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While big name contributors like Stephen Malkmus, Bob Nastanovich, and Will Oldham have come and gone, David Berman has remained the lone constant of Silver Jews. Geography is one big reason for that—he opts to hide out in Nashville, which isn’t much of an indie-rock magnet. Since the early ’90s, his outfit has been erroneously misconstrued as a Pavement side project, and Berman’s rare touring and erratic behavior (including a suicide attempt) didn’t make things much clearer. Now that he’s recording and performing more often, Berman’s better shown his solitary and unyielding artistic vision, which on the new Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea incorporates breezy country meanderings and sardonic lyrics that are practically literary achievements in their own right. SILVER JEWS PERFORM WITH MONOTONIX AT 8 P.M. AT THE BLACK CAT, 1811 14TH ST. NW. $13. (202) 667-4490. —-Maggie Serota

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