Silkworm Drummer Dahlquist Killed in Car Crash

Jessica Suarez reports:
Michael Dahlquist, longtime drummer for Silkworm, died Thursday in an auto collision in Skokie, Ill., that also took the lives of Chicago musicians Doug Meis (drummer for Exo and the Dials) and John Glick (guitarist for the Returntables).

The three men were on their lunch break from Shure Inc., a microphone and audio equipment manufacturer, when Jeanette Sliwinski, 23, plowed her Ford Mustang into their car while they were stopped at a red light. According to the Chicago Tribune, Sliwinski was upset after having an argument with her mother, and "wanted to end it all." Her car had gone through multiple red lights and was traveling at over 70 mph when it struck their Honda Civic. All three men died instantly; two others in another vehicle were injured, while Sliwinski received only minor injuries. Sliwinski was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault, and is being held under guard at the hospital where she is recovering.

Word of Dahlquist's death spread quickly over fan message boards even before police had confirmed the names of the victims. Fans on the Matador Records and Electrical Audio forums, where Dahlquist was a frequent contributor, shared videos and pictures of Dahlquist, while they also planned get-togethers to remember him in cities including New York and Paris.

Speaking with Pitchfork, Silkworm bassist and vocalist Tim Midgett said the outpouring of condolences was not surprising to him: "We're all really grateful for it. But I'm not surprised by it. The band has always had a small but intensely loyal fan base. Michael, in particular, has this uncanny ability to make people feel at ease and comfortable in his presence. He made so many friends right away."

Midgett added that he doesn't foresee Silkworm continuing: "You can't replace him. I'm sure Andy [Cohen], Matt [Kadane], and I will keep on doing music together, but it'll be something else. We'll let that lie for now," he said. "It's hard for me to imagine ever being in a band called 'Silkworm' again."

Silkworm began in 1987 in Missoula, Mont.; Dahlquist replaced exiting drummer Ben Koostra in 1990 when the band moved to Seattle. Silkworm released a total of nine albums, including two on Matador Records, and later, four on Touch & Go, including their last album, 2004's It'll Be Cool. Dahlquist moved to Chicago five years ago, where he was a senior technical writer for Shure, Inc.

Midgett organized a wake for Dahlquist in Chicago. Of the wake, which was open to fans as well as friends and family of the three men, Midgett wrote, "We want[ed] the event to be essentially unstructured but also dignified-- much like Mr. Dahlquist was himself."



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