Let's just start off by saying that in case you haven't heard it yet, The Thin Man's music is certainly not for children. I wonder if they ever manage to sneak an all ages gig in? One of their classics An Undertaker Muses rattles off a nice list to fend off even the least conscientious parents. "This one's for the junkies. This one's for the junkies. This one is for the tweakers. This one is for the unsafe sex practitioners. And oh, here come the good old days."
Over the years and albums the themes of The Thin Man's songs haven't changed much. Fueled by whiskey, disappointment and sudden death every song is an ode to the fallibility of the human race. Good thing people are so creative with their self destruction or this might have gotten old by now. Instead each new song is like another fix for the listener.
The Thin Man's stage show has changed a bit. This past time Saleem Dhamee, the lead guitarist, was out of town playing in L.A. with his other band. So Dorian Taj of Black Nag - among other bands - was filling in. Mike McGrath's drumming is as counter intuitive and excellent as ever. Jason Labrosse has switched (for the moment anyway) from an upright bass to an electric. But more than anything, Kennedy Greenrod, the Thin Man himself, has let loose.
Perhaps it was the theft of his favorite accordion that sent Kennedy over the edge. What? you say. Who would steal an accordion? But the cherry red centerpiece that now graces the stage during The Thin Man's set is in fact Kennedy's second best squeeze box. It did look lovely in the red tinted lights of Subterranean, set off as well by the red Christmas lights that bedeck the spiral staircase at the back of the stage. But it's not Kennedy's true love.
There are other possibilities of why Kennedy's growl of "He don't like to make it quick, likes to seem em dance a little" during the manic Louisiana Death Ride has bit more anger behind it as he dances to the microphone. Perhaps it's the pain in his teeth. "Make sure to mention that I really need to see a dentist" he told me after the show. Or maybe it's that he's worried that his band mates won't agree with his dreams of settling down as a gentleman farmer, lord of a herd of miniature cows.
Or maybe all this showmanship is from the monthly gig they've been doing at Quenchers. The end of this year though may see the end of that stint. For all that the band loves the bar, it's been a difficult gig to keep up. "Folks aren't there for the music," says Kennedy, "They're there to drink." Which of course makes it a very different space to play in than Subterranean.
This may make it a bit harder to get to see The Thin Man, but they'll be holing up to record some new songs. The plan being to do a series of web-only releases just one song at a time. In the mean time, enjoy this nice classic video of the afore mentioned song, An Undertaker Muses