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|Origin||New York City, United States|
|Genres||Country rock, indie, alt-country|
|Associated acts||Air Miami, Ectoslavia, Government Issue, Lambchop, New Radiant Storm King, Pavement, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Palace, Rites of Spring, Scud Mountain Boys, Tim Chad and Sherry, Super Bowl Rocket Ship|
|Past members||Tim Barnes
J. D. Wilkes
Silver Jews were an indie rock band from New York City, formed in 1989 by David Berman along with Pavement's Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich. Berman remained throughout and was the only constant member. During the last few albums, Cassie Berman became a regular member of the band. They disbanded in 2009. On 8 January 2015, Bob Nastanovich posted a photo on his Facebook page claiming that the Silver Jews are practicing again.
Though often labeled as a Pavement side project, Silver Jews were actually formed at roughly the same time as Pavement. Berman has falsely quoted the band's name originating from the transcription of a billboard that he saw reading "Silver Jewelry", although he has stated in an interview that the name was actually intended to be a pseudonym for a conceptual art piece and later evolved into the actual band. Others claim, however, that the name pays homage to Silver Apples, The Silver Beatles, and slang for blonde-haired Jewish people.
Though Berman had pointedly avoided playing live throughout much of the band's existence, the Silver Jews surprised fans by embarking on their first-ever tour following the release of Tanglewood Numbers in 2005. They toured North America, Europe, and Israel in 2006. A documentary, titled Silver Jew, was filmed during the band's time in Israel.
On January 22, 2009, Berman announced via the official Drag City messageboard that he planned to retire from music and that the Silver Jews would play their final show on Bluegrass Underground at Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, Tennessee at 3 pm on January 31, 2009. The caverns are located 333 feet underground, and only 300 general admission tickets were made available. Berman stated that he would play his 15 favorite Silver Jews songs. He also wrote that his intentions are to move to "screenwriting or muckraking". He closed the entry by saying, "I always said we would stop before we got bad. If I continue to record I might accidentally write the answer song to 'Shiny Happy People'."
Berman originally planned for the concert to be recorded and aired sometime in February 2009 on Nashville's famed WSM AM radio station; however, the day before the show, Berman posted on the Drag City message board to say that he had "negotiated out of the WSM part out of the deal." The concert was documented by several 16 mm film cameras, and Berman has hinted at a possible DVD release of the show at some point in the future.
The last song that the Silver Jews performed live was "Smith and Jones Forever."
Post break up releases
On June 19, 2012, "Early Times" was released by Drag City. "Early Times" is a compilation of EP's and singles that were released before the debut LP "Starlite Walker".
Post Silver Jews projects
Brian Kotzur (drummer) is the frontman/drummer for Tim Chad and Sherry and also plays drums for Super Bowl Rocket Ship.
William Tyler plays guitar for Tim Chad and Sherry.
In 2015 Bob Nastanovich posted a photo to his Facebook page featuring the band rehearsing. He said that the band is working on two new songs, “The Veranda Over The Toy Shoppe,” and “Wacky Package Eyes.” David Berman later said the photo was a prank.
- Starlite Walker (1994) LP/CD
- The Natural Bridge (1996) LP/CD
- American Water (1998) LP/CD
- Bright Flight (2001) LP/CD
- Tanglewood Numbers (2005) LP/CD
- Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea (2008) LP/CD
- "Dime Map Of The Reef" (1992) 7"
- "Silver Jews And Nico" (1993) split 7" with New Radiant Storm King
- "Blue Arrangements" (1998) 7" available only with issue No. 7 of Stop Smiling
- "Send in the Clouds" (1998) CD/7"
- "Hot as Hell" (1999) CD/7"
- Early Times (2012) LP/CD/Cassette (compiles all songs from Dime Map of the Reef and The Arizona Record)
- Silver Jew (2007)
- "Silver Jews Thursday – David Berman on LOMLOC, Writing, and the Ugliness of Failure – Part I | Blog de Ford". Raford.wordpress.com. 2008-06-19. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- Artist Biography by Heather Phares. "Silver Jews | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
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- "Silver Jews probably aren’t reuniting after all" in Chart Attack