Posted by: Nick | June 30, 2008

POSTPONED TO 2009- Silver Jews @ Headliner’s

Photo by Shannon McClean

One of my favorite bands, Silver Jews, are out on the road promoting their new album, Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea (tops my list so far in 2008), and they will be playing a show at Louisville’s Headliner’s on August 27th some time in 2009.  Silver Jews is a Nashville based band and they have been around for a while, starting back in ’89 by David Berman and Stephen Malkmus.  Malkmus later went on to found Pavement, so Silver Jews are often referred to as a Pavement side project (thought Berman was lead and wasn’t in Pavement).  Berman is the only remaining original member.

I have been a big fan since listening to American Water a few years ago.  With the release of their new album this month, I started listening to their whole discography again and I’m blown away by the subtle nature of their genius.  Every song seems so simple and natural that it is impossible to pick a favorite.  One week a verse or a line from one of their songs will get stuck in your head and the next week there will be another.  Last week it was “I unplug all the neon; Turn the ringer off the phone; I throw my thoughts like a tomahawk into this world which I disown” (from “My Pillow is the Threshold”)  While they don’t have one or two songs that you play over and over, the entire album is something to enjoy.  The delivery is dark and monotone (similar to Leonard Cohen) accompanied by simple chords and occasionally some back-up harmony from female vocals.  They are definitely worth a listen.

I had in the que a post regarding their show in Indy at Birdy’s on October 11th, but we can definately scratch that and plan on this local show!!!  Monotonix will be the opener (they are best described by the reviews below or see our post about their Bloomington, IN show here).  Seems like an odd pairing (although they are labelmates at Drag City), but I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to see either. Tix are $15 bucks and go on sale July 11th.  It is an 18+ show.  Starts at 9pm.

Silver Jews- My Pillow is the Threshold

Monotonix- Lowest Drive


Dissatisfied with the state of the music scene in their hometown of Tel Aviv, the Israeli trio Monotonix formed in November of 2005 with the mission of redefining the rock show. The band, consisting of singer Ami Shalev, guitarist Yonatan Gat, and drummer Ran Shimoni, channel riff heavy influences Led Zeppelin, the Sonics, and Thin Lizzy to create raw, driving rock & roll. Shortly after forming, they would accomplish their mission in Tel Aviv, defying the expectations of what a rock show should be there. They would set up on the floor among the crowd and proceed to turn every performance into a wild party, wild enough that more often then not they would find the power getting shut off on them or the police called to break up the show. Eventually finding themselves banned from most of the venues in Tel Aviv, the band decided to leave Israel so they could tour the United States and Europe. From 2006 to 2007, Monotonix played over 300 shows around the world, including SXSW and a tour with Silver Jews. These tours furthered their reputation as a band whose shows are not watched, but experienced. Monotonix have become known for setting themselves and their equipment on fire, stealing drinks from audience members to pour on themselves, and generally turning their shows into unabashed, frenzied dance parties. In 2007, the band recorded their first EP, Body Language, with Tim Green of the Fucking Champs –

“The Israeli garage-punk trio is unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed.” – Washington Post

“Most exciting live band in rock’n’roll” – Spin



  1. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Bob Nastanovich — who was in Pavement, and was an original member of the Silver Jews (and also lived in Louisville — is playing again with Berman. Also, David lived here in Louisville for a brief while, and is married to Louisville native Cassie Marrett (who also played in Aerial M and Pale Blue Star). Just so y’know…

  2. I knew Nastanovich started off with SJ as the drummer, but I didn’t think he was apart of Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea (he comes and goes like Malkmus). If he is, all the better! I didn’t know the Louisville connection, that is great. Perhaps that is why Will Oldham has collaborated with SJ (that and they share a label).

  3. Berman used to live in L’ville with his wife. They left because the scene was composed largely of big hippie women. P-fork reported on it in an interview w. Berman before the release of Tanglewood Numbers. In other news, I saw both these bands in LA about 2 yrs ago. Fucking amazing. Monotonix is a great great great show.

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