Kathy Foster, bassist for politically minded pop-punks the Thermals, can’t even remember the 2000 election. In 2004, it was “super-disappointing.” In 2008, she was at her friend’s bar watching the results unfold on computers and she was damn near euphoric. “It just seemed too easy,” she says. “There was just such a huge feeling of relief.” This probably best explains the theme of the Thermals’ latest album, Personal Life, which features mostly songs about relationships. For a band that toasted the previous administration with “Pray for a new state/Pray for assassination,” it’s easy to wonder what new cause will keep the Portland-based band’s pop-punk on the punk side of things. Are the Thermals at their best when the country is at its worst? “I wouldn’t say that music is better when things are bad politically, but I think it definitely inspires people to write songs about it,” says Foster. “You get angry, you get upset, you put it into your music. There are always things to be upset about, but it seems like the music scene that I’ve been in has been not so focused on politics recently. More of the bands are just having a good time.” And make no mistake, the Thermals are still a good time. The Thermals, with Cymbals Eat Guitars and the Hundred in the Hands, play the Beachland Ballroom at 9 p.m. Tickets: $15, $14 in advance. —Jeremy Henderson
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