Four reasons to get skip the mall.

December 3, 2008


I was listening to The Thermals’ last album, the excellent The Body, The Blood, The Machine, on the bike ride into work this morning. This was a mistake. What with their furious riffing, lyrics about sticking it to The Man (in this case, the big bearded dude in the sky and his followers), and unbounded energy, my legs were pumping faster than they’re used to. I made record time and when I finally got to the office and off my bicycle, my legs felt like a pair of boiled carrots.

My point is this: The Thermals are great and one of the big reasons why Portland’s music scene is as amazing as it is. If you don’t already own the above album, please exit this blog, stand up, and run to your nearest record store as if your hair was on fire.

Here’s the thing: the guy-liner wearing dudes in Green Day are one of the biggest bands in the world, but The Thermals, who mine the same three-piece punk-pop territory (only about eight billion times better and more poignantly), have to work day jobs. Bad for them, good for us. That means more gigs like Friday’s intimate sweat factory at the Doug Fir. (They’re playing an all-ages show on Saturday at 5, also at the Doug Fir.) This is their last show before heading to Spain…so, obviously they’ll be huge international sensations and start wearing eyeliner any day now.

Find show info on our Events Calendar.


We tell ourselves that, ‘This year we’re going to beat the Christmas bulge. We’re going to work out in preparation for those holiday feasts. We. Will. Not. Gain. Weight.’ And then we sit on our backsides for the weeks leading up to the 25th in our offices and in our cars, gorge on food, and hate ourselves for the next few days until we make a New Years’ resolution about losing weight. It’s a vicious cycle.

And since it’s a foregone conclusion, why not watch someone else do something athletic?

Do Jump dance troupe’s Home for the Holidays is the perfect excuse to live vicariously. The visually dazzling acrobatics, aerial dances, live music, and comedy of Do Jump’s holiday show account for half of this two-act spectacular. They’re complemented by a newly arranged performance of Do Jump’s “The Doors”, a set piece featuring six doors and six acrobats. Things get hopping at 7:30 p.m.


To close the weekend it’s a simple two-fer: America’s Largest Christmas Bazaar at the Expo Center (just typing those words sent cold chills of horror down my spine…gimme a second) and the Holiday Ale Festival at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Because if you do the former, you’re certainly going to need the later.

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