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The cliché says musicians blaze bright and burn out fast. But some musicians, like Loudon Wainwright III, simply persevere. In the business since 1970 but not exactly a household name, Wainwright is a storytelling lyricist not constrained by the folk idiom (or any idiom, really). He’s a pop songwriter with a quirky personality and a dark sense of humor, and a musician deeply schooled in American music history but without reverence for any of it. 

Deception — slick, fertile, invasive deception. The Very Little Theatre’s latest production, Private Eyes, floods the theater with the sickening ocean of emotion that comes from being lied to by a lover, then dangles a life preserver just out of reach. This funny and painful play examines the concept of deceit in every possible manner: the deceit of your spouse, your shrink, yourself, even your audience.


I attended a work session of the Eugene City Council dealing with options for a new or remodeled City Hall. I had a career in construction, and owned and ran a consulting construction cost-estimating business in Eugene from 1980 to 2003.

Four years ago, I met a man on a “married but looking” website. We exchanged fantasies, which included wanting to have threesomes and a D/s relationship. He was 19 years my senior. I was 42 at the time. For three years, we met twice a week for drinks or sex. The sex was amazing. We had several threesomes. One year ago, we separated from our spouses. We have lived together now for four months. It isn’t what I imagined: the merging of kids and dogs, a D/s relationship turning vanilla. And due to some health issues, he can perform only once a week.

I leaned back in my chair, propped my feet on my battle-scarred desk, stared out the window on downtown Eugene and watched as sheets of rain marched across the streets and flattened the tops of the maples. Even on the 17th floor of the burg’s oldest high-rise, the window wore a grimy film. But our office-cum-lab was spotless; obviously, Mole and his wife, Molly, had held us together while I meandered through political nightmares.

Every war is a failure, of course, but for this country the Vietnam War signals something profoundly shameful and unappeased in our national fiber — a colossal moral fuck-up compounded by diplomatic arrogance and political deceit, in which a generation of Americans, and every generation thereafter, came to regard the government with a cynicism from which we have never recovered.

“A  costume designer is a bit of a hoarder,” says Sandy Bonds, professor of costume design at the University of Oregon since 1979, adding, “an organized hoarder.”  “This is our own Value Village!” Bonds says as she unlocks a storage room in the basement of Villard Hall on the UO Campus. Inside hangs a huge collection of wearable treasures, mostly hand-constructed and all lovingly preserved. 

After enlisting in the Navy at 19, actor Ben Buchanan, now 26, first trained in the stifling summer heat outside of Chicago. Later, crossing the equator, he experienced the traditional “shellback” ceremony, a 400-year-old naval ritual in which mere “pollywogs” are transformed into sturdy shellbacks. For Buchanan, this rite of passage included being shot at with fire hoses and crawling through garbage. 

“It was pretty fun,” he says. 

Buchanan served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a mechanical aviation egress specialist — the mechanic responsible for making sure the pilot can safely eject from the plane. For a kid who moved a lot growing up and never took much interest in school, it was a role he took seriously and played well. 


Hult Center

www.hultcenter.org • 541-682-5000

Oct. 30 Lewis Black: The Rant is Due

Nov. 20 David Sedaris

Jan. 8 Brian Regan

Jan. 23 Paula Poundstone


Wildish Theater

www.wildishtheater.com • 541-868-0689

Nov. 8 NW Women’s Comedy Festival




All That Dance Company

www.allthatdancecompany.com • 541-688-1523

From Life in Color to Run or Dye and Color Me Rad, getting blasted with gouts of bright color has become part of the joy of dancing and fun runs. Fun runs have been criticized for misappropriating the Hindu festival of Holi on which they are based, and more recently there have been concerns about the massive amounts of nontoxic paint blasted at the Cuthbert Amphitheater at Life in Color Oct. 4.

More than three million people have watched the sad but hopeful video of a pitbull who was left to die in a remote location in California. Named Bunny and shy and wary of strangers, the dog was lured into a live trap with some cheeseburger by her rescuers. Now Bunny has made her way to Eugene, where she is searching for a forever home.

