics” is why I bought this record. I'd heard John Darnielle cover it on one of the Believer Music Issue comps and was hooked. “Deep in the night we dream of positions/ There's a line for the phone in the hall/ And in the cold places where Spanish is spoken/ Most wars end in the fall,” he sings. There's something iconic about that, about this song. “Black & Brown Blues” is another favorite, and one that's easy enough to play on the acoustic guitar and impress people if need be (because it's super easy, just D and G over and over again). Other jams include “Dallas,” “Inside the Golden Days of Missing You,” and the ultra sad “Pretty Eyes,” which is one of his finest lyrical compositions. Berman's book of poetry, Actual Air, is one of the only books of poetry I actually like, or read on a regular basis. It's just so good, different, weird, and I really don't know how he knows how to put words together so well.“The new girl in Tahoe has swallowed Sinatra's Cum” is pretty out there, although I always thought it was “nitrous cum,” which is to say, “Laughing Gas Ejaculate.” Which is the name of my new indie rock band.
Here's the Joos playin' "Prett Eyes" during their last show: