The roots of Americana music run deep and wide and many of the early originators and influencers are now approaching or are in old age. To recognise and celebrate recently lost artists AUK will start publishing obituaries in 2020 in our The Song Remains section reflecting the fact that while an artist may have died their music, art and spirit remain with us through their recordings. To kick start this new section of the website there is a Rollcall of some of those artists lost in 2019 with a full obituary of Paul Barrere guitarist with Little Feat. Our readers’ thoughts on this new section will be very much appreciated. Continue reading “Americana UK introduces our new Obituaries section The Song Remains”
Sweden’s First Aid Kit have paid a terrific tribute to Silver Jews frontman David Berman who died earlier this month with two new recordings: one is a cover of the Silver Jews classic ‘Random Rules’ from the ‘American Water’ album (with possibly the best opening line to a song ever) and they’ve also recorded an original song. Continue reading “First Aid Kit pay tribute to David Berman with two songs”
With thanks to BrooklynVegan for highlighting this – tributes are still coming in for David Berman who died last week (we now know sadly from suicide) and some artists have covered songs from Silver Jews over the weekend, including Phosphorescent who performed ‘Trains Across the Sea’ from the 1994’s album ‘Starlight Walker’ and Hiss Golden Messenger who covered the wonderful ‘Dallas’ from 1996’s ‘The Natural Bridge’ album. You can watch both of those performances below. The Brooklyn band Activity, Pennsylvania’s The Districts and the National have also covered Berman’s songs in recent days. Continue reading “Americana acts cover David Berman songs in tribute – Watch”
There couldn’t be a sadder end to the week than the news yesterday of David Berman’s death, even if in a tragic way it bought him into top-sellers lists for the first time in living memory. Berman was one of the great lyricists of our time, and some songs such as ‘How to Rent a Room’ with its opening line: “No I don’t really want to die; I only want to die in your eyes” feel unbearably poignant. Here’s to you and the peace you’ve hopefully found David. Have a good weekend dear reader.
Really sad news this morning of one of American UK’s musical heroes – only last month we gave his new Purple Mountains album a 9 out of 10 – “Not a single mention of any majesties”. The Guardian reports: “David Berman, who was regarded as one of the most poetic voices in US indie rock, has died aged 52. His record label, Drag City, confirmed the news, but hasn’t confirmed the cause of death. Continue reading ““Silver Jews” David Berman dies”
After ten years on the sidelines, David Berman has decided to chime in with a new album under a new name. If we take him at his word, ten years ago his biggest fear was that he might accidentally write the answer song to ‘Shiny Happy People’. Depending on what you think that answer is, you might find yourself wondering if this album is the product of Berman facing that fear. After all, who’s to say what the answer is… Continue reading “Purple Mountains “Purple Mountains” (Drag City, 2019)”
It seems poetry books are a bit like buses – you wait ages for one and then two come along at once! Following on from our recent review of Doug Hoekstra’s ‘Unopened’ we now have David Berman’s acclaimed ‘Actual Air’ to evaluate – and this is quite a different beast! To start with, Berman’s book is a re-issue; originally released in 1999, this collection of modernist poems saw Berman hailed as a natural successor to Wallace Stevens and drew major critical acclaim from the likes of The New Yorker and G2. Twenty years on the impact of these poems has not diminished in the slightest. Now it is being re-issued, initially as a limited edition (one thousand copies) hardback, with a paperback run scheduled to follow. Continue reading “Book Review: David Berman “Actual Air” (Drag City, 2019)”