Published April 7, 2006
Wait long enough, and things come around. Once known only as Pavement’s side project, Silver Jews are now garnering media attention for Tanglewood Numbers and the first-ever tour for the band supporting the album. Tanglewood is a very good album, but some of the wind is out of the sails, most notably in Stephen Malkmus’s more derivative, rock-style guitar work. What Tanglewood can do is draw you to American Water, one of the finest combinations of wit, drawl and guitar sprawl of the last 30 years. Likely you want an example of how good the lyrics are: it’s hard to quote Dave Berman, though, cause there isn’t an end point. My favourite lines are from, maybe one should call it a stanza, in the opening song on American Water, Random Rules:
I asked a painter why the roads are colored black.
He said, “Steve, it’s because people leave
and no highway brings them back.”
So if you don’t want me I promise not to linger,
but before I go have to ask you dear about the tan line
on your ring finger.