Silver Jews are fronted by David Berman and feature Stephen
Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich who were (and are) Silver
Jews before enjoying relative fame as founders of Pavement.
On Tanglewood Numbers, Berman’s gravelly
voice and the detailed imagery of his lyrics set the
album’s tone from the first line of the opener, “Punks
in the Beerlight,” as he asks, "where's the
paper bag that holds the liquor?” The narratives
of the tunes are like a heavy night of drinking; they
convey and exaggerate life’s up and downs.
songs include frequent hooks and Malkmus’s
guitar notes noodle, riff and soar. The music,
though often rocking hard, provides a lighter
contrast to Berman’s
words, and as do his wife Cassie’s backing
Numbers is full of songs about real people
with real problems, almost like a Raymond Carver
collection of short stories set to music—and
as such, no matter how bleak things get, a sense
of humanity and grace shines through.
Track: Track 3, “K-Hole”