Silver Jews singer-songwriter David Berman dies by suicide at 52

Berman was set to go on tour with his new project Purple Mountains starting August 10 in New York. The tour was supposed to take him and the group across the country, concluding in Los Angeles on September 23.


                            Silver Jews singer-songwriter David Berman dies by suicide at 52

Indie musician David Berman, who was the man behind the 1990s group Silver Jews, has died at the age of 52, according to music label Drag City. Musician Joe Pernice tweeted that the singer-songwriter, who also wrote poetry and created cartoons, had committed suicide. 

Berman was set to go on tour with his new project Purple Mountains starting August 10 in New York. The tour was supposed to take him and the group across the country, concluding in Los Angeles on September 23.

Berman had previously taken a long break from music for several years, but Purple Mountains had released an album on July 12, which featured many great songs including 'All My Happiness is Gone' and 'Maybe I’m the Only One for Me'. According to Variety, Drag City described Berman as “a great friend and one of the most inspiring individuals we’ve ever known.”

Berman had reportedly battled drug addiction for several years and had survived several overdoses and at least one previous suicide attempt. The Silver Jews, whose songs blended noise and country music, had recorded six studio albums between 1994 and 2008, including 'Starlite Walker' and 'Tanglewood Numbers', though they rarely performed live.

The group did go on tour in 2006, however, following the release of 'Tanglewood Numbers.' In 2005, Berman talked to Pitchfork about his stance on performing saying, “I believe that intermittent live performance has cut short the writing lives of touring musicians. If you are making an argument with history you don’t waste your energy and brain cells on sales, publicity, relentless travel, and other adjoining tasks. The less my body moves, the more energy my brain has to write."

The Silver Jews have featured a number of different musicians in their line-up over the years. Berman first started making music when he was living in Hoboken, New Jersey, with his college friends Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich. Malkmus went on to form the indie rock group Pavement, though he continued to play with Silver Jews.

The group disbanded soon after playing their final show on January 31, 2009, in the Cumberland Caverns in Tennessee. Besides his musical career, Berman had written two books of poetry titled 'Actual Air' and 'The Portable February'.

In a post on the Drag City Records message board, Berman had written about the anger and bitterness he held against his estranged father, gun and tobacco lobbyist Richard Berman.

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