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Music

You love Jackson Browne. I guarantee it. Forget about his most recognizable soft-rock radio staples (though, like any self-respecting listener, I’d always prefer Browne’s “Take It Easy” over that “More Than Words” song).

Roll Jimmy Kimmel, Elvis Presley and Jim Carrey into a single explosive entity and you might come close to Eddie Cantor’s impact on American entertainment.

Rising from an impoverished Russian Jewish immigrant New York family, the little, bug-eyed and singing waiter parlayed his broad talents and irrepressible personality to Vaudeville before doing a decade on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Follies, eventually becoming one of the dominant figures on American radio in the 1930s and ’40s.

It wasn’t many years ago that San Diego rapper Twisted Insane was homeless, struggling to get by, hustling CDs for food in mall parking lots and on busy sidewalks. Bouncing from one metropolitan area to another, the horror-core hip hopper would build a following and relocate, honing his craft while building a small but viciously loyal fan base. 

Colorado musicians Hello Dollface have deep roots in Eugene. Besides frequently playing the Oregon Country Fair, two members studied music at the UO. 

Something wonderful is happening: I’ve got Third Eye Blind’s cute-ass frontman Stephan Jenkins on the phone, and he’s asking me if I want to hang out.

If Las Vegas Weekly gave an award for “Band with Best Beards,” Sin City rock quartet Bobby Meader Music would surely win. In fact, based on beard weight alone, you might guess Bobby Meader Music hailed from the great, hairy Northwest instead of the glitz and glamor of Vegas. 

In 1995, three partners — Todd Davis, Bart Caridio and Mark Jaeger — set out to build a brewpub based on a mutual love of the craft and the brew itself. The trio found a spot, once a garage operated by the grandson of Eugene pioneers Allen and Rachel Bond. The location fell short of the ideal size for a brewery, but after careful consideration and falling in love with the building and its history, Sam Bond’s Garage was born, or rather reborn.

Music News & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

A couple years ago, I helped film a documentary about Bad Luck Blackouts recording their debut album 13. The punk-rock trio had an enthusiastic local following, a surprisingly professional work ethic and ambitions to take the act on the road. In addition, they were incredible live.

When you close your eyes and listen to 2015’s Untethered Moon from Built to Spill, it’s like nothing’s changed. The guitars still wail. Singer Doug Martsch still applies layers of distortion to his vocals. The band still writes songs about rock music and the state of Idaho.

Nashville musician Aaron Lee Tasjan identifies as a guitarist despite currently making a living as a singer-songwriter. Tasjan spent some time playing guitar in the Southern-rock band Drivin’ N Cryin’ as well as legendary New York punk group New York Dolls. 

One of the city’s most valuable music institutions, The Jazz Station, is entering its second decade of giving Eugene a real center for jazz and other improvised sounds. The three-day 10-year anniversary celebration begins Thursday, July 23, with New Orleans singer Cindy Scott and guitarist Brian Seeger joining Portland piano star Randy Porter in a highly recommended vocal jazz show. 

One half of Texan indie-folk quartet The Deer will follow up a couple shows at Oregon Country Fair with an encore performance in Eugene at Sam Bond’s Garage. 

At just 30 years of age, it’s a bit odd to speak of Eugene musician Halie Loren as a time-tested veteran of the trade, but so be it. With eight albums to her name, along with international accolades, industry awards and globe-hopping tours, this gifted singer-songwriter has built the sort of solid career any artist would find enviable — the result of equal parts guts, hard work and rare talent. 

“People come to our shows because they want to hear what we do. It’s irrelevant what we play,” the 80-year-old Brit bluesman says, circumventing any specific commentary on his tour, his band, his audiences — anything.

Based in the Northeast, prog-rock dance band Dopapod are making a name in the jam band scene. This summer, the band embarks on its first West Coast tour. 

Chicago art-rock and post-hardcore act Shellac is hitting the road for its second tour in support of 2014’s phenomenal Dude Incredible. A supergroup comprised of members of Big Black, Mission of Burma, Rapeman and more, the power trio is helmed by revered underground godfather and producer Steve Albini.

Finding adequate lodging is a constant struggle for touring musicians. If a band is lucky, a generous local will offer up a free place to catch some shuteye before moving on to the next city. Last time the Birmingham, Alabama-based Southern rock sextet Banditos came through Eugene, the band learned an important lesson.  

Seattle post-punk trio Nostalgist is inspired by the atmosphere of film noir — a cinematic movement popular in the mid-twentieth century known for dark imagery and sinister storylines.

Frontier Ruckus takes inspiration from seminal power-pop bands like Big Star, he says, as well as ’80s- and ’90s-era college-rock greats like Matthew Sweet and Teenage Fanclub. But on top of these influences, the band is rooted in traditional acoustic music, such as the banjo-propelled, Pernice Brothers-style track “Little Henrietta.”

You’re living in a sleepy, shitty, cozy little town and, suddenly, everything changes. It seems to happen overnight, like some bent fairy tale: The restaurants get way better, the drugs improve, coffee shops sprout on every corner, yippies start yammering about gentrification and yesterday’s wine, bourgeois hepcats from L.A. and Phoenix gallop in, now everyone’s either an artist or a suit or a fucking snake.

Sarah Donner is a New Jersey-based singer-songwriter and self-described “creative type.” Her live show includes three guitars and a ukulele. Donner tells EW she plays all four at the same time.

Indie-soul outfit My Brothers and I is making big noises up north, recently signing to Portland’s Expunged Records — a label with a long history of working with critical darlings like Blind Pilot. 

Columbus, Ohio-based emcee Blueprint, aka Albert Shepard, doesn’t pull any punches. Never the type to pepper an album with radio-ready “bangers,” Shepard is an artist who creates for himself. His lyrics are incredibly personal and real-to-life, sometimes isolating the casual listener because, let’s face it, most of us go to great lengths to avoid truly knowing ourselves.