Skip to main content

Stuck in my head: The Thermals

On a chilly June evening in San Francisco, way back in ought 1 (or was is ought 2?), I stood in line at the Bottom of the Hill with a group of friends waiting to see one of my favorite bands, Rainer Maria. As was our custom, we showed up an hour and a half after the doors opened so we wouldn't have to endure the first opening act. Some anonymous band was finishing up their set and we grabbed some cheap beers and chatted. Then something amazing happened on stage. The second band marched up, announced tersely "We're the Thermals" and proceeded to explode in a brilliant, white-hot flash of awesomeness.

And that was my introduction to the pseudo-punk trio from Portland, Oregon, and I've been in rock-love ever since. I'm sure Rainer Maria was great, but I can't say I remember much from the headliners that fateful evening. I've seen The Thermals live three times and their energy is infectious enough to get even the emo-est of emo kids to throw off their patch-covered backpacks and nod their bespectacled heads to the beat (or just slightly off beat, as is their emo way of doing things). Don't believe me? Check out the video below.



If you liked that, you'll love their newest album. Here's a more recent video.

Update: Oh, oh, oh! I totally forgot to mention why I am on a The Thermals kick lately. The other night Erin and I were watching an episode of Weeds--downloaded in a perfectly legal fashion using modern TECHNOLOGY--and the end credits rolled along with a Thermals song. I just love it when two of my favorite things come together like that. I have a secret fantasy involving Les Savy Fav doing a cover of the Battlestar Galactica opening theme song.

Comments

erinjohn said…
i remember not being able to take my eyes off their bassist for their entire performance. she may yet be my biggest girl-crush :) oh how i miss drinking way too much budweiser and staying up way too late on a weeknight, hearing great live music.

Popular posts from this blog

An annual note to all the (NSF) haters

It's that time of year again: students have recently been notified about whether they received the prestigious NSF Graduate Student Research Fellowship. Known in the STEM community as "The NSF," the fellowship provides a student with three years of graduate school tuition and stipend, with the latter typically 5-10% above the standard institutional support for first- and second-year students. It's a sweet deal, and a real accellerant for young students to get their research career humming along smoothly because they don't need to restrict themselves to only advisors who have funding: the students fund themselves!
This is also the time of year that many a white dude executes what I call the "academic soccer flop." It looks kinda like this:


It typically sounds like this: "Congrats! Of course it's easier for you to win the NSF because you're, you know, the right demographic." Or worse: "She only won because she's Hispanic."…

On the Height of J.J. Barea

Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea standing between two very tall people (from: Picassa user photoasisphoto).

Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks, who beat the Miami Heat tonight in game six to win the NBA championship.

Okay, with that out of the way, just how tall is the busy-footed Maverick point guard J.J. Barea? He's listed as 6-foot on NBA.com, but no one, not even the sports casters, believes that he can possibly be that tall. He looks like a super-fast Hobbit out there. But could that just be relative scaling, with him standing next to a bunch of extremely tall people? People on Yahoo! Answers think so---I know because I've been Google searching "J.J. Barea Height" for the past 15 minutes.

So I decided to find a photo and settle the issue once and for all.

I started by downloading a stock photo of J.J. from NBA.com, which I then loaded into OpenOffice Draw:


I then used the basketball as my metric. Wikipedia states that an NBA basketball is 29.5 inches in circumfe…

Finding Blissful Clarity by Tuning Out

It's been a minute since I've posted here. My last post was back in April, so it has actually been something like 193,000 minutes, but I like how the kids say "it's been a minute," so I'll stick with that.
As I've said before, I use this space to work out the truths in my life. Writing is a valuable way of taking the non-linear jumble of thoughts in my head and linearizing them by putting them down on the page. In short, writing helps me figure things out. However, logical thinking is not the only way of knowing the world. Another way is to recognize, listen to, and trust one's emotions. Yes, emotions are important for figuring things out.
Back in April, when I last posted here, my emotions were largely characterized by fear, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion and despair. I say largely, because this is what I was feeling on large scales; the world outside of my immediate influence. On smaller scales, where my wife, children and friends reside, I…