News & Politics

Black Cat Will Do a Free Tribute Show in Honor of David Berman

A "listening night" in remembrance will take place this Wednesday.

In light of the death this week of indie-rock legend David Berman, Black Cat is hosting a free listening show to pay tribute to Berman’s life this coming Wednesday, the night his current band was due to play at the 14th Street nightclub.

Berman, a poet and musician, died August 7 at 52. His death came shortly before he was supposed to begin a fall tour with his new band, Purple Mountains, formed after Berman’s ten-year hiatus from music. Black Cat was to be the fourth stop.

Berman was best known from his band Silver Jews, formed in the late 1980s with Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich, both of whom had lived with Berman in the undergrad dorms of the University of Virginia. (Malmkus and Nastanovich also formed the crux of the seminal 90’s rock band Pavement.) Silver Jews released six albums between 1994 and 2008, each a display of Berman’s poetic songwriting, accompanied by anguished chords of folk guitar.

Upon learning of the death of his former bandmate, Malkmus tweeted, “the songs he wrote her his main passion esp at the end.”

The event will be on Wednesday, August 14, beginning at 7:30. Everyone who bought an initial ticket to the Purple Mountains show received a refund, along with a note from Black Cat:

“The show on Wednesday, August 14th has been cancelled due to the heartbreaking loss of David Berman. If it suits you, feel free to join us that night for a free Purple Mountains listening party to commemorate the life of this incredible poet.”

Kalina Newman
Editorial Fellow

Kalina Newman is an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. Previously, she covered metro news for the Boston Globe. Her work has appeared in ARLnow, DCist, and the Washington City Paper. Kalina graduated from Boston University in 2019 with a degree in journalism.