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Silver Jews


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New York, United States (1989 – 2009)

Silver Jews’ earliest incarnation was the college band Ectoslavia, formed by future Pavement founders Bob Nastanovich, Stephen Malkmus and frontman David Berman at the University of Virginia in 1989. An exercise in joyous noise, the band disbanded after graduation and the three friends moved to New York to take up various jobs - Nastanovich, a bus driver, and Berman and Malkmus, art museum security guards.

Pavement, a band started by Malkmus post-Ectoslavia, pre-New York, at this point began to gain attention. This attention resulted in a record deal and a constant inferiority plague placed upon the ‘Joos with Berman totally at the forefront of the group. Misinformed music fans now saw the band as a side-project and, even worse, Berman as being not good enough to play with Pavement, many band members being shared between the two bands.

The connection to Malkmus and the now blossoming Pavement was not all negative, however. Drag City, then not the bastion of American folk music it is today, agreed to release the band’s debut EPs which has led to a fruitful relationship (the label continues to release the band’s records, right up to album number 7 in 2008, (Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea).

The Silver Jews in their later days primarily consisted of David and Cassie Berman who contributed most of the lyrics, and a changing cast of characters. They had numerous indie stars in a rotating line up, including Willie T. of Lambchop, and Brian Kotzer of Tim Chad and Sherry.


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  • d1lll1nger

    Good band.

    11 Jul 8:58am Reply
  • gonzeaux

    Unsung heroes

    3 Mar 2:03am Reply
  • beautifuldaddy

    hospitalized for approaching perfection

    18 Feb 3:04am Reply
  • willett25

    David Berman and Stephen Malkmus' slacker duet on "Federal Dust" gives some spunk to a movement of tranquility in this diverse playlist. Drift off and take a listen here!-

    25 Jan 9:39pm Reply
  • Radixxs


    23 Jan 9:04am Reply
  • rejoyz

    i really really really really wish they'd come back and play some shows.

    29 Oct 2013 Reply
  • antiantigone

    Early times is shittt

    12 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Dpool2313

    The Natural Bridge is such an amazing album

    9 Aug 2013 Reply
  • wtfpwnt

    I wish these guys would come back more so than Pavement, and I LOVE Pavement.

    28 Mar 2013 Reply
  • taskerov

    "I wish I had a thousand bucks/I wish I was the Royal Trux"- Silver Jews, Death of an Heir of Sorrows. Shame Silver Jews don't play anymore but I'm exicted to see Neil Hagerty of Royal Trux at The Bowery Electric this Thursday.

    26 Mar 2013 Reply
  • IanOhs

    was anyone offended to receive that massage??

    23 Mar 2013 Reply
  • d1lll1nger

    Very good!

    1 Mar 2013 Reply
  • loveindanelson

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    22 Feb 2013 Reply
  • slainte666

    Awesome band! Great writing all the way around!

    20 Feb 2013 Reply
  • 7192525

    i agree. silver jews are way better and pavements no good.

    9 Jan 2013 Reply
  • Poncecutor

    "Remember the distance or color does not matter but love matters a lot in life" - Oh miss rose you flatter me

    14 Dec 2012 Reply
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    12 Nov 2012 Reply
  • liquorsetmefree

    i mean seriously they are very different, despite sharing a member or two. i can totally see someone liking silver jews and disliking pavement, or vice versa. both are fucking great in my book!

    8 Oct 2012 Reply
  • gonzeaux

    An injunction was recently granted outlawing all Silver Jews / Pavement comparisons. [4]

    7 Oct 2012 Reply
  • nicoinfurs

    An injunction was recently granted outlawing all Silver Jews / Pavement comparisons. [3]

    27 Aug 2012 Reply
  • All 509 shouts

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