Posts Tagged ‘Silver Jews’

David Berman RIP

Posted: August 8, 2019 in Americana, Indie, Music, Rock
Tags:

I cannot tell you how miserable and desperately sad I am to hear about the passing of David Berman.

The Silver Jews were brilliant. Purple Mountain are were brilliant. He was brilliant.

The world truly is a darker (and God knows it is dark enough already) place for his loss.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Day four of our countdown of our favourite 200 songs of the past 10 years.

140 Chelsea Light Moving – Groovy & Linda (2012)

 

A distorted, bloody jam in tune with the bloody, violent nature of the 1960s shooting it narrates. Any Sonic Youth undertones? What do you think.

 

 139 Dan Auerbach – Heartbroken, In Disrepair (2009)

The gritty guitar sound sets up a soulful, dirty blues where hopelessness finally overpowers determination.

 

138 Spectrum Meets Captain Memphis – The Lonesome Death Of Johnny Ace (2008)

Biopic-epic groover shows the two musicians playing off a southern fried radiation telling the tale of a famous singer’s Russian Roulette tragedy on Christmas day.

 

137 Houndmouth – For No One (2015)

Spare and epic. Surreal and vivid. Plaintive and slyly humorous. An absolute gem of Dylan-esque storytelling that manages to be anything but derivative.

 

136 Deer Tick – Chevy Express (2011)

Sombre, reflective, and undeniably sobering. Chevy Express is the soundtrack to a heavy heart and lonely regret washed by the first light of an early morning dawn and may well be the best thing they’ve ever done.

 

135 Howling Owls – Family Tree (2010)

 

Sinister, noir-ish folk from the Howling Owls. Family Tree is ominous, forbidding, baleful – all the things we love from one of our favourite discoveries of the past ten years.

 

134 The Silver Jews – Strange Victory, Strange Defeat (2008)

David Berman’s lyrics were amongst the sharpest, wittiest, pithiest and most potent in the whole of indie-rockdom. The rumbling Strange Victory, Strange Defeat’s opening verse is Squirrels imported from Connecticut / Just in time for fall / How much fun is a lot more fun? / Not much fun at all and it just gets better from there…

 

133 Tweak Bird – A Sun / Ahh Ahh (2010)

 

Brilliant mix of full-on old-school metal riffing with psychedelic overtones and an absurdly heavy climax. Rock on dudes.

 

132 A.A. Bondy – I Can See The Pines Are Dancing (2009)

Both intriguing and evocative, A.A. Bondy’s lovely, road-weary voice conveys a rarely felt depth of experience on the back of a melody steeped in warm melancholy.

 

131 Angus Stone – It Was Blue (2012)

Borrowing a Stooges’ style riff, It Was Blue is a stunningly good, modern day excursion into fuzzy 70s psychedelic rock.

 

130 Joe Pug – Hymn 35 (2009)

Classic singer-songwriter fare, but set apart from the crowded competition by the the consistently thought-provoking lyrical wordplay and the chance to holler along in the car with I have done wrong / I will do wrong / There’s nothing wrong / With doing wrong.

 

129 James Arthur’s Manhunt – Killzone (2016)

 

An intense, tribal, maelstrom of churning, filthy guitars and pounding percussion that veers into space rock by way of spaghetti westerns and Italian horror films.

 

128 Nightjar – Poor Man’s Son (2008)

 

A wonderfully simple tale of a son done wrong set to a classic bluegrass inflected folk-strum.

 

127 Southerly – Desolation Row (2013)

 

Darkest of dark pop, infectious melody, ominous drone, sparing song structure and astute lyricism.

 

126 Protomartyr – Pontiac 87 (2015)

 

Brilliantly hypnotic riff. Brilliantly hypnotic reflection on a dispiriting Papal visit to Pontiac, Michigan in the late eighties.

 

125 Julie Ruin – I Decide (2016)

 

Somehow manages to be outrageously catchy, while simultaneously sounding like an angry bunch of wasps trapped in a jam jar.

