The wonderful band the Silver Jews, led by deep-voiced poet David Berman, is breaking up. That’s too bad, but it happens. The real sadness comes in a Drag City forums thread, where Berman discusses his father, Richard.
Who’s Richard Berman? He’s a lobbyist, and, well, let’s just say there was a 2007 60 Minutes segment about him called “Meet Rick Berman, AKA ‘Dr. Evil.'” Morley Safer’s first question: “Let me just take you through some of the things your critics have said about you. Sleazy, greedy, outrageous, deceptive, ineffective except when it comes to making money for yourself, corporate lackey who is one of the scariest people in America.”
Well, the question is implicit, I guess. The Drag City thread, in which David Berman calls his father a “sort of human molestor,” is endlessly depressing, although it has Bermanesque gems like “my life has been riddled with Ibsenism.”
If you’re not up on the Silver Jews, I recommend starting with “Long Long Gone,” a great song for these times, and “Advice to the Graduate” (“sleep on your back, ash in your shoes, and always use the old sense the word”), featuring longtime quasi-member Stephen Malkmus.