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Bryan Kalbrosky

 et al.

Peering through the fence at New Day Bakery in the Whiteaker on any second Wednesday, you may see the twirling of skirts, the shuffling of cowboy boots and dance partners shimmying to the sounds of accordion and washboard. If you squint and listen to the zydeco music, it almost feels like a bustling square in New Orleans. 

The Senior Moments Dance Team got its start when Richard Walker, retired owner of Champion Friction, issued a public invitation in The Register-Guard to join a seniors’ flashmob. Seventy-seven people showed up to that first rehearsal at the Vet’s Club in May of 2013, and the group’s been dazzling audiences ever since. 

Habib Iddrisu has a slender, compact body, an unlined, youthful face and a headful of small, short dreads. The University of Oregon adjunct dance professor travels the world with traditional African singing and dance groups and actively teaches African history. But he won’t reveal his age. “I keep that to myself,” he says. 

Susan Kincaid never thought she would take dance classes and perform on stage. But, at 44, she finally found herself “brave enough” to step out of her comfort zone and try tap dancing at Petersen Barn Community Center.

• “Viet Nam: An Inner View” is a live multi-media performance and book release at 7 pm Friday, Aug. 8, at Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette. Advance tickets at $10 are available at Tsunami. Tickets day of the program are $11. The event marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964, authorizing U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. Marc C.

It’s summer, and that means rites-of-passage time when I do workshops for African-American related youth on preventing addiction and problems related to sexuality, whether or not you’re under the influence. I combine 21st-century knowledge with 25th-Dynasty wisdom, i.e. African Old School. It’s about keeping your spirits, your wits and your body safe, as well as safeguarding those around you. 

“I got tired of rain,” says Ron Buss, who grew up in the Seattle/Tacoma area, but spent high school summer vacations with his older brother in Modesto, California, moving furniture for Beacon Van Lines. “I started when I was 14.” After graduation, Buss moved south to work for his brother, then spent a decade at warehouse work. He eventually got a truck and a PUC license and returned to household moving. “I made  $100,000 a year,” says Buss, who was supporting a house, a wife and three kids.

Music News & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

Bruno Mars knows exactly what he is doing, and he does it better than just about anyone in the business. Not only has he released two chart-topping albums, sold over 100 million copies of his singles and albums and won multiple Grammys, but he’d made a name for himself prior to all of this as a songwriter and producer. 

Type “Soulja Boy” into YouTube, click the video for “Crank Dat” (with more than 158 million views, mind you) and dance along as you listen to the hip-hop song that took 2007 by storm.

Tone, taste and tenacity remain ZZ Top’s motto and rationale for their lasting popularity, lead guitarist Billy Gibbons tells EW

In 2014, what does punk rock mean? “Playing as fast as you can? Playing three chords?” poses Atom Willard, drummer for Against Me! “Spiking your hair? Punk rock is doing what isn’t generally smiled upon by the masses,” Willard says. “Doing something you believe in and isn’t easy to do — basically going against the grain.” Willard says the gender transition of Against Me! vocalist Laura Jane Grace (born Thomas James Gabel) is one of the most punk rock things he’s ever witnessed. 

Marriage apartheid’s over in our state (woo hoo!) so there’s no reason to continue referring to my lawfully wedded wife as “my partner.” I should call her “my wife,” but I still catch myself saying “partner.” I did it just the other day when I was explaining why I needed my laptop screen replaced and told the tech guy that my partner stepped on it. I gauged the situation in that second-nature queer safety-check thing we do, and added, “She feels pretty bad about it.” 

Intellectual though he was, writer H.L. Mencken positively came undone, his friend Anita Loos observed, under the beguiling spell of some … blonde.

Ellie Greenwich is the boss. A master songwriter, Greenwich had a hand in composing buckets of Top 40 hits, such as “Chapel of Love,” “Hanky Panky,” “Da Doo Ron Ron” and other baby-boomer jams.

NOT SO LUCKY

Sixteen years ago, I retired from the U.S. Navy. I had great comprehensive health care. Now I have high quality VA care and affordable retired military medical and dental health insurance.

CURSED FONT

Your choice of Helvetica Bold typeface on the cover of last week’s issue [7/31] was both alarming and disappointing. I had hoped that EW was more enlightened. But your use of that font shows that further awareness is needed. 

Helvetica is a curse on society. Aesthetically it is a scar on the landscape. It is drab and modern and completely uninspiring. It is less of a choice than a default. But the gravest danger posed by Helvetica is homogenization.

I am a 38-year-old married woman. My husband of 18 years is 22 years my senior. I credit my husband for giving me a good life and helping me pursue goals. But my husband is a type A professional, and that has played out in the bedroom. He has always been disinterested in my pleasure. When our kids were little, I did not want sex as often as he did (“only” twice a week). I suggested that he masturbate in the shower if he wanted a morning quickie.

It’s nothing new for Richard Linklater to demonstrate his fascination with the passage of time in cinema. Dazed and Confused took place on the last day of high school; his films with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, most recently Before Midnight, skip through the years in the life of a couple, their relationship moving from young passion to a maturity that’s both prickly and graceful.

Having all but walked away from movies in exhaustion and disgust after finishing his last full-length feature Killing Me, local writer-director Henry Weintraub now returns to the cinematic fold with The Assassin, a compact gem of shoestring filmmaking.

Ask a certain segment of Eugene’s population and they’ll say the Whiteaker Block Party, now in its eighth year, eclipsed the Eugene Celebration in relevance a long time ago. And with the celebration on hiatus until 2015 (and folks pulling the Festival of Eugene together), the Block Party now gets its chance to shine as the premier civic blowout of 2014. Every year, music is a central part of the event, and this year the Block Party boasts a powerhouse of local talent. 

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

What started as a small crowd partying in an empty parking lot in the Whiteaker among amps and beer kegs has grown, in eight short years, into a neighborhood-encompassing celebration of community and unique Eugene culture. Featuring a couple dozen local bands, food and craft vendors, an art and kid zone, carnival games, a dunk tank, beer gardens and even a bike valet, on Saturday, Aug. 2, from noon to 10 pm — it’s the Whiteaker Block Party (WBP).

During the Whiteaker Block Party, parking is usually a pain, with drivers scouring residential streets for a spot, sometimes giving up and parking illegally. This year, the Whiteaker Community Council is trying to alleviate the problem by opening up at least two gravel lots in the neighborhood for $5 per car. The WCC will use its share of the funds for a big long-term goal: a public parking lot in the Whit.