Approaching Perfection: A Tribute To DC Berman is a massive new tribute to late Silver Jews and Purple Mountains frontman David Berman, who died two months ago today. The French music site Section 26 compiled the comp, which features contributions from the likes of Dean Wareham, Adam Green, Jad Fair, Jeffrey Lewis, Kyle Forester, Pete Astor, Robert Scott, and many others. More than 30 songs are included.
Section 26’s Xavier Mazure writes:
The idea came from my friend Baptiste Fick, who taught me two decades ago how to play “How To Rent A Room” on a guitar. “What if we organized a tribute compilation of David Berman?” As is customary at Section 26, I responded: “Let’s do it. We’ll think about it afterwards.” The musicians we started to contact reacted the same way, with short and direct answers. We often got a modest: “I’m in, buddy!” Sometimes, we’d receive whole testimonies of an encounter, an interaction with David Berman around Jewish mysticism, or teenage memories which obviously struck a chord with Baptiste and me. Even the most legitimate refusals were encouraging.
Then, there was the impatience, the shiver of the first time we listened to a song that reached us, whether it came from next door or from the other side of the planet. The musicians all took ownership of sublime melodies to give their own rendition of the Silver Jews and Purple Mountains. In these stripped-down instrumentations, each and every one managed to find his or her Blue arrangements.
We know it too well: the appreciation of music is always subjective… And so is its reinterpretation. Just like a composite picture, these covers as a whole have profoundly changed the way we will now listen to David Berman’s songs. The performers have shown us other aspects of the musician, their own aspects, which we hadn’t even thought about. Behind each song, we can hear the voice of the artist covering it. But also, implicitly, that of the poet, reaching us differently.
And let’s not forget that everyone participated for free. Our heartfelt thanks to the artists and to Drag City.
Stream Approaching Perfection below.
Approaching Perfection follows recent live and studio Berman tributes from Stephen Malkmus, Bill Callahan, Animal Collective, First Aid Kit, Nothing’s Dominic Palermo, and Kevin Morby with Woods, who served as Berman’s backing band on this year’s Purple Mountains album.