Women make up 50.5 percent of Oregon’s population as of 2013, and yet Oregon does not have an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in its Constitution. 

While the fight for a federal ERA continues, Oregon has a chance on Nov. 4 to vote for its own ERA, which would amend the Oregon Constitution to include specific language establishing equal rights for all, regardless of sex. 

Dolly Parton is making sure the kids of Eugene are getting the books they need to improve their literacy, regardless of their family’s income. Parton’s Imagination Library, which partially funds the monthly mailing of age-appropriate books to children ages birth to four in communities nationally and internationally, has come to Eugene. The response from residents has been enthusiastic.

ODOT recently sprayed Highway 126 and Territorial Highway. For daily information call ODOT Herbicide Application Information Line (888) 996-8080. You may also call Tony Kilmer at the Springfield office at 744-8080 for herbicide and additives information and to ask what time a highway was sprayed.

Once upon a time, families across this nation gathered around the radio at the appointed hour, eagerly awaiting the next installment of such classic shows as Gunsmoke, Superman, Burns and Allen or Arch Obler’s creepy Lights Out. This was the “Golden Age of Radio,” an era stretching roughly from the 1930s through the end of the Second World War, and it was no less vital for being cast now in an aura of quaint nostalgia.

The Fab Four, Four Seasons, Four Tops, Gang of Four, Emerson Quartet, Takacs Quartet: Why do foursomes get all the musical attention? Everyone composes for string quartets and bands made up of two guitars, bass and drum. But in classical music as well as jazz and rock, trios offer more transparency and a lighter, often tighter sound. A trio of trios heading our way this fall reveals the power of three.

The Very Little Theatre is among the oldest community theaters in the country. Quietly successful, the unassuming venue boasts some of the most reliable ticket sales in town. From them we’ve come to expect the earnest Arthur Miller drama, British farce and classic musical comedy — comfortable chestnuts staged by a representative slice of the Eugene community.

• National sportscasters were speculating about Phil Knight’s giant gift to the UO during the losing Duck football game, so it must be time for a local announcement. The rumor we’ve heard is that $1 billion from the Knights will go the UO this month with some kind of match requirement. If true, that could help attract a superman or superwoman president, or maybe not.

Ring of Fire has closed and may reopen later in a new location, according to a message on the restaurant’s phone service. The Thai and Pacific Rim restaurant, bar and catering service at 11th and Chambers is owned by Josh Keim, and has been a Eugene favorite since around the turn of the century.

Dr. Jim Sallis, a national expert on active living, will speak at a meeting between 5 and 7 pm Thursday, Oct. 9, at the LCC Downtown Center. Other speakers will include Claire Syrett, Dr. Rick Kincade and Shane MacRhodes. Sponsored by the American Planning Association’s Healthy Communities Speaker Series.

With Eugene Fashion Week in full swing, EW thought it high time to catch up with one other Eugenean making a name in the world of fashion: Eugene native Korina Emmerich. The now Brooklyn-based designer is currently a finalist on season 13 of the popular design competition reality show Project Runway, where she has been spinning out a distinctly Pacific Northwest style.

Big houses on small lots. Teeny town houses and condos with no garden. Infill. High-rise balconies. There seems to be an ever-growing inventory of places where there”s hardly room for shrubs at all. Luckily there is also a growing inventory of slim-line shrubs. Virtually all shrubs and trees, including skinny ones, get broader as they age.

Oregon’s greatest composer, the late Lou Harrison, often explained the difference between the music written on the American East and West coasts. “Out there” — meaning the East Coast — “you think of Paris and Berlin as cultural centers. Here we think of Tokyo and Djakarta,” he said. “We have a very strong connection with Asia. This is Pacifica, that’s Atlantica. They’re different orientations. I don’t think that there is a composer in the West who is not aware of that.” 

After bursting onto the music scene in 2013 with a stellar self-titled debut, New York-based The Lone Bellow are now preparing for the follow-up. And while the dreaded “sophomore slump” torpedoes the careers of many bands, guitarist and lead vocalist Zach Williams isn’t worried about the new album.