Details on & preorders for the Silkworm 2×12″ + CD “Libertine” reissue.

“Very few bands make even one great album. Silkworm made several, and this is the first.”Steve Albini

Comedy Minus One announces a long-overdue deluxe reissue of Silkworm’s out-of-print 1994 album “Libertine” (cmo019), the third and final full-length record by the band as a quartet.

This is a double 12″ pressing with a supplementary CD including “The Marco Collins Sessions” as well as two additional recordings from the band’s time at Pachyderm Studio.

Includes all-new artwork throughout (the revised cover is pictured at the top of this post) plus a full color insert with liner notes by Silkworm’s Tim Midyett.

Mastered from the original 1/2″ tapes by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service.

Photographs by Mike Hoffman, Jr.

Layout and design by David Babbitt.

Pressed on 150 gram 45 rpm vinyl at Gotta Groove Records.

Preorders are available NOW and will be available until June 11.

Details on all three preorder tiers are below.

In stores May 5, 2014.

Silkworm really piss me off. For nigh 20 years now, I’ve tried to explain what it is they do (not “did”-this band lives), and I have failed. I have used dumb phrases like “post-punk in a world where punk never happened.” Also: “music redolent of the new weird America.” I have said these things to friends and strangers, and sometimes even typed them for others to read. All I’ve ever wanted is to figure out is how it is that this music sounds like nothing else, while somehow sounding like everything else-a rock band that has soaked up the past without resorting to pastiche, the bane of so many of their compatriots.

Now, it’s possible I just did it again there, but bear with me-because in order to fully process Libertine you have to understand how strange it sounded in context. Not just odd-but out-of-place, as befits a band that crawled out of Missoula, Montana and drove the wrong direction on I-90, staking a claim in the Pacific Northwest, instead of the Lake Michigan-ic Midwest, where their music would eventually find a more hospitable environment. I mean, can you imagine what it must have been like to be these guys in ’90s Seattle? You know those Charles Peterson live band photos that captured the unbridled intensity and connection between musician and audience, awash in a sea of hair and sweat? I wonder if he’s got one in a drawer somewhere, Silkworm in the natty suits they sometimes wore back then, Andy Cohen placidly crowd-surfing…

But I digress.

Triple-threat songwriting, two cagey guitars circling the drain but never going under, a bassist whose axe looks like an oar and sounds like the metal cable of a suspension bridge, anchored by a drummer clad in little more than gardening gloves whose kick drum (I am told) is the oversize kind favored by marching bands-all in all, a combination as heady as it was brainy. You can hear the rooted rootlessness of the big sky country they left, the austere grandeur of the city where they eventually ended up-and, while they were stuck where they were stuck, a sublimely cerebral version of the stop-start loud-soft dynamics that inexplicably (alright, explicably) put their interregnum city on the global musical map while they were consigned to the margins.

From the dread-beat-and-blood of “There Is a Party In Warsaw Tonight” to the undertow of “Bloody Eyes,” these songs dart in and out of focus, each doing what it sets out to do before yielding the floor. Cohen’s “Grotto of Miracles” crawls like a king snake, with lyrics about smirking at worms and fearing credit reports. Tim Midyett’s “Couldn’t You Wait?” spins riff and wordplay in a way that is somehow heartbreaking. And how exactly Joel Phelps can balance such Iris-Dement-ed vocals over the bounce of “The Cigarette Lighters” is a riddle that will never be solved.

That goes for this whole album. You can’t solve Libertine. That’s its genius. And these guys knew it even if most of the world didn’t. In the maelstrom of the last song, Tim tips this band’s hand: “the dream is a lie.” Too late-we’re dreaming.

Why didn’t he tell us earlier?

Why did he have to wait?

Greg Milner is a writer, journalist and the author of Perfecting Sound Forever.

2×12″/CD TRACKS

01 There Is A Party In Warsaw Tonight
02 Grotto Of Miracles
03 Cotton Girl

04 Yen + Janet Forever
05 Oh How We Laughed
06 The Cigarette Lighters

07 Couldn’t You Wait?
08 A Tunnel
09 Written On The Wind

10 Wild In My Day
11 Bloody Eyes

CD ONLY

12 Insider
13 Grotto Of Miracles (alternate)
14. Couldn’t You Wait?*
15. Scruffy Tumor*
16. Cotton Girl*
17. Raised By Tigers*

*Marco Collins Sessions

This project is the most expensive/expansive release Comedy Minus One has done to-date, an opportunity to present a definitive edition of one of our all-time favorite albums. The following two month preorder will help gauge exactly how many copies of the “Libertine” reissue realistically need to be manufactured. It will also help fund this substantial undertaking.

