premiere: Thin Lips - Gemini Moon
Chrissy Tashjian wrote me this excellent letter about fighting anxiety with rock n’ roll, and her this crushing single:
My name is Chrissy. I’m a 27-year-old guitar-playing, construction-working, beer-drinking, loud-laughing, Queer ball of love and anxiety. I know many people say this but I think that rock and roll has literally saved my life.
I’m from the suburbs directly west of West Philadelphia and grew up in a big, amazing Armenian/Irish/Polish/Catholic family - most of whom played music. I have fond memories of watching my dad’s band play Black Sabbath songs, and I started playing in bands myself when I was in middle school. It was also around this time I started to get really afraid of going to school, leaving the house, or my comfort zone in general. These anxieties grew and grew until I was about 16, when it got so bad that even if I made it to school, I could barely stay in the classroom. I went to therapy and was diagnosed agoraphobic with a panic disorder.
Despite these anxieties, I had decided to go to art school after graduation (hah). With some therapy, I was able to move downtown and go to college, but I lived in a very crippled way. By this time I had started avoiding almost anything that caused me feelings of panic: elevators, classrooms, highways, bridges, public transportation. I was able to make it to school, but after a few bad break-ups, and several agoraphobic depressive periods, I was unable to handle the pressure and anxiety and eventually dropped out of school.
I moved all over Philly (eventually meeting and dating my current partner and soon-to-be band mate) and formed Dangerous Ponies with my brother and other friends/musicians in the Philly scene. I had always been so afraid, but finally there was something that mattered to me more than my primal fight-or-flight reactions to anxiety. My friends and family in Dangerous Ponies were the most supportive, caring and patient people I know. They, and especially my partner, really helped me become a regular person! On our first 7-day tour, I laid in the backseat of the car all the way to Austin and back and took many, many drugs to make it through the trip. 3 years after that on our last major tour, we went out for two months across the country and I didn’t use one drug (other than Tetris on an old Game Boy).
Dangerous Ponies ran its course until we split amicably. Kyle Pulley (who played guitar in DP) and I decided to join forces and wrote new material and found a new drummer; Pat Brier, who had also just left his old band, Tigers Jaw. We made Thin Lips and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I feel really blessed to be where I am, and learn what I’ve learned; but it’s still difficult. That is essentially what “Gemini Moon” is about. This song is short and angry…. It’s about feeling insanely frustrated about feeling stuck in the same mental feedback loop of anxieties, wanting to change and not knowing how, and figuring what parts are just intrinsically you and what parts are able to change and grow.
Thanks so much for reading.
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