a minor forest
a truly unique bird, one that was raised specifically to shun music’s evolutionary ebb and flow, a minor forest is the contrarian’s form of musical intuition.
personally, this band meant so much to me that i took it upon myself to run a myspace (ha) for them that included scans and track listings of every release, including the locked groove tour 12”. sadly, that page is gone, but the relationships that it lubricated continue to shape my life, some 7-8 years later.
a minor forest
who’s your favorite son, god?
out of body diva, 2008
zac nelson (percussion, vocals) went on to perform with prints, trawler bycatch, as well as many solo adventures as “hexlove,” and now performs with biosexual. he also does large art installations with kombucha mothers that are unreal, ghastly, and beautiful.
robby moncreiff was part of “what’s up” and “the advantage,” and has also released solo works.
"vevor of agassou"
robert aiki aubrey lowe, of the unparalleled, defunct chicago band “the 90 day men” and currently of “OM,” uses his incredibly unique voice to create visceral, cloud-like streams of melody that swim with motion.
trevor dunn’s trio convulsant
sister phantom owl fish, 2004
noise jazz written on sheet music played by three of the best avant-musicians that the world has to offer. the trio convulsant is rounded out by ches smith and mary halvorson, who are possibly the two people that bring out trevor’s absolute best side, three being the strongest number.
"when even the most of emotions turns into a commodity…"
blues moderene: danois explosifs, 2001
people can try to play this kind of music all day, but 95% of them won’t have the heart that makes it worth listening to.
those people, 2007
for fans of: guitar through bass cabs, thick riffs, repetition, and lines like “i’ve got this headache, its name is you.”
“moth and rust”
this is homage to a band that will no longer play and produce records regularly. silian rail are eric and robin, from oakland, california, and i am fortunate and grateful to count them as both friends and peers.
a friend of mine introduced me to them in 2009, but it wasn’t until i happened upon their first album (“and i you, to pieces” 2008) in a book store in north portland that they really grew on me. being from oakland, and having only their tours as a means of distribution back then, they told me that was probably one of the only cds left in portland. so, in mid-2010 when they came back up to portland, i went with some people to their show, and not only was it superb, but i wanted to know where they were playing on their way back through the city (after playing washington) so i could see them again. as it were, they didn’t have a second show booked for their southern passing, so my bandmate david and i ecstatically asked them if they’d like to play at his house. they took our phone numbers, and the next day told us that they’d be into it.
from that point on, a band of mine would play almost every portland show with them, mostly to guarantee that i’d be able to see them play.
eric told me that i was an energetic watcher when i’d see them play, but that’s actually a testament to themselves, rather than the type of onlooker i am. i’m definitely not gratuitously into every band i see, but sometimes i identify with something so much that i can’t help it.
i chose “moth and rust” from their second record, “parhelion,” because it runs the gamut of things that they do so phenomenally well. eric actually plays guitar and drums until the 3:20, and would do this live every time (there are several youtube videos of this). but they also start the song off slowly, like it’s in mourning, almost. and not only does it pick up and get heavy, but they retain the emotion and intensity throughout many transitions.
and not only these things, but i’m also a sucker for this song. it was the first “new” song i’d heard since i gave their first record a listen, and so it’s been prescribed a very specific, heart-wrenching brand of nostalgia.
bands come and go, but i can’t say there are many other bands i’ll so truly miss like i’ll miss silian rail. this doesn’t just apply to their tours through portland, but the promise of new compositions- and i say compositions because their third (and most recent) record, “each/other,” was swimming with strings and percussion, and showed unstoppable, promising growth.
they hold out hope of being able to write new music across the country (one of the members is moving a significant distance), so we might get to hear something in the future, which is enough for me to hold out the same hope. i can’t recommend their existing records enough.
lastly, here’s a video excerpt of the portland house show they played, which i mentioned earlier. you can hear an early version of “the beast,” from “each/other,” which wouldn’t be released for another two years.
much love, and best wishes to these absolutely lovely, loving people.
"a social worker’s nightmare"
breather resist is to young widows, what ice cream with chocolate topping is to ice cream without chocolate topping.
i’ll take either one, but come on now.
one less heartless to fear, 2010
we hadn’t heard from them for a long time, long enough for a band to be considered through. but we ended up hearing them one last time, and the things they’d been through.
"when satan ruled the ocean, jesus made my fishtank boil" excerpt
volucris avis dirae-arum, 2004
one of those “what did that what was excuse me what is happening” moments that is based in superb discipline.
also, how do i get my bass to sound like a weapon, like this.
"somewhere near denton"
timbre hollow, 2002
mostly composed, partially improvised classical music from members of:
a minor forest
by far, one of the most beautiful, evoking, humbling records i’ve ever heard.
unsafe at any speed, 1998
chicago kids. side project of braid, cap’n jazz, and gauge. one of the best records of any of those bands.
zach hill & mick barr
"dark sea clouds/shaking basketweaver"
shred earthship, 2006
ah, these were the days.
0:12 revolution in just listening, 1998
"j is for genius"
self-titled LP, 1997
this is what i imagine it would sound like if ministry and sleep had a baby, then left it in a dark alley to die in the night, but then lo and behold it comes back several years later, and they’re like, “oh heyyy, how’ve you been?” and then out come the guns.