Silver Jews are an indie rock group, formed in 1989 by writer David Berman along with Pavement's Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich. Sometimes dismissed as a Pavement side project (Pavement drummer Steve West has also been a member of the band), in fact "The Joos" were formed before Pavement, and 1996's The Natural Bridge featured none of the Pavement musicians. The Silver Jews were always a conduit for David Berman's brand of sardonic, countrified indie rock, and Berman has remained the only constant member. The band has gone on to release several full-length albums, including the latest Tanglewood Numbers, released on October 18 2005 (Drag City). Berman's sophisticated lyrics have come to dominate the band's music and critical reputation. Berman had long been steadfast in his almost complete refusal to play live, and so surprised the indie world when he announced their first ever tour in the spring of 2006.