In addition to the whole craft beer thing, it seems that Chicago’s Goose Island is lowkey getting into the concert promotions business. First there was last fall’s throwdown with Yeah Yeah Yeahs in the lot of what’s now called Franklin Music Hall; now we get word that they’ve brought the party indoors for a DIY-friendly rager at World Cafe Live downstairs on June 22 starring Philly faves Sheer Mag and Thin Lips, with Kentucky rockers White Reaper taking the middle slot on the bill. Continue reading →
Every day leading up to Valentine’s Day this year, The Key is recapping 14 songs that scream “love” just as strongly as they scream “Philly.” The Essential Love Songs of Philadelphia continues with “South America” from Thin Lips’ 2018 albumChosen Family.
“There’s nothing dense about it,” said singer-guitarist Chrissy Tashjian during Thin Lips‘ 2018 Audiotree session, after the band performed the song “South America.” “It’s just the truth.”
On the one hand, Tashjian is correct — the two-minute, fifty-four-second punk jammer is a barrage of feelings screamed in catharsis from the depths of a West Philly basement. It’s a very literal and direct accounting of emotions felt in the aftermath of love. It’s uncomplicated: a breakup song, pretty much. But it’s not a resentful one, nor is it a self-pitying one. Rather, “South America” is the rare look back at love gone wrong, presented with utter clarity. It’s a breakup song where the person doing the reflecting owns up to their own faults, as well as the flaws in compatibility that combine with those faults to stop a long-running love affair dead in its tracks.
And then, that person’s ex goes to South America. With a woman that they only met last month. WTF.
At gigs, Tashjin says she doesn’t really feel the need to introduce the song — anything that could be said about it is said within the song itself. But it’s in that raw honesty, that vulnerability, that Thin Lips is able to arrive at something profound. Continue reading →
This Saturday night, Chrissy Tashjian of Thin Lips turns 34, and she’s eager to celebrate by sharing a hometown bill at South Broad Street’s Boot & Saddle with Wilmington rocker Grace Vonderkuhn. The two artists were on a U.S. tour together this month, but the final dates of it unfortunately had to be postponed due to the looming polar vortex. No worries, though; they’ll be back through the midwest in due time, and for Philly’s part, the Groundhog Day show is sure to be an even bigger celebration of pent-up rock and roll energy.
To warm up for the gig, Tashjian and Vonderkuhn swung by XPN studios to guest DJ on the Local Show this week. Each artist picked six songs; Tashjian, getting hype for Saturday, picked a set of party megabangers by The Muffs, Queen, Superhcunk and more. Vonderkuhn, on the other hand, went with her current heavy rotation jams, from classics by Buzzcocks and The The to currents by Mitski and Illuminati Hotties. Continue reading →
Following the release of their fantastic new album Chosen Family this summer, Philly scene faves Thin Lips have announced their first proper headlining tour behind the record, which will take them up and down the East Coast this winter. The band has also added a new member to their chosen family: Delaware-based rocker Grace Vonderkuhn will open for them on the tour, which wraps up with a hometown show on February 2 at Boot & Saddle. Continue reading →
During their recent tour across the northeast and midwest, Thin Lips found time to stop by Audiotree’s Chicago headquarters to record a session — or as the band put it, “a pass/fail test of our live set.” The 34-minute session is a resounding pass if you ask us, spotlighting seven tracks off the Philly band’s new album Chosen Family, which was released in September. Continue reading →
“I was going to tell you what this song is about,” Chrissy Tashjian told a sold out crowd at PhilaMOCA last month, “but you’re smart. You’ll figure it out.”
The jam in question, a two-and-a-half minute rager called “South America” from the latest Thin Lips record Chosen Family, doesn’t require a ton of decoding. It wears its message very much on its sleeve — or rather, in its hook: “And now you’ll go to South A-MER-I-CA / with a woman that you only met last month.” So it’s a very literal breakup story, yes, but the telling of it is much more complex than such a label would imply, exploring themes of incompatibility, impatience, rejection, and unappreciated emotional labor: “let’s hear the line / the one that goes ‘Chris, I’ve never seen you try.’ / The line, the one that goes / ‘All I do is try.'”
I mentioned that its a rager, yeah? In the hands of Tashjian and her Thin Lips bandmates, the story behind “South America” becomes a soaring emo anthem, a song with interlocked instrumental complexity that’s incredibly fun, even as it unpacks personal lows. But that’s what this band has been all about since emerging on the Philly scene back in 2013 with the Gemini Moon EP — Tashjian took the name Thin Lips for her band because she is terrible at keeping secrets, and in their telling, she transforms them into something uplifting and pure.
Two great Philly forces combined this past Saturday at PhilaMOCA, where Thin Lips and Slaughter Beach, Dog co-headlined along with opener Queen Jesus. It was a sold-out show coming at the tail-end of a hot summer. Fortunately, these are bands to sweat to. Thin Lips have a classic sensibility about their hooks that you have to move to, with clean riffs and sobering lyrics. Slaughter Beach, Dog, led by former Modern Baseball guitarist Jake Ewald, can play with a crowd instead, going from punk anthems (with a bit of Gibson twang) to solemn folk-inspired jams. Regardless of their duality, the crowd that night seldom could be found not echoing every word from the bands. Continue reading →
Fixtures of the Philly scene Thin Lipsand Shannen Moser have a few things in common — not only are they Lame-O Records labelmates, but they both have new records either just-released or forthcoming.
To celebrate the new tunes, the two bands have joined forces for a double record release show at the First Unitarian Church on September 22, with fellow Philadelphians So Totally and Cheer Up lined up as support. Continue reading →
Nothing goes together quite like local bands and local businesses, especially whenThin Lips and nachos are involved. To celebrate the release of their new album Chosen Family, Thin Lips and Lame-O Records are teaming up with Honest Tom’s Plant Based Taco Shop this Friday, July 27, to offer the best deal in town — a bundle that includes the new LP and an order of nachos for only $20 (sounds like the perfect way to fuel up before heading over to XPNFest, if you ask me). Continue reading →
Not much beats a stacked double bill of local favorites, and that must be just what Slaughter Beach, Dog had in mind when booking their upcoming tour. It’ll be the band’s first headlining run since last fall, when they released their debut LP Birdie, and for the East Coast leg of the tour, Thin Lips is coming along (the second half of the tour gets Gladie, which is pretty cool, too). The two Lame-O labelmates will join forces at PhilaMOCA on August 25. Continue reading →