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Farewell, Meat Babies

Bustin’ Jieber

Bustin’ Jieber, a local jazz band with rock 'n' roll tendencies (plus a song about nipples), is bidding adieu to Eugene. For the past five years, the trio has been jamming in venues like Luckey’s and Sam Bond’s Garage — and maybe your neighbor’s basement — as well as the Whiteaker Block Party. Susan Lucia (drums), Dusty Carlson (bass) and Andy Page (sax) have created a niche for themselves by consistently playing high-energy shows that exude genuine fun. 

The Jiebers originally chose their name from a list of possible titles that included Meat Babies, Meat Hat and Meat Skirt. Page pitched the pop-idol spoonerism to the group. They made the final decision after a Cornucopia bartender gave their current name a thumbs-up.

They are one quirky bunch, not to mention talented. Lucia and Page both completed bachelor's degrees in jazz studies at the University of Oregon, and Carlson got a master's in the same field. Each Jieber has played in side gigs, from Page rockin’ out with long-time local ska band Cherry Poppin’ Daddies to Lucia killin’ it with MarchFourth Marching Band in Portland.

Carlson has been playing bass on a cruise ship for a few months. “Dusty is very elusive,” laughs Page. “He’s hard to pin down.”

Perhaps it’s the band’s ability to fluidly traverse genres, applying their dynamic music background, that makes its collective output sound so fresh. Page, for one, doesn’t let the conventions of his instrument define him. “Just because it’s a saxophone doesn’t mean we have to play jazz,” he says. 

With only gratitude towards Eugene, the members of Bustin’ Jieber are saying farewell to cozy house shows and $3 cover charges. Page is trying his luck in New Orleans, Lucia will be in Portland and Carlson is taking up a teaching gig in the Philippines. 

One thing is certain for the trio: They’ll be back. “We’re not breaking up,” Page says. “They’re my best friends.”

Come see one of Bustin’ Jieber’s final shows when they play with Astro Tan and Thom Simon 10 pm Friday, Aug. 19, at Hi-Fi Music Hall's Lounge; $5, 21-plus.