Topic: The Late, Great Silver Jews

I stumbled on this today: … -jews.html

I suppose that was written sometime in 1998. It's relatively brief, but there are some interesting nuggets:

1.) American Water was tentatively titled The Late Great Silver Jews (I never knew that)

2.) They worked their asses off on that record -- 22 straight days of rehearsal and recording, and it really shows.

3.) What a time of optimism and excitement for the crew -- Berman is so genuinely enthused that the record turned out so well, and there's talk of his book with open city, Robert Bingham's imprint -- yet also the prelude to a period of tumult. A year later Robert was gone; a few months more and Pavement was broken up; and the next few years of David's life would probably represent the darkest period, up 'til 2003 when the excrement really hit the fan.

Re: The Late, Great Silver Jews

I didn't realize Mike Fellows was bass on the record.

It is one of the better records of the period. Everything through Blue Arrangements is perfect, and the second half is certainly no slouch. It's a better record than Terror Twilight or SM (+ Jicks) s/t. I came to the Jews late for some strange reason, but that was a mistake.

It is a great sounding record, too, I'd say you're right, the hard work shows. It's not a perfectly "clean" record but it shouldn't have been. Berman gives SM the right amount of space on the DCB songs to provide backing vocals that add something that I think most other Jews records have sorely lacked (though still, very good albums). They really struck a balance on this album... it is David's project, but Steve brings some musical acumen and song-writing know-how that shows.

- Nathan