Local bands are teaming up for a run of benefit festivals this spring, supporting organizations that are crucial to queer and POC communities. Electrifest: Radical Queer Empowered Healthcare and Wellness expands the fest model to include symposium-style discussions on April 8th and 9th at The Rotunda, while the 4th annual Get Better Fest supports the Trans Assistance Project, Youth Emergency Services, and Women Against Abuse on April 28th at Glittery Gallery, April 29th at the First Unitarian Church, and April 30th at PhilaMOCA.
Watch out everybody–Thin Lips has come down with a case of the splits! Terrible pun aside, the Philly punks have recently announced a three-way split with their soon to be tourmates Modern Baseball and The Superweaks, and their contribution, “Not Losing Sleep” is available now in all its streaming glory over at GoldFlakePaint. This track may not appear on Riff Hard, but it still does just that, meaning fans of their previous output will find a lot to love here. Continue reading →
Your friendly local punks in Thin Lips will be hitting the open road again, this time joining Georgia musician Allison Weiss on a run of September dates. The crew swings through Philly on September 20th for a show at Boot & Saddle.
Polaroid photos, shimmering crystals and other neatly organized belongings come into frame in a blur, slowly gaining focus to make out what they are. This kind of building clarity is central to Thin Lips’ latest music video for the song “My Mouth is Skinned Like an Apple,” where we explore frontwoman Chrissy Tashjian’s everyday life and home — her possessions, like anyones, abstract at first, reveal their significance once they’re presented in terms of their beholder. Continue reading →
It’s a soggy Monday night in Philadelphia and we’re crammed into a small room in Fishtown’s Big Mama’s House arts space. The room, which maybe measures 15-by-15 feet, is the practice space of Philly punk four piece Thin Lips, but it also doubles as drummer Mikey Tashjian’s living quarters. He moved in not long ago, and started lightly decorating the room with random artifacts – record sleeves, iridescent fabric, a blue-ish abstract print made by his aunt.
The band is workshopping many things at once on this particular evening – it’s about to head out on tour in support of Riff Hard, their debut LP out today on Lame-O Records (that we’ve been featuring all week long on Unlocked), and it’s been a while since they played these songs together live. Kinks are worked out, particularly on raging album opener “DEB.”
“It’s about how being a girl is hard,” says singer-guitarist Chrissy Tashjian, Mikey’s sister. “And how being a girl who dates girls is hard.”
After a few passes through the two-minutes-and-change blast of energy, the band stops for a breather and we casually chat about the items Mikey has scattered the room. Above his bed, a polo work shirt on a hanger dangles from a hook on the wall. It belongs to the Tashjians’ late brother Billy, who passed away at age 22 in January of 2014, right before what was supposed to be Thin Lips’ live debut opening for Radiator Hospital and Potty Mouth at Boot and Saddle.
Mikey says the shirt is a reminder. “You can work hard,” he says. “You can be a good person. And you’re still going to die.” Continue reading →
So we’ve talked a bunch these past couple days about Philly four-piece Thin Lips, and the serious undertones of their seriously catchy punk rock. The way they find release from personal struggles in loud riffs and fast drums.
But there’s another way the band finds release: by making sure fun is a conscious a part of their personas. We certainly saw that in the video for “Never Again,” where the band plays itself, a rival band and various audience members in attendance at a musical face-off at Kung Fu Necktie. Chrissy Tashjian told Noisey that it was “our homosexual Blink 182 video” and that about sums up the goofy party vibe they chose to visualize their hard luck anthem.
Today, there’s a new video for another Thin Lips song. And yes, it’s also got a total party atmosphere. Continue reading →
In the third act of Riff Hard, the fierce new long-player from Philly punk four-piece Thin Lips, frontwoman Chrissy Tashjian crafts a particularly striking image.
“Smoking out my window,” she sings. “Learning to let go.” Eight words, eleven syllables, five seconds. Yet so perfect. The song is “I Wonder,” a sprinting rager with twinkling hammer-on guitar leads and a chrunching, crushing rhythm. It’s invigorating in sound, boasting serious flail-around-the-room / go-for-a-hard-run / bike-from-West-Philly-to-Fishtown-in-the-rain kind of energy. But more affecting is the lyrical content, where Tashjian opens herself up as vulnerably as possible.
What is she learning to go of? A friend, a lover, a companion. Or more to the point, a connection in her life that she desires but knows is not working. “I still want you / but I don’t want to,” she sings. She knows that the person on the other end deserves something she’s unable to provide. It’s the moment of that tragic realization that something you dearly want is not something you’re able to have.
With any kind of tragedy, as we discussed in our introduction to Thin Lips’ new record, there are two ways of responding. You can huddle down, go inward, wallow in self-pity – an approach that, with the above situation, might result in a song like “Something I Can Never Have.” Or you boldly challenge the setback and circumstance through joyous melodies, through top-of-your-lungs shoutalongs with your friends. You make fast and loud and upbeat noise with your instruments. You riff hard. Continue reading →
“What defines you as a person,” muses Chris Diehm, “is how you deal with tragedy.”
It’s a rainy Monday evening and the guitarist of Philly punk four-piece Thin Lips has been getting deepy contemplative with his bandmates over beers as we gather in a side studio at Big Mama’s Warehouse. The room has a markedly different vibe from the rest of the long-standing Fishtown arts community – instead of expansive floor-to-ceiling bright pageantry and reckless, paint-spattered abandon, this space is all about toned-down, quiet focus. Which carried over to our conversation.
Diehm, along with bassist Kyle Pulley, drummer Mikey Tashjian and singer-guitarist-songwriter Chrissy Tashjian, just wrapped up a long run of production on Riff Hard – Thin Lips’ debut LP, out this week on Lame-O Records. Recorded by Pulley at Headroom Studios, it’s a total blast: amplified, high-octane punk rock guitar jammers that are complex, catchy, fun — and most importantly, cathartic. Continue reading →