“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.