David Berman ILE Thread

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Because he's up to something other than music and poetry.

gato busca pleitos (Eazy), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 03:19 (eleven years ago) link

don't forget the cartoons. he's up to something other than those now, too.

del griffith, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 03:47 (eleven years ago) link

he’s finished with writing and music, and now he’s thinking of the second half of his life.

Heartbreaking, but I wish the guy good luck and I look forward to the film. Sounds utterly fascinating, and I'm sure it won't be easy for him practically, psychologically, emotionally, logistically, etc. I very much hope it works out.

Becky Facelift, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 12:27 (eleven years ago) link

Berman’s goal now is to become his father’s nemesis, to shame him into quitting his business, or to at least admit what he’s doing is wrong. To do this, Berman is creating a documentary film, which is something Berman doesn’t want to be doing. He doesn’t like it, just how he didn’t like writing, and how he didn’t like touring. He’d rather be at home in Nashville with his wife.

feeling some sympathy for his wife, tbh. what's the situation with his mom? do we know?

ghee hee hee (La Lechera), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 12:37 (eleven years ago) link

Seriously though, Berman said at the talk that his decision to take on his father signaled his movement from a mode of “reflection” (meaning, his life as a musician and writer) to a mode of “action.” Is he suggesting that muckraking (his word) is more productive or valuable than music or poetry? Does he know just how influential his music and his single book of poems have been? Does he fail to recognize the shortcomings of “oppositional” politics as they play into the resistance to propaganda machines like the one operated by his father? Does he want to be Michael Moore?

ugh @ this comment - of all the things relating to Berman that I find very sad, maybe even upsetting, the total entitled cluelessness of people like this nitwit who profess to be his fans is right up there

someone who has fainted mid-squeeze at a Real Big Fish gig recently (DJ Mencap), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 13:02 (eleven years ago) link

not sure about his mom but 99% sure his father remarried a long time ago

sunny successor, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 13:09 (eleven years ago) link

he is my fucking hero, rooting for him so hard.

Simon H., Wednesday, 4 August 2010 13:26 (eleven years ago) link

not sure how asking those sorts of questions precludes one from a valid state of fandom, and even if it did it hardly seems like a contemptible enough act to dismiss and insult someone because of it. for what it's worth, it doesn't seem to me that he ever made any such suggestion that, compared to his arts accomplishments, his new "mission" was supposed to be more productive/valuable to anyone but himself personally. while it's almost insulting to question whether he's even cognizant of any potential influence his work may be responsible for, i think the point's missed entirely - he's not interested in indirectly influencing as much as he is directly acting. as for the thing about the shortcomings of oppositional politics, i have no idea what that's even supposed to mean.

del griffith, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 13:26 (eleven years ago) link

Maybe because it's effectively telling a really pretty troubled man what he should do with his life, and that it should more closely resemble the things about his work to date that made him popular? Seems really airheaded and obnoxious to me

someone who has fainted mid-squeeze at a Real Big Fish gig recently (DJ Mencap), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 13:31 (eleven years ago) link

i disagree, i think whatever the statement effectively does to david is at david's discretion entirely. besides, even assuming he's really as troubled as you claim, there's nothing about a stranger giving a quasi-stranger unsolicited life advice on the internet that seems irredeemably obnoxious, to me anyway. airheaded maybe, but who cares?

del griffith, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 13:42 (eleven years ago) link

Heres his 'confession' post


Now that the Joos are over I can tell you my gravest secret. Worse than suicide, worse than crack addiction:

My father.

You might be surprised to know he is famous, for terrible reasons.

My father is a despicable man. My father is a sort of human molestor.

An exploiter. A scoundrel. A world historical motherfucking son of a bitch. (sorry grandma)

You can read about him here.


My life is so wierd. It's allegorical to the nth. My father went to college at Transylvania University.

You see what I'm saying.

A couple of years ago I demanded he stop his work. Close down his company or I would sever our relationship.

He refused. He has just gotten worse. More evil. More powerful. We've been "estranged" for over three years.

Even as a child I disliked him. We were opposites. I wanted to read. He wanted to play games.

He is a union buster.

