Silver Jews, Monotonix @ the Bluebird TheaterBy Joe McCabe | October 10th, 2008 | 1 Comment »
Silver Jews leader David Berman, in all his shadowy eminence, is eager to tell you what it’s like. Photos by Joe McCabe.
Silver Jews hint at the poetic brilliance of their music with just a glance at their song titles: “Smith & Jones Forever,” “Federal Dust,” “Horseleg Swastikas,” “Slow Education,” “Suffering Jukebox,” “San Francisco B.C., ” etc. The band, first considered a Pavement side project due to Stephen Malkmus’ involvement and later affirmed as the creative vision of one David Berman, has been crafting a “beautiful mess of indie rock, country-rock and lo-fi with lyrics both witty and profound” (as AllMusic.com puts it) since 1989. Yes, the year friggin’ “Batman” with Michael Keaton came out.
As rare and weird as they are conventionally satisfying, the band inspires a devotion in its fans that borders on maniacal, which prompted my friends Mark and Tony to drive nearly 20 hours round-trip to see the Jews from their homebase in New Mexico. And the Jews didn’t disappoint. As if that was possible.
After a gimmicky appearance from Israeli sonic nutjobs Monotonix (imagine screaming, unhinged blooze-rock that comes into the audience and felates it for all it’s worth), Berman & Co. took the stage for a typically literate, twangy set of tunes at the Bluebird Theater on Sunday night. I was mostly out of commission by that point, having “enjoyed” my free time with the New Mexicans a bit too much, but Reverb photographer Joe McCabe was there to catch all the action.
Check out his photo essay below.
Joe McCabe is a Denver photographer and regular Reverb contributor.