Last night I talked to Si, my old boss in Japan who I still affectionately call Boss. While roaming through the various changes in our lives over the years (Si now has a young boy), the fate of the UFC and some old friends, Si, a singer-songwriter mentioned my love for The Silver Jews. The Silvers Jews are in reality one man, Dave Berman, the guitarist and poet and consequentially one of the best lyricists around. His words and simple melodies can move, amuse and inspire move than any writer in any medium. The tragedies which are of such immense pathos usually involving himself in desperate straits drunk and depressed or lost love have now given some ground to equally beautiful stories of love and animals in the skies reflective of his own love trials and retribution.
For Dave Berman is bewitching. When in sorrow or melancholy, you turn to Dave Berman. It can never be as lonesome and wrenching as he has experienced.
I’m drunk on a couch in Nashville
In a duplex near the reservoir
And every single thought is like a punch in the face
I’m like a rabbit freezing on a star
To take you to the highest levels of ecstasy Dave Berman is there to explain the joys of love can pull from your heart. Berman believes in great love and writes so lovingly and/or achingly, you draw breath.
I believe the stars are the headlights of angels
driving from heaven to save us
to save us
Won’t you look at the sky?
They’re driving from heaven into our eyes
and though final words are so hard to devise
I promise that I’ll always remember your pretty eyes
your pretty eyes
Berman is racked constantly by guilt and doubt in all his actions to such depths he tried to commit suicide in 2003 only to survive and put together his most positive and fun album to date with Tanglewood Numbers. He has bemoaned Radiohead in the past wondering why they only write about feelings rather than a story you can relate to and take home. No one writes like Berman. He is revelatory, inspiring and deeply moving. I have never known his like before. I’ll forever have that Friday Night Fever.
She wouldn’t change me if she could
I wouldn’t change her, she’s too good
Sometimes a man just needs a change of pace
I’ve heard all those come on lines
But I go home at closing time
I know no one could ever take her place
The Boss referenced one song during our conversation and it’s below. I Remember Me, the simple story of a man who is hit by a truck as he asks his beloved to marry him, falls into a coma and when he finally comes around, she has moved on after encouragement from his family. Only Dave Berman can write a song as eloquently tragic as this.