When I got out of college I joined the Teamsters (the guards were union organized at the Whitney).

I went off to hide in art and academia.

I fled through this art portal for twenty years. In the mean time my Dad started a very very bad

company called Berman and Company.

He props up fast food/soda/factory farming/childhood obesity and diabetes/drunk driving/secondhand smoke.

He attacks animal lovers, ecologists, civil action attorneys, scientists, dieticians, doctors, teachers.

His clients include everyone from the makers of Agent Orange to the Tanning Salon Owners of America.

He helped ensure the minimum wage did not move a penny from 1997-2007!

The worst part for me as a writer is what he does with the english language.

Though vicious he is a doltish thinker

and his spurious editorials rely on doublethink and always with the Lashon Hara.

As I studied Judaism over the years, the shame and the shanda,

grew almost too much. my heart was constantly on fire for justice. I could find no relief.

This winter I decided that the SJs were too small of a force to ever come close to

undoing a millionth of all the harm he has caused. To you and everyone you know.

Literally, if you eat food or have a job, he is reaching you.

I've always hid this terrible shame from you, the fan. The SJs have always stood autonomous and clear.

Hopefully it won't contaminate your feelings about the work.

My life has been riddled with Ibsenism. In a way I am the son of a demon come to make good the damage.

Previously I thought, through songs and poems and drawings I could find and build a refuge away from his world.

But there is the matter of Justice.

And i'll tell you it's not just a metaphor. The desire for it actually burns.

It hurts.

There needs to be something more. I'll see what that might be.


sunny successor, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 14:30 (eleven years ago) link

five months pass...


schlump, Monday, 17 January 2011 22:01 (ten years ago) link

six months pass...

I saw him do a short reading, his first one in years apparently, last night. He looked a little uncomfortable but said he enjoyed it and would do it again sometime.

boxall, Saturday, 30 July 2011 20:05 (ten years ago) link

that's nice. was it of actual air stuff, or new poems or?

sitcom neighbor (schlump), Saturday, 30 July 2011 20:08 (ten years ago) link

you hope the guy is doin okay. he is bloggin' regularly.

sitcom neighbor (schlump), Saturday, 30 July 2011 20:16 (ten years ago) link

All he said about the material was that he'd just finished it that evening, and that's why he went onstage 45 minutes late. I couldn't tell how serious he was. He looked very different with short hair and no beard.

boxall, Saturday, 30 July 2011 20:18 (ten years ago) link

was trying to find a place to post this, which he posted the other day, btw:


sitcom neighbor (schlump), Saturday, 30 July 2011 21:45 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

lol i think this probably belongs in some other thread but it's on DCB's blog so:


Sat, 21 May 2011 e-mail is a keeper

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Sunday, 14 August 2011 12:10 (ten years ago) link

two bands named la guns that both include members of former band la guns. Hilarious. Also 'you weren't far from the scene of the crime'

Serial Chiller (sunny successor), Monday, 15 August 2011 04:42 (ten years ago) link

Omg that is hilarious. Did dcb write the lawyer parts too? Or were those all actually forwarded by sm? Ugh, it would be so hideously genius if he wrote all of it.

bamcquern, Monday, 15 August 2011 05:35 (ten years ago) link

three weeks pass...
eleven months pass...

I can't remember being born
and no one else can remember it either
even the doctor who I met years later
at a cocktail party.
It's one of the little disappointments
that makes you think about getting away
going to Holly Springs or Coral Gables
and taking a room on the square
with a landlady whose hands are scored
by disinfectant, telling the people you meet
that you are from Alaska, and listen
to what they have to say about Alaska
until you have learned much more about Alaska
than you ever will about Holly Springs or Coral Gables.

very sexual album (schlump), Wednesday, 15 August 2012 22:32 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...


schlump, Sunday, 20 July 2014 16:15 (seven years ago) link

I was catching up on menthol mountains yesterday, lots of eremitic type stuff, but a lot of humor too, guess he's cool.

warm smell of burritos (rip van wanko), Sunday, 20 July 2014 16:38 (seven years ago) link


smoochy-woochy touchy-wouchy, (sunny successor), Wednesday, 23 July 2014 21:27 (seven years ago) link

I knew DCB would redeem me.

