Shoplifting entered the Seattle musical landscape in early 2003, quickly impacting a music community that (with a few exceptions) had grown stale and apolitical in the wake of the city’s gentrification, and the decreased visibility of Riot Grrrl and other similarly radical movements.
In that year Shoplifting displayed a thirst for play and experimentation, playing shows in every imaginable sort of space (from elevator shafts to basements to the lawn of the state capitol), blindfolding audiences or giving them instruments, microphones and space to share, improvising performances, and collaborating in different mediums with a diverse array of artists and friends. They also toured with Erase Errata and King Cobra, self-released a cassette, actively organized against sexual violence in their community, and helped launch the Seattle chapter of Bands Against Bush, a national struggle of artists against the domestic and international terrorism and imperialism of the U.S. government.
In early 2004, Shoplifting recorded with Justin Trosper (Unwound) in Olympia and that summer released a 7” and an eponymous EP with Kill Rock Stars. They toured the U.S. in the summer of 2004, culminating in a protest show in Brooklyn on the eve of the Republican National Convention. After the tour, Michelle left the band and relocated to the East Coast.
Chris, Hannah, and Devin spent nine months regrouping and in the summer of 2005 emerged with a new member, bassist Melissa Lock, a friend hailing from Melbourne, Australia. The new lineup quickly bonded and toured the West Coast with Spider and the Webs. They then began recording their debut album, Body Stories, with renowned producer Steve Fisk.
Hannah Blilie continues to play drums with The Gossip. Devin Welch continues to play guitar in Seattle with the bands Flexions and Past Lives. Chris and Melissa now reside in Australia and play in New War.
- Body Stories (Kill Rock Stars)
- Otis' Opuses (Kill Rock Stars)
- Tracks and Fields (Kill Rock Stars)
- Zum Audio Vol. 3 (Kill Rock Stars)
- Practice/Live' Cassette (Self-Released)
- Serra, David: Shoplifting, Allmusic.
- Clarke, Mia Lily: Album Review: Shoplifing – Body Stories, Pitchfork Media, April 19, 2006.
- Dayal, Geeta: The Week in Review, The Village Voice, August 24, 2004.
- Bendix, Trish: Interview With Hannah Blilie, AfterEllen, October 10, 2007.
- Schaeffer, René: Static Age ’09, Mess + Noise, November 30, 2009.