 

124 Low – Plastic Cup (2013)

 

Moody and smart-ass sarcastic story of substance abuse, a lifetime of dependence on others, and the soul-crushing future of pointless drug tests. All set to an understated, super-low tempo, and wonderful co-ed vocal harmonies between Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker.

 

123 Port O’Brien – I Woke Up Today (2008)

 

A chaotic, swelling modern day seafarer’s shanty. And the biggest damn sing along chorus in the whole list.

 

122 Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight (2008)

What can you say. Overblown, theatrical, bombastic and yet still one of the greatest indie rock songs of the past ten years. The bluster eventually revealing the true pain and sorrow of desolate heartbreak.

 

121 Fritjof Norrmo – Set Me On Fire (2015)

 

Swedish singer-songwriter’s endearing and somewhat nostalgic tale of a brief, but passionate love encounter. A true heart warmer.

 

Don’t forget to check out tracks 200-181, 180-161, 160-141.

Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month: May 2012.

Another crackerjack month of new tunes on MM, all lovingly compiled and packaged up for you in one sweet playlist ready to download.

Here are 33 of our favourite tracks from our May postings and 6 new songs too. No need to thank us.

Download Virals – Gloria mp3 (from Coming Up With The Sun EP)
Shines bright with an insanely hooky vocal and charged guitar riffs, taking cues from the sunny California coast yet retaining a suitably English feel.

Download Blasted Canyons – Holy Geometry mp3 (from 2nd Place 12″)
Infectiously driven by a brilliant needling guitar refrain that is guaranteed to stick with you long after the song has finished.

Download Michael J Epstein Memorial Library – Faith In Free Part 1 mp3 (from Faith In Free EP)
Military stomp that comes across like a brilliantly vicious hybrid of Siouxsie & The Banshees and Sparks.

Download Sun Kil Moon – That Bird Has A Broken Wing mp3 (from Among The Leaves)
More starkly beautiful folk.

The Wind-Up Birds – Cross Country

a
Skilfully blends influences from folk to punk to create a restless, hybrid sound that has feet in many camps, but a home in none.

Beast make Bomb – Coney Island

a
Shimmering slice of indie rock played out against a backdrop of old-school punk attitude.

Dog Moon Howl – Blues Like A Hammer

a
Full on sleazy blues and desert rock – imagine if you will Mark Lanegan duelling with Howling Wolf

Download The Ruminaters – Timmy mp3 (from Timmy Digital Single)
Beatnik, barnyard, hillbilly swamp rock.

Download GravelRoad – Devil’s Eyes mp3 (from Psychedelta)
Sinewy, swamp inspired grooves with a rough and raw blues groan.

Download Marissa Nadler – The Wrecking Ball Company mp3 (from The Sister)
Haunting and ethereal folk that mixes melancholy with yearning in a wonderfully unique way.

Download Hunx – Let Me In mp3 (from Hairdresser Blues)
Flamboyant 60s inspired doo-wop garage-pop.

Download Lord Buffalo – Cold Bones mp3 (from Lord Buffalo EP)
Unsettling and haunting, a blend of darkly shrouded Americana as fiddles moan and guitars ominously brood and slash.

Download Old Bricks – Waves mp3 (from City Lights)
A night’s ride through a dark, sparkling desert.

Download The Doc Marshalls – Here They Come mp3 (from Look Out, Compadre)
Crooked, shimmering folk; evocative and nostalgic.

Download The Tallest Man On Earth – 1904 mp3 (from There’s No Leaving Now)
Characterised by his trademark strum and those wonderful Dylanesqe pipes, but there is a darker twist and turn to the lyrics than we’ve been used to.

Download Hallelujah The Hills – Hungry Ghost Extraordinaire mp3 (from No One Knows What Happens Next)
Wholly absorbing and lyrically scalpel sharp track.

Download Duquette Johnston & The Rebel Kings – Roll Baby Roll mp3 (from Communicating Vessels 7″ Series)
Driving boogie and infectious holler-along refrain.

Download Spacin’ – Sunshine No Shoes mp3 (from New Directions Home- Uncut 2012 07)
Mangled graft of Velvets chug and Stones insouciance.