A Good Day In Hell - The Official ILM Track-By-Track EAGLES Listening Thread

pplains, Wednesday, 23 July 2014 21:30 (seven years ago) link


smoochy-woochy touchy-wouchy, (sunny successor), Wednesday, 23 July 2014 21:35 (seven years ago) link

I love this email so much:
From: DCB
To: SM
Subject: Fwd: LA Guns
Date: Sat, 21 May 2011 11:05:50 -0500

I don't want anybody to get hurt.
I can just see the two factions healing their schism
and coming after you with both barrels blazin.
These headbangers are angry and vindictive.
They've been looking for revenge since '92
and let's face it--
you weren't far from the scene of the crime.

smoochy-woochy touchy-wouchy, (sunny successor), Wednesday, 23 July 2014 21:40 (seven years ago) link

care to translate?

Iago Galdston, Wednesday, 23 July 2014 23:22 (seven years ago) link

Click the menthol mountains link up a few posts

smoochy-woochy touchy-wouchy, (sunny successor), Thursday, 24 July 2014 02:00 (seven years ago) link

i remember when he posted that LA Gunz exchange but had totally forgotten about it. an all-time classic; thanks for the reminder.

alpine static, Thursday, 24 July 2014 07:45 (seven years ago) link

thanks (xp)

Iago Galdston, Thursday, 24 July 2014 09:57 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...

I find this very interesting: DCB is up to something on the west coast for the next ten weeks, so if you know someone there with a rentable living space (nice view mandatory), get at the guy


del griffith, Tuesday, 3 January 2017 03:33 (four years ago) link

: D

schlump, Tuesday, 3 January 2017 09:32 (four years ago) link

Anyone know the source of his recitation of his poetry that was used on the Avalanches' "Saturday night inside out?"

calstars, Tuesday, 3 January 2017 13:55 (four years ago) link

he sounds like he's about to cry here:

calstars, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 01:54 (four years ago) link

five months pass...

Actual Air is going for $25 used. Wish I still had my copy. Found some poems here: https://m.poemhunter.com/david-berman/poems/

calstars, Friday, 30 June 2017 11:58 (four years ago) link

eleven months pass...
two weeks pass...

I see it in the straight arrow through the wiggly arrow

Right column Leftist (sunny successor), Thursday, 21 June 2018 14:41 (three years ago) link

An oldie but.....


Right column Leftist (sunny successor), Thursday, 21 June 2018 14:51 (three years ago) link

one month passes...


calstars, Thursday, 16 August 2018 03:05 (three years ago) link

pic from November 2016:


Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 16 August 2018 03:17 (three years ago) link

Is DB really tall? He looks over Malkmus in that shot.

tobo73, Thursday, 16 August 2018 03:19 (three years ago) link

what does he do these days? I'd flip out for a new album. JOOS, now more than ever iirc

a roomba of one's own (rip van wanko), Thursday, 16 August 2018 03:26 (three years ago) link

some say screenwriting somewhere in California, others say song recording somewhere in Canada, still others say nothing at all but not for lack of knowledge

but one thing's for sure, here's what his dad's still up to these days, maybe (go to 3:20):


del griffith, Thursday, 16 August 2018 04:53 (three years ago) link


i watched that last night and didn't make the connection to his dad, but yeah. wow.

Karl Malone, Thursday, 16 August 2018 04:55 (three years ago) link

Malkmus had this to say about new Silver Jews material in an interview published in May of this year:

I heard that there's a new Silver Jews record that's in the works, and that you may have made an appearance on it up in Canada. That is not verified, but we did some demos up there. And there are songs that are good songs, but they have not been laid to tape as I know it. Unless it's happening right now.

Would you go back up to play on it? It's not going to be in Canada if it happens, and I don't know. It depends on what the situation is. If it's really going to happen or not. There's potential. The songs exist. They're awesome. They've been vetted through multiple rewrites, and I think that almost all the lines have been put through Google to make sure no one's said them before in any way, shape, or form. (Laughs)

Oh, Google Purity! I remember that. Yeah, it's happening. It's happening in Silver Jews world. We're filthy that way, it's not going to happen with our record. So I think...I'm hoping. All I can say is I'm hoping. I'm not talking much about it. I've been told to just keep it on the down low, whatever's happening. I know there are songs, and they are good. I've heard them.


