Ignored Obscured Restored
Purple Mountains was the latest project by David Berman, previously of Silver Jews. Since Silver Jews released their last album in 2008, this was a comeback of sorts. And the lyrics to the album’s opener, “That’s Just the Way That I Feel” confirm it!
Well, I don’t like talkin’ to myself
But someone’s gotta say it, hell
I mean, things have not been going well
This time I think I finally fucked myself
You see, the life I live is sickening
I spent a decade playing chicken with oblivion
Day to day, I’m neck and neck with giving in
I’m the same old wreck I’ve always been
Course I’ve been humbled by the void
Much of my faith has been destroyed
I’ve been forced to watch my foes enjoy
Ceaseless feasts of schadenfreude
And as the pace of life keeps quickening
Beneath the bitching and the bickering
When I try to drown my thoughts in gin
I find my worst ideas know how to swim
Well, a setback can be a setup
For a comeback if you don’t let up
But this kind of hurtin’ won’t heal
And the end of all wanting
Is all I’ve been wanting
And that’s just the way that I feel
This guy clearly knew how to turn a phrase. But as amazing an achievement as Purple Mountains was, it clearly wasn’t enough to rid Berman of his demons. He committed suicide on August 7, 2019 – less than a month after the release of Purple Mountains. Substance abuse issues, marital problems, and a feud with his well-connected lobbyist father (Richard Berman) due to disapproval of his conservative, anti-regulation positions, all weighed heavily on his psyche.
It’s too bad he didn’t live long enough to enjoy the rave, critical notices for his final work.
Enjoy… until next week.