Didn't know much about these folks before; don't know all that much more now. But... leader David Berman started this up back in the late '80s or early '90s with future Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus. Apparently, they enjoyed making noise.
In more recent years, Berman has reportedly struggled with substance abuse, depression, and suicide issues - three things I have more than a passing acquaintance with. Alas, I lack the ability to make music; I can only listen.
I've read at least one review of the Silver Jews' latest CD, Tanglewood Numbers, that suggests that longtime fans may be surprised by the disc's hi-fi sound. Can't really comment on that, other than to say that the songs, at least, still tend to be rather ragged and deliberately[?] anti-mainstream. My two favorites [below] may be the most "polished" of the lot, and I would also recommend the sly little charmer "How Can I Love You (If You Won't Lie Down)?".
For more info and stuff, try [here].
[MP3] [left-click] "Punks in the Beerlight" [from the LP Tanglewood Numbers, 2005]
[MP3] [left-click] "Sleeping is the Only Love" [from the LP Tanglewood Numbers, 2005]
[MP3] [left-click] "Random Rules" [from the LP American Water, 1998]