» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

September 6, 2006
When I was growing up, San Diego seemed like a cultural wasteland. Yes, it was a fairly large city, but in Southern Californian fashion, it consisted mostly of suburban strip malls and surfer bros, existing as a shallow, detached blob. The oasis amidst the desert of board shorts and flip-flops for a kid still in the glorious pupae stage of musical discovery was the Casbah, a tiny bar near downtown that consistently booked the best indie rock bands of the day. Without many other options, the Casbah was pretty much the only place to see decent music in San Diego during the mid-nineties.

Unfortunately, being a bar, minors were prohibited. I can remember looking through the weekly Reader and having the Casbah's schedule put me in hot pursuit of a fake ID. I moved away after high school, but when I became of age, whenever I was back in town, I would always check to see who was playing there. As much as it used to kill me when I was younger to not be able to see the bands I was into, like they say, the wait was worth it. In the past five years I have been witness to countless memorable shows at the window-less little building on the corner of Kettner and Laurel.

Recently, while visiting for a friend's wedding and taking advantage of a couple of days escape from the miserable sixty-degree summer of San Francisco, I was delighted to see that the Thermals' stop in San Diego coincided with mine. Having seen them quite a few times in the past couple of years, the Portland trio had yet to disappoint and had always entertained. Setting off for the long drive from suburbia, I'm sure my parents were upset that I skipped out a little early from dinner on my last night in San Diego, but I'm also sure that they were relieved to be granted a reprieve from the constant bickering that is inevitable whenever my brother and I are in same room together.

The night was gorgeous in the beautiful, balmy way I have yet to find anywhere outside of Southern California, which prompted me to forgo the opening bands in order to drink Tecate cans outside area the club and catch up with old friends who had met me there. By the time I had made my way inside and the Thermals had taken the stage I was a little buzzed and, after hearing my friend humorously recount his traumatic experience of sleeping in a garage filled with paint and screen-printing materials during this scorching summer, in very good spirits.

True to form, Thermals mouthpiece Hutch Harris mumbled an introduction before the troupe launched into their first song of the night. Barely pausing to catch their breath or swig a beer between songs, the band tore through selections from More Parts Per Million and Fuckin A, and even debuted a few new songs from their album The Body, The Blood, The Machine, which was just released. Seeming a bit down tempo compared to their earlier work, the new songs still managed to be infectious and catchy. Unfortunately, it being a Sunday night, the crowd was meager and looked a bit worn out, but that didn't stop the band from playing with the enthusiasm that makes their music even better live.

The Thermals were able to cram an incredible number of songs into their forty-five set. Still wanting more, I was disappointed when the lethargic audience dispersed without even an attempt at provoking an encore. Realizing it was probably for the best, as I had to be up in five hours to go the airport, I too walked out into the warm night air, content to have been able to see such a great band in such a great place.

SEE ALSO: www.thethermals.com
SEE ALSO: www.subpop.com
SEE ALSO: www.casbahmusic.com

Kevin Alfoldy
An aspiring global adventurer who cut his teeth on the sandy beaches and dirty bitches of Southern California, Kevin Alfoldy now spends his non-vacation days in Brooklyn, New York, where he occasionally finds the time to rub the crust out of his eyes long enough to contribute reviews and feature articles for LAS. A longtime staff member, Kevin also captains the tattered, often half-sunk raft of EPmd, our irregular column of EP reviews.

See other articles by Kevin Alfoldy.



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