The items offered via preorder will, with the exception of “Libertine” itself, not be available in stores.

The record is also being sold here for less than the targeted list price.

There are three preorder options.

JUST THE RECORD

“Libertine” 2×12″ + CD

$20 + shipping.ORDER HERE

RECORD + SHIRT COMBO

“Libertine” 2×12″ + CD + distressed look SKWM t-shirt

$40 + shipping.

This shirt, printed by Commonwealth Press in Pittsburgh, will not be available elsewhere. It was recreated from a well-worn, much-loved garment taken off the back of a fine Canadian. Displays the classic “SKWM” band logo in red ink on a pre-shrunk heather dark grey Anvil 980 shirt.

Please make sure you indicate what size shirt you require!

RECORD, SHIRT, BONUS 12″, BOOTLEG AUDIO + PHOTO PRINT

In addition to the 2×12″ + CD + t-shirt you will receive a “bootleg” .zip containing nearly two hours of previously unheard high quality live renditions of “Libertine”-era songs from the quartet, a frame-able print of an image (seen below) from the same Mike Hoffman, Jr. photo session that yielded the new album art and a bonus white label 12″ of tracks 12-17 listed above.

There will also be a sticker.

$75 + shipping

All preorders will be sent well in advance of availability in stores.

COMEDY MINUS ONE THANKS

Thank you to Aadam Jacobs for access to his archive of live recordings and to Liz Bustamante for swiftly digitizing said cassettes.

Thank you to Daniel Jurnove for entrusting his collection of Silkworm rarities with me.

Thank you to Seth Pomeroy and all others who felt comfortable sharing their recordings.

Thank you as well to Scott August and Braden Barclay for providing and scanning the shirt art.

Thank you to Jodi Shapiro, Chris Rasmussen, Matthew Barnhart and Issac Turner for serving as amiable sounding boards through this project’s development and completion.

23 Responses to “Details on & preorders for the Silkworm 2×12″ + CD “Libertine” reissue.”

  1. By Victor on Apr 10, 2013

    If I can prove I have a copy of Libertine and the Marco sessions, can I buy a t-shirt and the bootlegs?

  2. By admin on Apr 10, 2013

    It is unlikely that the shirt/bootlegs are going to be separated.

    Why not spring for the whole thing and gift the 2×12″ to a friend?

    Better yet, go in on it with someone?

    I bet I can pair you with someone who doesn’t want a shirt. I encountered such an individual on Twitter earlier today!

    Jon

  3. By Craig on Apr 11, 2013

    First of all, thanks for tackling this project, which hopefully will be fantastic. Having the advantage of wider 45RPM LP grooves gives an opportunity for the album to reach its full sonic potential.

    I also hope Mr. Weston will (or did?) remaster this album *conservatively* – maximizing the dynamics, letting the quiet parts remain quiet so the loud parts can fully impact the listener, tastefully adjusting the frequencies only where absolutely necessary to balance all the instruments and bring them into harmony with each other, giving the music the space to breathe so we can hear the room acoustics and all that fun stuff… (in other words, please please please don’t suck all the life out of it by compressing it to hell and jacking up the bass and/or treble, as has been the recent fashion throughout the industry… :) ) The original CD edition may have a low volume, but that makes the album VERY crankable, which is usually a *good* thing.

    At the risk of seeming to “pile on,” I can relate to some of Victor’s earlier comment: Too bad those of us who want to hear the bootleg recordings would have to come up with another $55 (I know there’s other quality swag in that option as well, but speaking for those who care mostly about the music…). Maybe if some more information were available about bootleg.zip, I’d be more enticed to upgrade my pre-order? (1. Are these complete shows from that era, or just cherry-picked individual tracks from a host of show recordings? 2. Are these CD-quality 44.1kHz/16bit FLAC files, or lower quality MP3s? 3. If MP3s, what is the bitrate? 4. Any chance of publishing a track listing describing the titles, dates, locations of the songs on bootleg.zip? 5. Are these soundboard recordings, matrix, etc.? 6. First generation or from dubbed cassette copies?)

    Depending on the details, I might be willing to pay $5 (if MP3s) to $15 (if FLACs) separately to download the bootlegs, particularly if they were complete shows, including all the between-song banter and fun stuff like that to give you that “you are there” time-travel experience.

    I don’t expect y’all to reconfigure your trio of packages in response to my comments; I imagine you already went through a lot of pain and hand-wringing to compile these options as it is. Just pondering the possibilities “out loud.” :)

    Can’t wait to receive and spin the remastered LPs and CD, some time between now and this fall!!

