Features | Awards

Award for Most Uplifting Bummer of a Record that Somehow Manages to Make Your Morning Commute More Tolerable

By David M. Goldstein | 20 December 2008

Silver Jews
Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
(Drag City; 2008)

Let’s face it, when you’re out the door at 6:30am to join the rat race, the coffee has barely begun to kick in, and you’re already dreading scads of unopened emails and morning meetings where your every move is going to scrutinized, you don’t want to listen to that Cut Copy record.

You need to hear some mildly depressive life wisdom, preferably mumbled by a bearded sage who’s been to hell and back. David Berman’s your man, warmly intoning that focusing on the past is for suckers, that you’ll always have a friend in the C&W jukebox in the corner of the bar, and that you should appreciate your freedom because it sure as shit beats life in a candy jail with “peppermint bars, peanut butter bunkbeds, and marshmallow walls.”

No matter how much you think your life sucks, Berman’s had it worse, and forces you to take things into perspective. Suddenly, the listener is reminded of the warm significant other who, like Berman’s wife Cassie, will always leave the light on for him, reminded that having a crappy job beats no job at all and that he’s lucky to be living in such historic times. No one in the biz does the chicken soup for the hipster soul thing like David Berman, and Lookout, Mountain, Lookout Sea proves it again.