Silver Jews On A Pleasure Cruise

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Friday's Pick

  • Song: "Party Barge"
  • Artist: Silver Jews
  • CD: Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
  • Genre: Indie-Rock
Silver Jews' David Berman 300

"Party Barge" showcases the deep, unexpressive, weirdly mesmerizing voice of Silver Jews' David Berman. courtesy of David Berman hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of David Berman

A fuzzy guitar conjures up rolling waves, a boat's baleful whistle, seagull mews... How many times has a song tried to take the listener on a cruise? Many, many times. But in the annals of popular music, "Party Barge" is a unique vessel, invented by the son of a steamroller and a crossing guard: "She got rolled when he got steamed / and I got left in charge." Its mission is to send out a St. Bernard to anyone at large. Its motto is "Nothing stops a party barge."

Silver Jews mastermind David Berman launches "Party Barge" on his new album, Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea. The best way to describe the band is to mix and match these terms: "alt," "indie," "old-fashioned," "bluegrass," "rock" and "pop." And maybe "country." Berman isn't exactly a singer's singer, but his deep, unexpressive voice is weirdly mesmerizing if occasionally flat, and it goes well with the song's appealingly lazy beat. Cassie Berman adds a sharp womanly note, and the seagulls have never sounded better.

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