Singer-songwriter David Berman is as much of an ironist in life as he is in art. Note that after landing in rehab following a Xanax overdose (an act with sardonic aspects of its own), he belatedly embraced Judaism — a belief system he'd never taken that seriously despite his band's name. Even after trading chemical dependency for religion, however, he remains a deadpan wit of charm and skill, as he demonstrates on Lookout, the first Silver Jews record made without assistance from Berman's longtime cohort, Pavement leader Stephen Malkmus. The melodies are ultra-simple, but they're paired with multi-faceted lyrics whose humor is tinged with melancholy on tunes such as the lazy lope dubbed "Suffering Jukebox." As for "San Francisco B.C.," its protagonists boast "sarcastic hair." Don't we all.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.