  4. By admin on Apr 11, 2013

    Craig,

    Firstly, thank you for the feedback.

    Bob Weston remastered Libertine with the cooperation of Silkworm’s TIm Midyett. They both know what they’re doing. Do not worry.

    The preview of “Couldn’t You Wait” that was posted serves as a worthy indication of the rest of this project.

    As for “Libertine live,” these are primarily first generation recordings with a smaller number of dubbed cassette copies and a pair of Ein Heit soundboard cuts.

    They’re 192 kbps across the board.

    Every song but one from “Libertine” is represented.

    Almost all of these files haven’t been bootlegged before. Before tracking them down (which took months of legwork) I had not heard any of’m and I have a fair number of live SKWM tapes.

    16 tracks containing 21 songs. If more tapes are unearthed I’ll add to what’s already planned.

    A full list of the “Libertine live” recordings will be posted in the coming weeks.

    Jon

  5. By t minarchick on Apr 16, 2013

    Hello,
    When is the deadline for pre-orders? Also, can you pair me up with someone who wants to buy the prints (and possibly we can share the live zip file)? Lastly, will we be charged for the order when it ships or when we place the order?
    thanks

  6. By admin on Apr 16, 2013

    Preorders run until June 11, 2013.

    If I hear of someone else looking to pair up I will email you.

    Orders are charged when they are placed. This helps fund the project’s myriad expenses.

    Jon

  7. By Luca Moretti on Apr 29, 2013

    Hi, Shipment to Italy doubles the price. Would it be possible to buy the lp + cd and receive just the cd? I guess this way the whole anount would cover the shipping cost as well.
    Thanks,
    Luca

  8. By admin on Apr 29, 2013

    Luca,

    Thanks for writing. I wish shipping from the United States had not become so expensive but the rates recently increased.

    Unfortunately the CD is a slipcover that comes inside the vinyl so it may not be possible to separate.

    Your best plan price-wise would be to ask an Italian distributor or independent store to import.

    Best,

    Jon

  9. By Marty on May 11, 2013

    The shipping basically makes this not worth buying directly if you don’t live in the States. Totally disappointed.

  10. By admin on May 11, 2013

    Marty,

    Unfortunately there was an increase in United States Postal Service shipping rates as of late January 2013 that has made things difficult for all businesses’ overseas customers – not just independent record labels.

    While I don’t know what country you are in (please let me know) I’d encourage you to ask a record store / distributor in your region to import a copy as there are no restrictions.

    Carrot Top, Matador Direct and Revolver will all have the 2×12″ + CD in stock.

    Yrs,

    Jon

  11. By Steve V. on May 18, 2013

    Holy Hell, I am so excited.

    Thanks for doing all this Jon and others involved.

    “Libertine.” Jesus, that record dug me from the trenches of my dawning 20’s.

    If you don’t sell a million of these, I am burning down the world.

    _SV.

  12. By Luca Moretti on Jun 10, 2013

    Revolver in UK?
    Did any Italian distributor or record store ordered a fee copies?
    I am waiting for my new cc and cannot order the package myself. :-(

  13. By Jon Solomon on Jun 10, 2013

    Luca,

    It is my hope an Italian distro will import from Matador, CTD or Revolver. I know British distros have been able to import our Eleventh Dream Day record recently so it is certainly an option.

    Ask your favorite store to do so!

    Jon

  14. By Ellis on Aug 7, 2013

    Thank you for doing all of this. I am excited to order, but I can’t find the link to order the larger packages. Where are they? Am I overlooking them or are they on a different page?

  15. By Jon Solomon on Aug 7, 2013

    Ellis,

    Unfortunately the larger packages are no longer available – just the 2×12″ + Cd.

    Jon Solomon
    Comedy Minus One

  16. By kirk on Jan 27, 2014

    Hey, just wondering if there’s any update on when this will be released? Gonna be close toa year soon. ..

  17. By Jon Solomon on Jan 27, 2014

    Kirk,

    Hey! Check the post at the top of the blog. Test pressings finally approved! Hope to have records in 4-6 weeks, pressing plant permitting…

    Best,

    Jon

  18. By Dave on May 6, 2014

    Hi There
    wondering who the distro is for Canada and the USA for the latest Silkworm Libertine re-issue? Would love to carry this one at my record shop, or is a direct order possible?
    Thanks
    Dave

  19. By Jon Solomon on May 6, 2014

    Dave,

    Just sent you an email about distro.

    Best,

    Jon

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