"JEWSY JEWSY JEWS
Remember old Silver Jews? Man, they were a lot of fun for a record label. First they were a mystery band, then it was rumored they were Pavement. Then they weren'tPavement, but one of the best bands ever to record on a boom box. Then they went from low to hi-fi and D.C. Berman stood revealed as a wordsmith par excellence, with tunes that set the mid-90s underground afire. Then they created the alt-country scene, but only out of a purity that couldn't be expressed on indie-rock terms. They were one of the top-selling Drag City acts of the 90s - and they enviously did it without touring at all! Then they moved on, creating a spectacled form of stadium rock in their final phase, when they came to terms with their widespread fanbase and finally toured to play the closet anthems that the misfits of the world had been singing much to their string of girl-and-boyfriend's dismay for years now. It's been a wild ride, distinguished by the virtual disappearance of their early catalog. Once their hi-fi records started coming out, the low-fi records went OOP, much to the frustration of the fan base that probably already had nicely worn copies of both records, thank you very much. CD bootlegs circulated, putting cassette versions of those songs and many others into the still-fledgling (and not yet debunked) digital realm. But those boots were from vinyl, not from the original normal-bias C60 cassette tapes! For Early Times, we unearthed those original tapes from their pristine stored state at the bottom of a can of Prince Albert Tobacco - and we blew on them to get the dust and other crap off! Then they got mastered. The results - to our tired old blown out completely unreliable ears - are extraordinary. People forget how great the sounds of primitive technologies were, like microphones. The Silver Jews performances filtered through the boom-box quality circa 1992 deliver audio-verite visions of a few post-grad slacker types in their low-rent living room with their cheap guitars and amplifiers. A combination of actually writing and pure improvisation brings additional electricity to the sound, as Berman and Malkmus and Nastanovich throw their ideas recklessly into the ring, calling, answering and sometimes falling splat onto their faces, yet feeling no pain. Meanwhile, the tunes are a string of stellar indie-rockers, starting of course with 'Canada' and ending with 'Bar Scene From Star Wars' with nothing more and nothing less in evidence. The artwork that adorned the original 7" and 12" is included and the whole damn thing is far more satisfying than we could have imagined - and we imagined it would be pretty damn satisfying! If you ever felt like you were being cheated by a retouched vision of Pavement, a representation of them as more than they actually were, Early Times is for you. Revisiting our world June 19th!"