Where to start etc?
Just came across this...
Firewater is by far superior, for my money, and is one of my favourite albums. Andy Cohen's guitar playing is amazing, so inventive and distinctive. The album has a wonderful, clear and live sound - can't recommend it enough.
I saw them supporting Guided By Voices along with Spoon in the 90s before I'd heard them on record and was astounded by how good they were. Also pretty sure I remember reading that Firewater was Stephen Malkmus' album of that year (whatever that year was).
It was a bootleg record of a live benefit show from 1997, essentially of Stephen Malkmus with the three Silkworm guys, mostly playing songs from Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes. It's pretty great and quite a fun listen for a live record. Here's Malkmus singing the Silkworm song they did -
Available here: http://www.comedyminusone.com/010.php
...Although you should probably check out Lifestyle, Italian Platinum and Libertine before you get that deep into the 'worm.
It's really great and captures the essence of what an incredibly special band they were. The extras are well worth investing in too - i've only dipped in so far, but they are probably more enlightening than the actual film if you're already a pretty big fan of the band.
Personally, i'd start with their Lifestyle album - i reckon it's the easiest one to get into as it's pretty concise and not as weird as they can sometimes appear on first listen. Silkworm never made a weak record but Firewater is probably the best one once you really 'get' them. I always think the their final posthumous EP Chokes! is really underrated too.
My favourite is It'll Be Cool cos all of the songs are fantastic AND they throw some funny noises/ideas into the mix like pitchshifted vocals and sped up stuff etc. And the repetitive opener is so good. Means a lot that one.