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The Thermals w/ Oranger and The Ex-Boyfriends

A Perfect Balance of Punk, Melodic Flavors and Terpsichorean Pop

As 2005 kicks off and we launch into another calendar year of amazing performances, new discoveries and general SF music goodness, the venue schedules are already stocked with terrific shows. January and February are full of highlights straight up through NoisePop (more on that later). One of the first great nights of indie rock will take place Jan. 14 at Café du Nord when an awesome triumvirate of talent takes to the stage. Here is a preview of the evening:

The Ex-Boyfriends
A quote from Ex-Boyfriend guitarist/vocalist Colin Daly on the band's website basically tells you all you need to know. "I think bands that can't write a catchy song to save their lives call themselves experimental." Experimental they're not, but up-front fun and catchy pop is their specialty -- and they do it up right. The music is more about breakin' up than makin' up, but you can dance to it all night (and it's still in your head the next morning). So make sure to arrive early and check out the evening's openers. The local gay trio -- a fact I mention more because it's interesting than overtly important to the music -- had a great 2004, playing out a ton and developing a strong local following. They are currently finishing up a brand-new full length and will play some of that material at the Du Nord appearance.

Oranger
The word most often associated with Oranger is "sunny" -- probably music to your ears during this winter of ceaseless rain in our fair town. The veteran SF foursome begins its eighth year of creating delicious 60s-tinged California pop in the studio recording their latest album, Breakfast in America. The band rocks live with inspired sets of psychedelic melodies and sing-along choruses. It's always fun to watch talented frontman/singer/guitarist and principal songwriter Mike Drake lead his Oranger-mates into a terrifically cohesive performance. Watch out for Oranger's NoisePop appearance as well; the band is doing a live score for a film at the Castro Theater, which should be a highlight of the festival.

The Thermals
The Thermals are produced by good friend and Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, but the only power to their pop is that of the loud and fast variety. The critically-acclaimed Portland-based quartet released a perfectly concise 28-minute album called Fuckin' A last summer, with politically charged anti-war music that doesn't seem any less relevant post-election. The band formed in 2003 and has a penchant for raw and energetic punk rock driven by smart lyrics and a lo-fi approach. Their energy and potential for sonic dissonance should provide a perfect balance to the evening's blend of melodic flavor and hook-laden terpsichorean pop.

The Thermals w/ Oranger and The Ex-Boyfriends
Friday, Jan. 14, 9:30 pm
Café du Nord, $10, 18+