Under Silkworm: The Past is the Present is the Future
Couldn’t You Wait? is a new documentary about the 90’s most under appreciated band, Silkworm. It’s a touching film that serves as an inspiration to both musicians and fans alike, and it’s available online for a budget friendly $5.00. Directed by Seth Pomeroy, Couldn’t You Wait? chronicles Silkworm’s journey from Missoula to Chicago, Matador to Touch and Go, and all points in-between. It’s an excellent snapshot of the evolution of an American band and the community they helped galvanize.
What struck me most about Silkworm’s story was how the three of them, Tim Midgett, Andy Cohen, and Michael Dahlquist evolved their music without compromise, answering only to themselves. They were on the edge of many scenes (Seattle, The “Alternative” Boom) and played on seminal labels (Matador, Touch and Go), but they never let trend get in the way of their music. This approach cost them a lot of money, but as time passes their integrity and dedication will out survive bands from the 90’s who had commercial success.
I watched Couldn’t You Wait? before heading across the river to see The Under play at O’Brien’s last night and found striking parallels between Silkworm and them. The obvious similarity is that they’re both three piece bands, however, The Under’s style of music is vastly different than Silkworms. That said, they both uniquely play with such pure un-bastardized talent that I couldn’t help blurring them together. The Under’s progressive rock style spans the map, with all influences on display. While other bands on the bill were trying to scream you into a testosterone induced submission hold, The Under attacked you with a level of musicianship that lapped the other bands who graced the stage. This made me think about how Silkworm didn’t conform to what others around them were playing or listening to, and made me realize that The Under, while very different, are from the same family tree.
There’s thousands of bands like Silkworm and The Under in towns and cities across the country who’ll have varying levels of success and failures, but by them staying true to themselves they’re raising the watermark of what music should be. They’re on the front lines every day, bucking trends, keeping music fresh, exciting, and important – that’s something I’d wait a lifetime for.