I first learned of the Thermals in 2005 from the DVD series, Burn to Shine, in which bands play a house that's set to be demolished. In an unlucky Portland, Oreg. home, the pop punk trio – by then together for just under three years – bounding with energy, played exclusive single "Welcome to the Planet.” That particular Burn to Shine installment also featured live, untouched performances by Sleater-Kinney, Mirah, the Decemberists, and the Gossip. A basic slice of life in Portland that year, all under one soon-to-be-gone roof.
Friday's Noise Pop show at the Rickshaw Stop celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Thermals' very first album, More Parts Per Million (2003, Sub Pop). And while it's now all these years later, and the band has since released a decade's worth of records building to 2013's Desperate Ground, the Thermals have maintained a joyful, power-pop exuberance and nasally shine. The Rickshaw crowd pogo'd off its feet to every song, nearly in unison, matching the excitement of the band on stage, even causing a brief kerfuffle near the end. Read more »
After her other bands naturally fizzled, Allyson Baker was done. "I was burnt," says the hard-rocking guitarist, clad in her signature black leather jacket, with a rocker's fringe of black bangs framing her face. Luckily for us, she got the rock'n'roll bug again around 2006, and picked up the pieces for a new project — Dirty Ghosts (www.dirtyghosts.com). Since then the act has gone through a dozen formations, with even more drummers, but one thing remains consistent: Baker herself, a Joan Jett-esque force on stage and off.Read more »