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Music

G-Eazy is such a big deal that iconic rapper Lil Wayne remixed a song from his new album last week and NBA superstar Kobe Bryant greeted him at a recent Lakers game.

On Billboard’s website, Nielsen Music charts hip-hop and R&B songs using a metric that calculates radio airplay, streaming and music sales. Each week since Feb. 20, G-Eazy’s “Me, Myself & I” ranked higher than any other rap song save Drake’s “Summer 16” and Rihanna’s “Work” (which also features Drake).

From April 12-16, the UO is hosting its first free and open to the public early music conference, Musicking, which includes lecture series, master classes and other coaching opportunities, along with stars from the admittedly geeky early music world, scholarly sessions and, of course, concerts, not to mention a “period-instrument petting zoo.”

Music News & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

"Bang," "quack" and "sizzle" are onomatopoeias. If a band name were ever onomatopoeic, it would be Mexico-via-L.A.’s Metalachi — the self-proclaimed first and only heavy metal mariachi band in the world. 

The Minneapolis-based Davina and the Vagabonds have swagger — circa 1920s swagger, the kind found in the midst of big-band jazz and the blues.

When the Eugene Symphony chose a young, little-known conductor named Marin Alsop as its music director in 1989, both she and the orchestra were at best marginal micro-planets orbiting the farthest reaches of the American classical music solar system.

Music News & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

On the night of March 30, Sam Bond’s Garage is going to be painted with some funkadelic jams, man. Lucy Arnell and Holly Bowling are bringing tunes laced with Phish-y influences and classic experimental sounds.

Young Florida rapper Denzel Curry — he turned 21 in February — is returning to WOW Hall as a headliner after his last stop in 2015 opening for Joey Bada$$ and Mick Jenkins.

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

In 2009, at the tender ages of 9 and 14, best friends Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse formed the band Skating Polly. Bighorse says the pair bonded over a shared love of music and movies. 

“We were pretty fast friends,” she recalls. “We’ve always been surrounded by music and instruments, so it came very naturally for us and since we were so close before, it felt easy to be creative with each other.” 

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

Musical traditions, like cuisine, say a lot about a culture. Pay attention and learn of pinnacles, invasions, conquests and declines. The recipe for great music and food is often the contradiction of outsiders celebrating their own lousy situation, mixing in ingredients that in different contexts might not make sense. New York’s Gogol Bordello has long been one of rock’s tastiest stews — a culture unto themselves. 

We usually hear one dimension of Peter Tchaikovsky: his melody-drenched ballet scores, especially that one that cracks up every Christmas.

But along with famous concertos and symphonies, the great Russian Romantic composer also wrote operas, and this Friday and Saturday, March 11-12, Eugene Opera presents one of the most popular, Eugene Onegin, at the Hult Center. Based on Pushkin’s novel of romantic reversals — girl wants boy, boy rejects girl, then changes his mind, with tragic consequences — Tchaikovsky’s 1888 lyric opera has everything fans cherish in his music: sumptuous melodies, emotional drama, even dance in all three acts, choreographed here by Antonio Anacan and performed by a half-dozen Eugene Ballet dancers.

Jared Pellerin grew up in New Orleans but was displaced in high school when Hurricane Katrina hit. Forced to abandon all of his possessions and take with him only his resilience and the influence of New Orleans’ music culture, Pellerin relocated with his family to Jackson, Mississippi. 

While the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival is only in its third year in Eugene, it’s part of a 34-year-old tradition that “began in 1982 as a tribute to one of Hawaii’s iconic and most celebrated slack key musicians, Gabby ‘Pops’ Pahinui, considered the ‘Modern Day Godfather’ of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar.” The one-day fest kicks off 7:30 pm Friday, March 4, in the Hult Center’s Soreng Theater. For newbies, slack-key guitar is a fingerstyle type of guitar music that became popular in Hawaii in the 1960s.

Last year, Seattle band Chastity Belt released its debut, Time to Go Home, on Hardly Art, a subsidiary of Sub Pop Records used to foster and grow interesting bands that might not otherwise be quite ready for prime time. 

Ani DiFranco doesn’t mince words: Her current tour is called Vote Dammit! The objective is to ignite the political fires of an audience through music and community building. 

“It’s about participation,” DiFranco tells EW. “If we sit out on election day, bad things will happen, but if everyone who could vote would vote we’d have a better country.” 

Is another run through of Burt Bacharach’s music really what the world needs now?

Don’t dismiss Eugene Concert Choir’s Feb. 27 show at the Hult Center as another profitable exercise in yet more boomer nostalgia. True, with maybe the exception of Lennon-McCartney and Motown, no one else’s music dominated the ’60s pop charts as much as the irresistibly catchy tunes cranked out by the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

Metric always seemed a bit timeless to me, which might explain why it freaks me out that the Canadian band has been together for nearly two decades. How have they managed to continue headlining theaters like the McDonald even as fellow Canadian contemporaries like Broken Social Scene and Stars faded from view?

L.A.-based instrumental jazz-rock outfit Kneebody and electronic producer and muttonchops enthusiast Daedelus are the kind of musicians who blow apart any form of genre classification. 

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley

Badi Assad comes from a distinguished Brazilian musical family, but she’s blazed new trails, not just as a guitarist (like her brothers Sergio and Odair) but also as a vocalist and body-and-vocal percussionist. Her musical vision broadened to embrace jazz, pop and world music, including collaborations with jazz giants John Abercrombie and Larry Coryell, as well as covers of U2, Bjork, Tori Amos and more.