David Berman 1967 – 2019

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Silver Jews and Purple Mountains founder David Berman has died at the age of 52. His death was confirmed by the Drag City record label.

Drag City wrote on social media:

We couldn’t be more sorry to tell you this. David Berman passed away earlier today. A great friend and one of the most inspiring individuals we’ve ever known is gone.

Rest easy, David.

Berman formed Silver Jews in the late-1980s with Pavement members Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich. The debut Silver Jews album Starlite Walker was released by Drag City in 1994.

Several additional musicians contributed to the Silver Jews as Berman continued to record albums, including 1996’s The Natural Bridge, 1998’s American Water, 2001’s Bright Flight, 2005’s Tanglewood Numbers and the last Silver Jews album, 2008’s Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea. Berman shelved the Silver Jews after the band’s final concert in 2009.

In addition to his recording career, Berman also issued a book of his poetry, Actual Air in 1999 and a collection of his drawings, The Portable February, in 2009.

After a decade away from music, Berman returned in 2019 with Purple Mountains. The project’s self-titled debut album was released by Drag City in July featuring members of Woods, Aaron Neveu and Anna St. Louis. A Purple Mountains tour was set to begin on Saturday.