Just like Bright Eyes, who were featured in this space earlier in the week, the Thermals have taken a look around the American landscape and not much liked what they saw. But rather than voice their frustrations with raw poetry and folk rock, the Thermals blow eardrums and shake butts. "Pillar of Salt" comes from the Portland, Ore., band's third and most recent album, "The Body, the Blood, the Machine." Its charging, dueling guitars and synthesizers make Joshua's playing at Jericho seem like whistling in the wind. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures, right?
-- David Marchese