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Back Beat

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley
Bad Mitten Orchestre. Photo by Todd Cooper.
Bad Mitten Orchestre. Photo by Todd Cooper.

Summer reunion: After a four-year hiatus, beloved folk-cabaret and self-described “Portgene” outfit Bad Mitten Orchestre is reuniting for one night only 8 pm Friday, July 29, at Sam Bond’s Garage; $7. The band features a host of familiar faces: the Eugeneans — artist, singer and guitarist Ila Rose (read about her new mural in the Whiteaker; “Poster Child” 6/30), guitarist and singer Corwin Bolt (of Eugene band Corwin Bolt and the Wingnuts) — and the Portlanders — accordionist and singer Naima Muntal, drummer Ian Haight and cellist Yoko Silk. Let’s hope Sam Bond’s clears the tables for this show because the crowd will be itching to dance, boot-stomp and sway.

 

A telenovela is a Latin-American soap opera, which seems utterly appropriate as the name for the self-described “macabre-pop” band Tele Novella from Austin. The sound is moody, woozy, sly and dreamy, pulling influences from Os Mutantes, Belle and Sebastian and The Velvet Underground — the kind of soundtrack I imagine Joan Didion had playing in her head during her California years. Since the band last came through Eugene, its star has been rising, with songs featured on the soap-operaesque Pretty Little Liars and a compilation tribute album to Wes Anderson. Tele Novella is touring for its soon-to-be-released sophomore album House of Souls, out Sept. 23 on Yellow Year Records, and will take the stage 6 pm Saturday, July 30, at Old Nick’s Pub. San Francisco’s Battlehooch and Eugene’s VCR join the party.

 

The revolution is nigh: The Oakland bike, music and art collective The Pleasant Revolution will be rolling into town for two shows — 7 to 11 pm Saturday, July 30, at Vanilla Jill’s (298 Blair Blvd.) and noon Sunday, July 31, at Monroe Park in the Jefferson Westside neighborhood as part of Eugene Sunday Streets. This summer the 18 musicians of Pleasant Revolution have been cycling through the Pacific Northwest, powering their Biketopia Music Festival with stationary bikes. The collective writes, “This tour will be hauling all of their gear on bike, no ‘sag wagon’ required. The impact of this project is not just about showcasing good music and sustainable technology; it is to inspire and empower creative minds to think outside the box and realize the power that exists in community.” 

If you’re a self-employed creative like a musician in the U.S., chances are you’re responsible for your own health insurance — a somewhat Sisyphean task in the current system where many Americans are one medical bill away from financial collapse. Fortunately there’s MEMA, or the Musicians Emergency Medical Association, a nonprofit working to support musicians throughout Lane County. Support a healthy, robust local music scene at the 4th annual MEMA Band-Aid Benefit 2 to 10 pm Sunday, July 31, at Elmira’s LaVelle Vineyards, featuring the music of Concrete Loveseat, saxophonist Paul Biondi and Veneta’s Americana band the Franklin Ladies Aid Society; $10 suggested donation.

 

Axe & Fiddle for the win: This gem of a venue in Cottage Grove has two fantastic acts coming through this week. Don’t miss the laidback heartache and stirring roots-folk of Minnesota band Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank at 8:30 pm Friday, July 29; FREE. Next up is Colorado-based indie blues singer-songwriter Megan Burtt, whose tune “Waiting for June” won best song at the 2010 Rocky Mountain Folk Festival. Catch Burtt 8:30 pm Monday, Aug. 1; $10.