Silkworm (1987-2005) is one of my favorite all time bands. It’s hard to pick their best album, but for the purposes of this post, let’s choose the first one that I heard, which is the stunning Firewater (1996).
Their music is kind of hard to describe. Generally, it’s Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen swapping vocals over Michael Dalhquist’s frenetic drumming. Both songwriters are incredible lyricists, with impeccable sense of story, pacing, and point of view. I’ve learned as much about writing fiction from Silkworm as I have from some of my favorite writers. Heck my short story, “There’s No Light Between Floors” is a nod to the worm, with the title cribbed from a Midgett lyric.
Silkworm songs can be quiet, desperate, then jangly, buzzsaw, off-kilter, rawking, maddening, annoying, inspiring, anthemic, heart breaking, and just plain great. How’s that for a description?
Silkworm is the band that my inner music snob uses as a personality lithmus test. Sometimes when I meet a new person, I ask myself, “What would person X think of Silkworm?” I laugh a righteous interior laugh when I know the answer.
I’m both sad and happy that more people don’t know/love them.
Silkworm ended with Michael Dalhquist’s tragic death in 2005. Below is the trailer to an upcoming documentary on the band:
And now, as I’ve recently discovered, there’s Bottomless Pit, Tim and Andy’s new band. Their first release is a full length, called Hammer of the Gods, and it’s fantastic; more than a worthy successor to Silkworm. I’ve been driving people mad by constantly signing/humming the chorus to “Dogtag.”
Congress, their 4 song EP is on it’s way to my grubby little home, and I’m told, there will be a new album in the spring as well. Life ain’t all bad. I have a new band with which to judge people.