Badmotorfinger Debate Club (MFB), Thursday, 16 August 2018 06:39 (three years ago) link

three months pass...

Gets late so early now

calstars, Friday, 23 November 2018 22:49 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

Who's behind the dark money group bashing @AOC in Times Square? Notorious astroturf firm Berman & Co got $2.5M from the org in 2017. Cavalry LLC, founded by Mitch McConnell's former chief of staff, was paid $419K https://t.co/S4WYiElETS

— Andrew Perez (@andrewperezdc) February 21, 2019

... (Eazy), Friday, 22 February 2019 00:23 (two years ago) link

What a legacy. Politics is such an ugly game

calstars, Friday, 22 February 2019 00:27 (two years ago) link


I'm ready for this Purple Mountains thing with Malkmus and Dan Bejar even though Dan Bejar never did nothing for me

del griffith, Friday, 22 February 2019 00:42 (two years ago) link

when i read this guy's name i thought he was the football commentator that goes "whoop"

boobie, Friday, 22 February 2019 20:03 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Actual Air being reprinted

mizzell, Tuesday, 9 April 2019 15:14 (two years ago) link

cover design is a bit generic postrock -- liked the old one better (although arguably also generic postrock)

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 15:59 (two years ago) link

I’d like to read AA again but I ain’t payin $25

calstars, Tuesday, 9 April 2019 16:40 (two years ago) link

what is DB up to? Does anyone have any idea? What happened to the crusade against his dad?

Nick Chiveon (rip van wanko), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 16:46 (two years ago) link

I seem to recall reading that HBO asked him if he wanted to participate in a documentary about his dad, and he got started, but then backed out because he was afraid he was inadvertently participating in criminal glamorization. Something like that.

he's been active on twitter lately. https://twitter.com/prplmtns

Check out the Jeffrey Lewis ADHD therapy mural featuring a few heretofore unfamiliar song titles! mysterious!

del griffith, Tuesday, 9 April 2019 16:52 (two years ago) link

oh wow thanks for the link, didn't know he was a tweeter

Nick Chiveon (rip van wanko), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 17:02 (two years ago) link

Thanks for pointing out the Jeffrey Lewis thing! And of course Purple Mountains is the new band name too: https://pitchfork.com/news/silver-jews-david-berman-to-release-new-album-in-2019-says-bob-nastanovich/

Vaguely Threatening CAPTCHAs, Tuesday, 9 April 2019 17:23 (two years ago) link

def remember someone once saying on (probably) ILM that he'd be good at tweeting, and he is

Terry Major-Ball Will Tell You (DJ Mencap), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 17:38 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Right column Leftist (sunny successor), Monday, 20 May 2019 23:50 (two years ago) link

Whatevs here’s a link

Right column Leftist (sunny successor), Monday, 20 May 2019 23:51 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

so this is basically a new Silver Jews album. different name but totally the same. first 3 tracks released on spotify are excellent - and US tour dates announced. fingers crossed for european ones soon.

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 10:21 (two years ago) link

More over here:

Purple Mountains

... (Eazy), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 12:19 (two years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Peace and love to everyone.

del griffith, Thursday, 8 August 2019 00:21 (two years ago) link

you too.

pplains, Thursday, 8 August 2019 00:43 (two years ago) link

May the memory of the righteous be a blessing

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 8 August 2019 04:42 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

In the last email he sent me, David Berman included this fake picture of a new edition of Actual Air in the old Vintage Contemporaries style. Ugh I'm sad. pic.twitter.com/aSHnEGCP2i

— Christopher DeWeese (@lighghghght) August 4, 2020

calstars, Thursday, 14 October 2021 01:38 (six days ago) link


calstars, Friday, 15 October 2021 23:15 (five days ago) link


calstars, Friday, 15 October 2021 23:16 (five days ago) link

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