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The quality of a story’s substance isn’t necessarily the meat or the grit — sometimes it’s how a person chooses to tell it. Danny Yarborough of pop rock group Danny Fingers and the Thumbs chooses music as his creative medium and, boy howdy, does he have a story to tell.

“I sang before I talked,” laughs Kate Sawicki, lead singer of the richly eclectic band The Cabin Project. Sawicki and her solemn band mates string together a haunting sound that serves as a sweet catharsis — just in time to dust away those wintery blues.

Bluntly put, halie and the moon is a band comprising five crackerjack musicians whose creativity, chops and sophistication would be breathtaking to encounter in any setting, much less little old Eugene. Tapping a tradition of intricately orchestrated and yet infectiously catchy pop music — think Beach Boys, R.E.M., The Jayhawks — the band composes music that is at once earthy and disarmingly cosmic. 

Eugene Opera may have canceled this month’s production, but you can see a brand-new, made-in-Oregon opera for free next weekend at the University of Oregon’s biennial Music Today Festival. Since 1993, this festival has showcased new music by UO composers and leading contemporary composers, often performed by some of the country’s top classical musicians. 

You have two great new reasons to visit the Oregon Shakespeare Festival right now — Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, a charming, balanced inquiry into race, culture and family, and UniSon, a new musical based on almost-forgotten poetry by genius playwright August Wilson.

PEACE AND UNITY

Because I moved out of the Eugene area five years ago, I don’t read the Eugene Weekly as much as I used to, but your recent cover “In Good Faith” caught my attention, and I was so grateful to have seen it and read it.

Even if Actors Cabaret of Eugene’s current production of Cabaret were a drop-dead disaster, I’d still recommend it wholeheartedly. This 1966 hit Broadway show, based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin, is so timely it’s chilling. Dark and dastardly, the musical captures, with wit, humor and loathing, the malevolence that fascism bleeds into every corner of life, until not even the chorus line is safe.

Nancy, the tech-savvy at-risk youth, two gimps, Christ on the cross, the Easter Bunny, two weeping women, and the Easter Bunny’s smoking-hot leather master took to the stage at Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon, for a live taping of the Savage Lovecast on Easter weekend. Audience members submitted their questions on cards (I take my questions like some of you take your men: anonymously)—but with Rachel Lark and the Damaged Goods and comedian Nariko Ott on the program as well, we didn’t get to many questions.

Wine has been around for 7,500 to 10,000 years — scientists dither — probably starting with the harvest of wild grapes. The juice fermented and, for thousands of years, was stored in open containers where it quickly oxygenated, turning into vinegar. Folks celebrated the new wine and mostly drank it up before it turned.

“I served in restaurants, and I was one of those people who asked, ‘Do you want red or white, lighter or bolder?’” says Madeline Puckette, wine blogger at Wine Folly, the site she started with her partner, Justin Hammack, six years ago in Seattle. “Figuring out what people’s sweet spot is can be useful and informative.” But, it’s also an easy path to what you typically drink rather than a map for discovering something new.

Sitting 15 miles west of Junction City, Antiquum Farm bursts with life. In the spring, this gorgeous site, nestled in the foothills of the Coast Range, dappled with oaks and cut by Ferguson Creek, becomes a veritable farmyard nursery. 

For lots of people, wine tasting means driving long distances to the countryside to bucolic wineries like King Estate or LaVelle Vineyards.

But in the center of Eugene’s fermentation district is an artery of urban wineries and tasting rooms, connecting the Whiteaker neighborhood to downtown. And they’re all within walking or biking distance from one another — an urban wine tour, if you will. 

Within the first few minutes of The Circle, a tiresome cinematic exercise in false dichotomies, Mae (Emma Watson) tells a friend that she’ll send him a text. If you think back very carefully, you may remember a time before text was a verb, but that time is not now, let alone the super-networked near-future of The Circle.

On Sept. 11, 2001, an informal interfaith prayer gathering took place on the steps of the former City Hall building in downtown Eugene. 

One month later, members of the Sikh, Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i and Native American communities organized an interfaith service at First Christian Church in Eugene. It was the start of the longest running interfaith service in North America.

The fight over the initiative process in Lane County took a new turn last month.

Judge Karsten Rasmussen, presiding judge of the Lane County Circuit Court, offered wins to both the progressive organization Community Rights Lane County and to retired Eugene attorney Stan Long in the battle over how — or whether — the county places initiatives on the ballot for voters to decide on future county ordinances. 

A South Eugene high school student found homosexual slurs graffitied on one of the school’s gender-inclusive restrooms. An African-American man, whose car had symbols indicating his race and military rank, found his driver’s side mirror broken and a crack in his windshield. A local nonprofit found a swastika painted on its glass window, accompanied by swear words disparaging the victim of the hate crime.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Francesco Lecce-Chong has been named the new music director of the Eugene Symphony.

Wednesday’s announcement concludes the symphony’s yearlong search to find a conductor to replace Danail Rachev, who leaves his job as music director after the season wraps up with a final concert May 11.

For Southern Benton County resident Garrick Balsly, concern about his water supply and the health of his land started nearly five years ago when his widowed neighbor received a postcard in the mail.

Giustina Land & Timber, 541-345-2301, plans to hire Northwest Reforestation Services, 541-520-6215, to ground spray 48.9 acres south of Hamm Road with hexazinone, clopyralid, sulfometuron methyl and Crop Oil Concentrate. See ODF notification 2017-781-04828, call Brian Peterson at 541-935-2283 with questions.

• The combination of Jane VanBoskirk, Eleanor Roosevelt and Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon filled every seat in the Wildish Theater on April 20. In a performance sponsored by Eugene Weekly, VanBoskirk did her amazing one-woman hour as Eleanor Roosevelt, and Planned Parenthood received about $4,800 to put toward their important work. A former resident of Eugene now living in Portland, VanBoskirk is playing Eleanor all over the country. She and the Wildish are planning a June 4 reprise for all those fans who were turned away.

• A second, smaller cohousing project is forming downtown while the more ambitious Oakleigh Meadow project off River Road continues, despite legal delays. Eugene Cohousing Downtown will have 15 to 20 adult housing condos, plus ground-floor parking and commercial spaces, and will not be seeking planning variances or applying for city tax breaks. The site is a mostly vacant lot on the west side of Lincoln Street between Broadway and 10th Avenue, next to Lincoln Terrace.

On a rainy night in January, the National Association of Realtors published an article that should have alarmed every hopeful homeowner, empty-nester, and business entrepreneur in Eugene.

Seattle — where the median home value recently tipped past $620,000 — was named the most-constrained, least accessible housing market in the country.

But who was second?

Eugene.

My name is Caroline Lundquist; students call me Dr. L. I teach ethics and critical thinking at Lane Community College. But I may not teach them next year. Philosophy at Lane is on the chopping block. 

Cultural diversity stood at center stage when our Lane County commissioners bypassed conservative and liberal women and struck a blow for civil liberty. At this rate, we may have to change the name of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Pat Farr Way … or Farr Away.