Silver Jews – Tanglewood Numbers
Drag City, 2005
Acquired: Love Garden, New, 2007
After releasing a pretty sad album following a suicide attempt, four years later Berman returns with Malkmus to make the most unhinged, rollicking, and fun record of his career. This one took a while to grow on me but once it did, hot damn. He's got a great knack for knowing how to open a record, because the less-than-two-minute “Punks in the Beerlight” is one of his most exciting songs ever. Exciting in the amount of energy flowing through it. The electric guitar slides, the build up in the middle, and the eruption of the final titular verse (with a bizarre reference to Toulouse-Lautrec) followed by the line “I love you to the max” on repeat. It's weird, but it kicks ass. This whole recordi s fucking weird, but it is also pretty fun. It's not my favorite Silver Jews record, but I do love the upbeat nature of it all and how his wife Cassie does harmonies on most of the songs. I think it's kind of sweet. Ultimately, this record is summed up in the last song on the record, where Berman sings “There is a place past the blues I never want to see again.” This is where he gets his shit together, and has a good time doing it.
Also, this is maybe my favorite fanvid ever: