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Eugene Weekly : 10.20.05

Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll

2005-2006 Winners:
Big Fish, Small Pond
Sex Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll
Art & Other Pretensions
Consumer Temples
Forkin' Good
Staff Picks

BEST BARISTA:

ALL BARISTAS AT ESPRESSO ROMA

2nd: Jordan Marmorato at Franklin Blvd. Dutch Bros.

3rd: Lizzie Zackheim at Marché Café


These folks at Espresso Roma are your favorite coffee grinders and servers for a reason: The customer comes first. For these caffeine pushers, out-pacing Starbucks is business as usual on 13th.

BEST BARTENDER:

JAKE BLIVEN AT SWEET BASIL THAI CUISINE

2nd: Joe Morales at Downtown Lounge

3rd: Ben Adams at Café Lucky Noodle


Jake Bliven, Best Bartender

Jake Bliven was shocked to hear he was a finalist after living in Eugene for only eight months. But if this 29-year-old So-Cal guy has ever served you a cocktail, complete with charming smile and easy-going manner, you understand why he's the best bartender in Eugene. EW caught up with him at the beginning of a shift at Sweet Basil and asked him these investigative, revealing questions.

Bourbon or scotch? Either, as long as it's quality.

Neat or on the rocks? Neat, definitely. If I'm drinking a top shelf, I don't want rocks watering it down.

Surfing or snowboarding? I'm from Southern California, so surfing.

The Rolling Stones or Flogging Molly? The Stones because they're the best band of all time. But I love Flogging Molly too, and the Dropkick Murphys.

Tattoos or piercings? Tattoos. I have three, but no piercings.

BEST BEER SELECTION:

BIER STEIN

2nd: Wetlands Brew Pub

3rd: Highlands Brew Pub


EW caught up with Bier Stein co-owner Kristina Measells one busy Wednesday night and asked her to answer some questions about — what else — beer.

Lager or porter? Porter. It's dark and luscious.

Import or domestic? Ooh, a tough one. Let's go domestic. Support your local brewery.

Pretzels or nuts? Nuts.

Draft or bottle? Draft, it's usually fresher.

Poker or blackjack? Poker!

Would you rather be a cowboy or a pirate? Another tough one! Pirate. Pirates have more fun, and they rob and pillage.

Why do you think Bier Stein deserves to win this category? We've got 10 beers on draft, 705 in the bottle, and we're always looking to have a good time.

BEST BLOODY MARY:

CAFÉ LUCKY NOODLE

2nd: Adam's Place

3rd: Ring of Fire


BEST HAPPY HOUR:

CORNUCOPIA

2nd: Sam Bond's Garage

3rd: 6th Street Grill


BEST HANGOVER BREAKFAST:

BRAILS

2nd: Keystone Café

3rd: The Glenwood


BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUE:

WOW HALL

2nd: McDonald Theatre

3rd: Sam Bond's Garage


BEST LOCAL DJ (LIVE/CLUBS):

THE AUDIO SCHIZOPHRENIC

2nd: DJ Steve Sawada

3rd: DJ Tekneek


We watched The Audio Schizophrenic (Shawn Mediaclast) turn some tables, then we flipped the script and had him dancing around our inane questions.

Scratching or itching? Whatever is appropriate at the time.

Vanilla Ice or MC Hammer? Vanilla Ice, he's a better dancer.

John Henry's or The Jungle? John Henry's; Saturday nights I'm there.

Hip hop or rap? Hip hop. Rap is something you do; hip hop is a way of life.

MP3s or records? I prefer vinyl.

Country or big band? Both, because I don't have a good reason for either.

BEST LOCAL BLUES BAND:

DEB CLEVELAND &THE VIPERS

2nd: JC Rico

3rd: Eagle Park Slim


"Some of my favorite places to play have been in Europe," says John Silvermoon, harmonica player, founder and all around grand poobah of the Vipers. "In Europe you're an artist, in the U.S. you're an entertainer or a musician. When we were in Belgium, people didn't carry on conversations while we'd play. It was considered rude to talk loudly during a band's performance." But the Vipers play mostly for Americans, who care more about entertainment than art. Luckily, the band has no problem doing both.

BEST LOCAL HIP HOP GROUP:

Genus Pro, Best Local Hip Hop

GENUS PRO

2nd: Money Shot

3rd: Default

EW talked with MC Marv Ellis.

KRS-One or Kanye? KRS-One. That's like, Luke Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi. Kanye wouldn't be anything without KRS-One. KRS-One is the OG conscious rapper. He's been making albums that expand the minds of hip hop people for a long time. Kanye West is a little twig on the tree of KRS-One. But I don't think anyone can make beats as sick as Kanye. I'll give it up to him for that. He makes some ridiculous head-bangers.

BEST LOCAL JAM BAND:

REEBLE JAR

2nd: SILAS

3rd: Jo Fed's jazz


One quickie with Reeble Jar bassist Joey Hepner.

Medeski, Martin and Wood (MMW) or Phish? MMW. I guess Phish was a big influence early on, but we're not so into them anymore. I think that goes for all Phish fans. MMW has the ability to create a huge sound with just three people.

BEST LOCAL JAZZ BAND:

ELEVEN EYES

2nd: Jazz Menagerie

3rd: Botox


Pinning down Eleven Eyes trumpet player Tim McLaughlin wasn't easy but we finally got him.

Charlie Hunter or Charlie Parker? Well, I think Charlie Parker was more of a rock star, so I'll go with him. Music aside, I think he was just a crazy guy to be around.

BEST LOCAL HARD ROCK/METAL BAND:

HUMAN CERTAINTY

2nd: YOB

3rd: In The Name Of …


Human Certainty, Best Local Hard Rock/Metal Band

EW backed Human Certainty guitarist Will Lindsay into a corner and made him choose between some of the hardest death and black metal band names out there.

Black Goat or dead horse? Definitely dead horse, a very underrated, early 1990s thrash metal band.

Molested or Rigor Mortis? Molested. It just sounds kinda silly.

Hate Eternal or Fleshcrawl? Those are both pretty funny. Fleshcrawl.

Rotting Christ or Eucharist? Rotting Christ. Triarchy of Lost Lovers is a great album.

Bunnies or Tulips? [Ed.'s note: not band names] Umm … bunnies. I just like bunnies.

BEST LOCAL PUNK BAND:

Happy Bastards, Best Local Punk Band

HAPPY BASTARDS

2nd: The Ovulators

3rd: The Anxieties

This punk rock band is different from what you know about punk rock bands. Less chain swinging and raucous, more melody and depth along with awesome female vocals.

BEST LOCAL REGGAE/WORLD BAND:

Norma Fraser, Best Local Reggae/World Band

NORMA FRASER

2nd: I-Chele

3rd: Thomas Mapfumo

EW's 30 seconds with Norma Fraser.

Lee Perry or Israel Vibration? That's an easy question: Israel Vibration. I know them personally, so I know a lot of stuff that you guys don't know about them.

BEST LOCAL ROCK BAND:

The Ovulators, Best Local Rock Band

THE OVULATORS

2nd: SILAS

3rd: The Sugar Beets

The Ovulators members Kelani Larsen, Tina Sarno, Dori Prange and Kasey Marcusky opted to answer EW's questionnaire as a group. Hey, if they can play in unison, they sure as hell can answer in unison.

LP or CD? Nothing else feels like vinyl.

Acoustic or electric? We like to be shocked.

The mountains or the coast? We're gonna fly to the moon.

The Beatles or the Stones? Whichever we can ovulate on.

Tambourine or maracas? We'll shake whatever you got.

Love or money? We love what we don't have to pay for.

Would you rather be cowboys or pirates? Being a pirate is like being a rock star, it's all booze and booty.

BEST LOCAL LATIN BAND:

CALIENTE

2nd: Los Mex Pistols del Norte

3rd: Lo Nuestro


"Salsa was started in New York," says Fernell Lopez, front man for Caliente. "It's a spicy mix of many different cultures: Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic. Our band has always been more or less half and half Latino and Anglo musicians." Caliente started in 1987 as a Eugene Celebration Parade entry, although Fernell says he's the only one left from the original group of six or seven. "Our piano player now is classically trained," he says. "She's a crossover to salsa music." But Caliente probably has that effect on a lot of people.

BEST LOCAL SINGER-SONGWRITER/FOLK PERFORMER:

LAURA KEMP

2nd: Peter Wilde

3rd: Mark Alan


Laura Kemp started playing guitar when she was 8 years old, surrounded by the sounds of Simon and Garfunkel, Joan Baez and Neil Diamond. "I love Neil Diamond," she says emphatically. But those influences were just the beginning. "I went to school in Nashville, and started really getting into bluegrass. Then I did my junior year abroad in Regensburg, Germany, playing in Irish pubs and busking in the street," she says. She then spent time in North Carolina, "soaking up that old-time, Appalachia feel," moving to Eugene about 15 years ago and only then beginning to write original songs. "I pretty much make a living through teaching guitar now," she says. But it looks like her fans want to see more of her on stage.

BEST PLACE TO SHAKE YOUR BOOTY:

JOHN HENRY'S

2nd: Downtown Lounge

3rd: WOW Hall


John Henry's, Best Place To Shake Your Booty

We like to think John Henry's took the cake in this category not just for their infamous Thursday '80s nights, but also for the vast array of less typical booty-shaking music — Har Mar Superstar's bump 'n' grind March show, for example, or the retro pop punk of an Epoxies set. And then there's the Sunday night Broadway Revue, at which a whole lot of shakin' goes down — not just of booty. Reggae vs. Hip Hop, Freaks in the House — if variety is the spice of life, this is the place to find it.

BEST PLACE TO SHOOT POOL:

LUCKEY'S CLUB CIGAR

2nd: Highlands Brew Pub

3rd: Wetlands Brew Pub


BEST RADIO SHOW:

THE SUNDAY MORNING HANGOVER (KWVA)

2nd: Dead Air (KLCC)

3rd: The Mother (KWVA)


BEST SINGLES BAR:

INDIGO DISTRICT

2nd: Downtown Lounge

3rd: John Henry's


Indigo District, Best Singles Bar

Did any other bar stand a chance? While the Indigo can be a nice lunch spot in the daytime, its true colors come out at night, when spiffily dressed hipsters converge on the bar, shamelessly checking each other out over ginger lemonades and PBR. One night, at least six girls in the bar were wearing shoulder-baring come-hither black dresses, which made us feel like we missed a memo. Another time, a sweet-faced young thing sat looking lonely at the bar for all of two minutes, staring into her beer, before someone started chatting her up. If the Indigo has one weakness, it's that the crowd is often comprised of far more lovely lasses than handsome fellows. Get down there, boys, and even things up a bit!

BEST SMOKING AREA:

GOOD TIMES CAFÉ

2nd: None

3rd: The Horsehead


You know those bumper stickers that say, "At least I can still smoke in my car"? Well, someone needs to print up one that reads, "At least I can still smoke in my car and at Good Times." In Eugene, a city where smoking is banned indoors and the City Council keeps changing the rules for bar owners, Good Times offers a haven for smokers. Out on the huge, covered porch bedecked with pool tables, you're likely to see hordes of smokers enjoying a beer and a cig — two things that go oh so well together. So let the Good Times roll, and hook me up with a light.

BEST SMUT:

CASTLE

2nd: Silver Dollar

3rd: The Office


The mere name of this category induces giggles, gasps, and yes, even outrage from some of our readers. So let's start out by stating that Lee Blewett, manager of Castle, objects to the name of this category. "We're trying to get away from the smut name," Blewett says. "We provide a fun retail experience as a well-lit adult novelty shop. There's a taboo around these kinds of businesses or adult shops, especially when the word 'smut' is involved, and we're not like that. We enhance people's lives with the products we sell." In other words, Blewett's store is trying to bury the stereotype and is a cut above your run of the mill, non-life-enhancing "smut shop." And it's well lit.

BEST TATTOO ARTIST:

Doc Julien, Best Tattoo Artist

DOC JULIEN AT BLACK LOTUS TATTOO

2nd: Mike Volakakis at The Parlour Tattoo

3rd: Mild Bill at Spiritual Tree Tattoo

Doc Julien gained his fame as the premiere tattoo artist at Black Lotus, but now his supreme body artistry shines at his own spankin' new state of the art tattoo parlor. When asked why he thinks he should win the category, Doc Julien responded, "Because I do a darn good tattoo." We don't need a better reason than that. Out of the myriad of tattoos Doc Julien has done over the past year, he says his favorite is the lily and floral pattern he did on "Holly's back." Hey Holly, we want to see your tattoo!