Download The Agnostic-Phibes Rhythm & Blood Conspiracy – Neckin’ Party mp3 (from Campfire Tales)
Hypnotic swamp rock tale of teenage lust and voyeurism gone horribly awry.

Download The Crocodiles – Endless Flowers mp3 (from Endless Flowers)
Snaking, noise pop.

Download Purling Hiss – Lolita mp3 (from Shaking Through Volume 3)
Huge slab of fuzzed-up riffage.

Download Holograms – Chasing My Mind mp3 (from The Holograms)
Clattering, garage-punk.

Download Hurray For The Riff Raff – Ode To John And Yoko mp3 (from Look Out Mama)
Gorgeous bluesy folk with a slightly retro-feel.

Download Dubious Ranger – 1999 mp3 (from Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931)
Gloriously mournful and hypnotic Americana.

Two Wounded Birds – To Be Young

a
Exquisitely crafted pop gem full of their trademark surf-twang and velvet vocals – it drips with vacation nostalgia.

Download The Broken Needles – Saltflat Baby mp3 (from Terra Nullius)
Mix of country balladry and spit ‘n’ snarl punk rock that is a little like Tom Waits fronting the Mekons.

Download Jaill –  Waste A Lot Of Things mp3 (from Traps)
Their signature slack yet tightly wound musical style and self-deprecating humor retains all its charm.

Download The Virgins – Venus In Chains mp3 (from Venus In Chains single)
Charmingly nonchalant slab of garage inspired rock oozing with glam undertones.

Download Stagnant Pools – Dead Sailor mp3 (from Temporary Room)
Heavy, distorted, squally and reverb heavy, pierced with shafts of melody; would probably be prime candidates to soundtrack the end of the world.

Download The Shrouded Strangers – Drinking The Spider Silk mp3 (from Lost Forever)
Masterclass in whiskey-soaked hillbilly stompers, fuzzed-up psych freak outs, and white-noise wigouts.

Download Rainer & Calexico – Be Prepared mp3 (from The Inner Flame: A Tribute To Rainer Ptacek)
Achingly gorgeous dusty Arizona blues and moanas elegant and moving as anything you’ll hear for a long, long time.

Red Cosmos – England’s Glory

a
Tale of a mother visited in the middle of the night by the pale spectre of her son dying alone, somewhere far away on a battlefield.

Download Grave Babies – Nightmare mp3 (from Gothdammit EP)
Gloomy, drone-filled Goth that manages to keep its tongue firmly in its cheek.

And here are a few new ones to round off your day and set you up for the weekend nicely. First is another taste from the forthcoming Sonny & The Sunsets album, Longtime Companion in the shape of Be The Void. We also have two tracks from our new favourite band, Broken Water: Underground and Drown are good enough to strip the paint from the walls and come from just released new album Tempest.

We have the melodic indie pop dusted with notes of surf rock from Scotland’s The Imagineers and their track The Legend Of John The Terror (Notorious) and Home Groan, a new taste from Dent May’s much anticipated new album. Finally, we have a welcome reissue of some early Silver Jews recordings by Drag City Records to celebrate, from it comes this track Secret Knowledge of Back Roads. 

a

Download Broken Water – Drown mp3 (from Tempest)

Download Broken Water – Underground mp3 (from Tempest)

Download Dent May – Home Groan mp3 (from Do Things)

Download The Imagineers – The Legend Of John The Terror (Notorious) mp3 (from The Legend Of John The Terror (Notorious))

Download The Silver Jews – Secret Knowledge Of Back Roads mp3 (from Early Times)

Don’t forget to check all our previous monthly Best Of mixes in the sidebar too.

Party, party at Mackerel Mansions. Actually, we don’t live in a mansion and the party is at some Mexican place in Oxford. Riva riva! The whole gang will be there and hopefully we’ll toast key 2010 moments in the time-honoured fashion. Undoubtedly there will also be some lively debate over top ten contenders for 2010… At least we won’t be near a photocopier for MM to photocopy his arse.

Skål.

Mrs Mackerel

Download The Silver Jews – Party Barge mp3 (from Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea). Enjoy a little bit of black humour with your Friday medicinal.