Poet Musician David Berman quits Band, outs Father
File this under random gossip. David Berman, best known as singer of the Silver Jews and author of Actual Air, just "announced that he will quit his band and continue on as muckraker and screenwriter. It doesn't say anything about whether or not he'll continue to write poetry. I hope he does since Berman is a hit with the college students. He's a good gateway drug for that stubborn student who hates poetry. I could bury one of his poem in the back of a packet, and they will say, "I find the rest of these poems boring but I LOVE DAVID BERMAN." Can they sniff out, through his laid back, laconic lines, that he's also in a rock band?
He also outs his family secret. Apparently, he's always had a curdling secret about his father being a food industry lobbyist: "My life has been riddled with Ibsenism. In a way I am the son of a demon come to make good the damage." So I guess one can interpret his decision to turn to muckraking as some serious Oedipal revenge shit.
To conclude, I'm sad about the music. I liked the Silver Jews. But one must move on.
Cathy Park Hong is the author of Translating Mo'um, (Hanging Loose Press, 2002); Dance Dance Revolution (W.W. Norton, 2007), winner of the Barnard New Women Poets Prize; and Engine Empire (W.W. Norton, 2012). She is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the NEA, and the New York Foundation for the...