Classical music is often rightly accused of ignoring the here and now. Fortunately, many younger composers are using classical and postclassical forms to help us understand the sometimes-unpleasant realities of the world we live in.
Sometimes it really is all in a name: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Since the early ’90s Bone Thugs have blended straight-up thuggery with some sweet Temptations-style harmonies, creating one of the most distinctive rap/soul hybrids of the hip-hop era.
Valentine’s Day (or Forced Romance Day, Singles Awareness Day — whatever you prefer) and the proceeding weekend are packed with excellent shows, so grab your schmoopy or your sweet self and paint the town red.
“Eugene has one of the most talented hip-hop scenes around,” says Kendrick Gilkey (aka Mac Nut), who is a founding member of local hip-hop group Fresh Inc. “There is everything for everyone here.” And on Feb. 8 at Luckey’s, Eugene is hosting two of the scene’s most vital up-and-coming acts: Fresh Inc. and The Architex.
If you’re bored this week and feel like swingin’ — I mean seriously getting down — with some hard hitting (and intelligently composed) grooves, look no further than Hot 8 Brass Band’s show at WOW Hall.
In an era when iTunes and iPods reign supreme, when acquiring music for free on the internet is as easy as keeping tabs on Lindsay Lohan, a funny thing has happened; there’s a growing resurgence of interest in vinyl, one of the oldest physical formats for recorded music.
Eureka, Calif., was a bit toastier than Eugene when I spoke to Frank Hoier, the guitar force behind the band Crushed Out, along with drummer Moselle Spiller. Even though 42 degrees isn’t exactly summery, I could hear the sunshine in Hoier’s voice.
Eugene has incubated more than its share of strong performers who either studied at the UO (the band Oregon, jazz singer Nancy King, Portland Cello Project founder Douglas Jenkins) or won early acclaim here (Robert Cray, Curtis Salgado) and moved on to greener pastures. This month brings a few once familiar faces back.
When watching competitive music shows like X-Factor or American Idol, you expect the contestants are upstart performers. Often this is the case. However, when Seattle-based pop soul-singer Leroy Bell participated in the X-Factor in 2011, the other hopefuls likely didn’t realize what they were up against.
The Del McCoury Band, Punch Brothers, the Steep Canyon Rangers and ... Betty and the Boy? Josh Harvey (vocals, mandolin, banjo, harmonica) is the first to admit surprise that Betty and the Boy are joining the first-ever Mountain Song at Sea, a “best of bluegrass” cruise from Miami to the Bahamas.
Woven Hand’s David Eugene Edwards plays a different kind of Christian rock. The former frontman of 16 Horsepower deals in biblical imagery, writing in the antiquated language of the Old Testament, singing in a dramatic, fevered and shamanic baritone that recalls Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, Andrew Eldritch of The Sisters of Mercy or Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees.
The tunes from the California-based band He’s My Brother She’s My Sister are so sun-drenched and punchy it will make you want to burst out your front door in skivvies, popsicle in hand, and declare to the neighborhood that “Summer is here!”
If you’ve ever uttered the words “turn that noise off,” go ahead and stop reading now. If you have any doubt about whether or not you like metal music, and if you don’t align yourself with the hardest of hardcore metal heads — there’s nothing for you here, just move along. OK, am I alone with the true thrashers now? Good.