We asked The Thermals, the Portland pop-punk power trio, to name a few of its favorite recent releases. The band’s drummer, Westin Glass, responded with a list of five records that ranges from radio-friendly pop to an independent artist that calls himself the “black Bob Dylan.” Whether or not you share Glass’ taste, you can appreciate his sentiment that some music exists to help you laugh and get laid.
This one may be hard to swallow for you indie-rock fans — but I assure you, it’s worth it. Definitely a “singles” record, with three mega smash hits on Top 40 radio. I first heard Jason DeRulo‘s track “Whatcha Say” blasting on the one working speaker in my friend’s car last year and immediately loved it. The digitally distressed Imogen Heap sample in that song makes for the most memorable hook of 2009.
I also love “Ridin’ Solo,” a great post-breakup, self-psych-up song. Jason DeRulo knows how to make a fucking hit — a bubble-gummy blast of ear sugar that will lighten your mood and get stuck in your head. Speaking of which, his track “In My Head” is stuck in my head right now.
Shawn Knight, a.k.a. designer and illustrator Pinky Blaster, has created art and music since an early age. Followers of the Detroit music scene may recognize his name – previously of the band New Grenada, Knight now performs in the high-energy punk band Child Bite. The band is notorious for its wide range of instruments, humorous live performances, and its members’ impressive facial hair.
While in high school, Knight began playing in punk and metal bands. These two genres influenced him heavily while he was growing up; he notes both Black Flag and The Dead Kennedys as significant influences. Knight got his start designing local band fliers and posters, and he continues to use live music as an opportunity to expose his artistic skills — though now at a national level.