March 3, 2008

he was a rebel jew
let him in

Raul Zahir De Leon, David Berman, Corcoran Museum of Art, February 28, 2008

-- Additional Photos

* At the Corcoran last Thursday, David Berman strolled out on the stage (after a short introduction where the introducer called him "Dave") and played about eight songs from the silver jews' upcoming record Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea. The songs -- performed on acoustic guitar with his wife Cassie joining him with backing vocals on a couple -- sketetons of what they will sound like with a full band, were great (I wish I took notes and wrote down some of the new lyrics, but I did not), and what we have come to expect from Silver Jews songs. He dedicated one (which is not titled but contains the Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea line) to Jeremy Blake's mother (Berman was speaking at the Corcoran as part of its exhibit of Blakes' work.)

Following the presentation of the songs, Berman left the stage while Blake's Sodium Fox (excerpts here) was screened. If you have not seen the whole thing, search out a screening, its really fantastic. While most press on the film states this was a colaboration between Blake and Berman, Berman distanced himself from that idea, stating in the post-screening Q&A that he just went through old notebooks and pulled various lines out, presented them to Blake, then they went into a recording studio where Berman said the lines in a few different cadences, and left Blake to decide which to use and how (in an interview with the Washington Post the day before Berman put it like this: "I would say it was raw, uncooked writing. I assumed the heat of Jeremy's art was going to cook it.")

The rest of the Q&A consisted of Berman pontificating on a variety of topics from what he's been reading (had to ask his wife Cassie, who noted Berman reads about 10 hours a day), how he arrived at the title for the upcoming album, what's he's been listening to, and where the name Silver Jews came from. Berman, who had a lot of his own family in the audience, was noticably choked up at a couple of points when discussing his relationship with Blake. Towards the end, Blakes step-father told Berman that "If Jeremy's art came out as words instead of images, this is it..." and Berman responded (quoted from this Jeff Johnson piece):

"I feel the last few days being here in Washington has really filled out a lot of the questions or empty space I had about what happened to Jeremy. I feel that just to be with someone's art... You know when I worked at the Whitney, sometimes I'd be the late night guard and I'd be the only one in the museum. And you'd walk around the galleries in the dark, in this place with David Smith and Jackson Pollock who all died these violent deaths, and the older guards would say watch out when you're on the third floor! I wanted to come to be with Jeremy. You know we just shared a lot of the same reference points. We shared a lot of the same dislikes. And, uh, it's hard."

All in all an interesting and moving evening. Can't wait for the release of Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea.

-- DC website Brightest Young Things reviews the show here.

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"6. John McCain

"What with all this confusion on national security and the economy - not to mention having to walk a fine line to figure out which mad-eyed racists it's okay to be supported by - McCain doesn't seem to know where he is or what he's doing any more.

"'I will conduct a respectful debate,' McCain told the crowd at Texas Instruments, per ABC News' Bret Hovell. 'Now, it will be spirited because there are stark differences. I am a proud conservative, liberal Republica -- conservative Republican,' he said, catching himself. "Hello?" he said as the crowd laughed. 'Easy there.'

"A proud conservative liberal Republican, eh? Well I guess that should cover all the bases."

* In DC -- Tonight at The Red and The Black: The Muggabears.

* "An empty stomach is not a good political adviser." -- Albert Einstein


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I get the album early I will email you the songs again( I emailed you some of the songs from the last album). I cant wait to hear it.

10:30 PM  
Blogger n|kk| said...

Liberal-- with a big "L" -- the meaning that came well before the word was taken as the mindless battle cry of neocons.

12:16 PM  

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