My Tim Berne profile, which appeared in the June 2012 issue of JazzTimes, is now readable on the interweb. I won't reheat any of that content here, but please note that in its print version, the piece was headlined "Berne to Shine." I doubt Berne would have a real problem with "Snakeoil Salesman," as it's tagged online, but somehow the disclaimer seemed worth making.
A lot of folks have responded favorably to Snakeoil. Most recently, the Ottawa Citizen jazz critic Peter Hum put it in a Best-of-2012 list on his estimable blog. (Yes, Hum addresses the fact that we're only halfway through the year.)
It's easy enough to get the album without spending a dime. But as Ethan Iverson pointed out around the time of Billy Hart's ECM debut, there's a compelling moral argument behind your purchase of the album, with real currency. I suppose there are those who believe Berne's rough-hewn aesthetic doesn't sit well with the ECM sheen. I beg to differ. Anyway, you can stream one track, "Scanners," via this label page. (Also: Iverson and Berne, in dialogue.)
Of course, there's no shortage of grainy YouTube footage of Berne and crew in concert. I wouldn't be mad at a special arrangement between ECM and Screwgun, whereby the latter gets to issue some bootleggish material, à la Bloodcount Unwound, in between official studio releases.