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“I don’t think most of my songs sound that much like Beach House,” says Meagan Grandall, primary songwriter of Seattle-based duo Lemolo. “But if they do to some people,” she adds, “then I’ll take that as a compliment.” 

Nowadays fans get itchy for new material if a band hasn’t released anything in three and a half months, so the fact that Floater hasn’t released any new material in three and a half years (2010’s Wake) is saying something. Of course when you’ve been around for two decades, you can get away with it, but that’s not to say the band is making people wait on purpose; the timing just hasn’t been right.

Humor is everywhere. This came from a church bulletin: “The Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday from 7 to 8:30 pm. Please use the back door.”

NO FEAR NEW YEAR

Time to ring in a brand new year! It finds me still tryin’ to make friends with fear. Learning to let go, let life steer. Life is not for the weak of heart, my dear. The Whit seems to be the place for a beer. And our downtown is definitely threatening to reappear. Let’s come together and kick this thing into a higher gear. 

Is there a term that is preferred to “transgendered”? I recently wrote an article that described a MTF person I know as transgendered. The article was positive about transgendered persons I have known (she is one of many). Upon seeing a draft prior to publication, this person flipped out so hard that I felt compelled to cut off all contact with her. I also killed the article. One of her complaints was that I used the word “transgendered” to describe her, and she identifies as something other than that.

Nebraska’s black-and-white cinematography, all wide skies and one-story main streets, is a signpost, an indicator that Alexander Payne wants you to think old. Think old movies; think old men; think old-school values. But start with old men. We meet Woody Grant (Bruce Dern, with a frizz of white hair and a loping stagger of a walk) making his way onto the highway. After the Billings cops pick him up, Woody explains to his son David (Will Forte) that he was en route to Nebraska to claim a million-dollar prize.

Emma, an emaciated pit bull mix, staggers on the side of the road in Junction City. It is clear to the animal welfare officers who pick her up that she is extremely malnourished and seems to be suffering from some sort of skin disease.

Three months later, Emma is happily playing in the yard of her new owner. There have been discussions on whether it would be better to euthanize Emma — a dog with an intractable medical problem is hard to rehome. But now she has plenty of food, and a number of treatments and the hard work of her foster parents has improved her skin condition. 

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

EW asked an assortment of community and socially involved folks to please tell us what they would dream of for Eugene. As we head into the New Year, what do people think we as a community should change, improve, build or renovate in our built and social environment? This is part two. Be sure to see last week’s issue for the first set of dreams.

Health care insurance has long been confusing, and the troubled rollout of Cover Oregon hasn’t clarified much. But Jan. 10, the Oregon Microenterprise Network (OMEN) will visit NEDCO offices in Springfield to listen to small business owners and help answer questions about buying health care for employees.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on Dec. 20 their intent to find that the State of Oregon has failed to submit an approvable coastal nonpoint pollution control program (required by the federal Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990). The agencies specifically propose to find Oregon’s program deficient with regard to new development, onsite sewage disposal, and forestry. Public comments on the proposed finding are being accepted through March 20.

After staying at a small, makeshift camp at Franklin Park for more than eight months, one group of homeless people’s luck ran out two days before Christmas. City workers picked up the people’s belongings to take to storage, and in the process two tents were destroyed. 

The Trans-Pacific Partnership sounds like a conspiracy theory. The TPP talks about a trade deal that will govern 40 percent of U.S. imports and exports as well as affect copyrights, pharmaceuticals and more. The talks are being conducted in secret, and only a few portions of the agreement and memos about it have been leaked. Congressman Peter DeFazio says he vehemently opposes the TPP.

There’s a lot of B.S. in Morrissey’s Autobiography (Penguin/Putnam, $30): It’s self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing, self-mythologizing, full of melodramatic humor and humorous melodrama. If The Queen is “the royal we,” then Morrissey is “the royal me.” If this surprises you, I respond: “I see you’re unfamiliar with Morrissey.”  

In May 2008 Ian Van Ornum was Tasered by a Eugene police officer while prostrate on the ground. On Dec. 27, 2013, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that he could continue to pursue his appeal of his conviction for resisting arrest. The appeals court can either not take action, which would leave Van Ornum’s conviction standing, or decide to send the case back to trial court.

• Looks like before playing the Alamo Bowl, the UO Ducks football team missed the memo on the nationwide boycott of SeaWorld. After the documentary Blackfish called attention to the plight of SeaWorld’s orcas, acts including Barenaked Ladies, Martina McBride, Heart, Cheap Trick, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson and REO Speedwagon all canceled appearances at the marine parks. The Ducks however went on a little field trip to SeaWorld San Antonio Aquatica Dec. 27 and mugged with some marine mammals.

We hear Gray’s Garden Centers in both Eugene and Springfield closed over the holidays due to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The locally owned business has been part of the community since 1940. Gray’s has reportedly been in Chapter 11 reorganization for the past year. The store has a prime location on busy 6th Avenue in Eugene and a second high-traffic location at 4441 Main St. in Springfield. We hear it’s possible the stores and their inventory will be sold and the business will continue under new ownership.

This year marks my 30th year in Oregon. To celebrate, I took in a double feature which exemplifies the two poles of my Oregonian experience. 12 Years a Slave and Gravity, both films helmed by directors of color. 12 Years served to ground me in reality, while Gravity took me to my favorite fantasy: a world without borders, floating free among the stars. The reality of space, though, is that it has no breathable atmosphere, extremes of hot and cold and is always trying to kill you, nothing personal. Same with Oregon; sometimes we don’t like your kind.

• The Eugene Food and Ag Forum is the local version of InFARMation and meets on the first Sunday of each month from 4 to 6 pm at Cozmic, 199 W. 8th Ave. The next forum will be Jan. 5.

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

Looking for a needle in a haystack is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Are you listening, NSA? 

On Tuesday, Jan. 7, psychobilly legend Reverend Horton Heat arrives at WOW Hall to promote the band’s new album, REV. They’re here to preach the “Gospel of Rock and Roll,” and you’ll be sure to hear a few new songs.

Classical music people are always fretting about how to keep the genre from declining along with its aging audience by getting hip to the 21st century. That means, at a minimum, doing what popular music, dance and theater have always done, and what classical musicians themselves did until the last few generations: perform the music of their own time, i.e., now. But sometimes it also means rethinking the presentation to suit today’s more visually oriented culture. 

Singer-songwriter Samantha Crain decided to take a different tack with the creation of her most recent album, Kid Face, which came out in early 2013. “I wanted to do something autobiographical,” Crain explains.