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This is the week everyone anticipates in Salem every two years. The May 2017 state revenue forecast is the last tool available to the Legislature’s Ways and Means co-chairs to anticipate Oregon’s general fund problem for the next two years. The biennial crapshoot from hell. This year our economy’s going gangbusters. So the kicker may kick! With a $1.6 billion hole in our general fund! I hate it when that happens.

The academy and the arts don’t always mix well. Entombing arts in the ivory tower can lead to insularity, esotericism and disregard of popular appeal. But at its best, the academy can enrich the arts with its depth of knowledge, benefiting audiences with previously undiscovered repertoire and styles of interpretation.

Kikagaku Moyo, a Japanese psych-rock band, is returning to Eugene to promote their new release. It’s called Stone Garden EP. It’s out now and it was recorded in Prague.

Imagine the burgeoning ’90s-era Pacific Northwest indie rock scene as a classroom. Then imagine former Cottage Grove resident Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse as the hyperactive, erratic yet undeniably brilliant kid at the back of that classroom — the kid who, despite expectations, goes ahead and produces an indie rock masterpiece. 

Bohemian musician Worth creates a mash-up of sounds akin to a spin-art kid’s toy: a beautiful mess. Within the course of one album, you’re taken on a ride from the bayou to the strip club, from a lover’s arms to church — all with seemingly no rhyme or reason.

Folk activist-musician Holly Near is a seasoned singer-songwriter whose recipe is impossible to pin down. Her honeylike yet raspy vocals cry out against oppression, while her tender demeanor draws in crowds who crave a church geared towards a soul, not a deity. After 45 years of performing her highly politicized songs, Near has found herself — on stages, in her audience, and in her own personal struggles with and against waves of oppression.

As the standard thunk-ditty of old-time slouches toward relative obscurity in this year of our Lord 2017, solace is sought via groove over hymnal, salty ocean over fiery lake, windswept desert over Paradise garden.

OCF STORY POLE DECISION

Congratulations to the Oregon Country Fair board for a wise and prudent decision (May 4, “OCF Cancels Story Pole”).

There is a place where style and tradition intersect. But tradition leaves style at the crossroads and goes a longer, proven journey through generations. It takes cultural memory … where are your ancestors buried ?

Although our minds are colonized by the omnipresent corporate dominion, we have to diminish our own colonial attitudes and not squander privilege on ourselves. 

I’m a happily married straight man. My wife, who is 33 years old, cannot orgasm through intercourse since we had our last child. Her explanation is that she has this constant sensation to pee. Now we find other means to please her through toys, oral, etc. Are there exercises or other means to get her to climax through intercourse? Is this common from childbirth?

Climaxing Liberally Is Fun

James Nares might be called a Renaissance artist, though he is associated with the 1970’s No Wave movement, where he played in a band and made art in the street.

Nares makes objects, composes music and is a filmmaker, photographer and painter. The subjects of his paintings are lines. What could be simpler, right?

Not in Nares’ case.

Years ago, staffers at EW were invited to Portland to sample the quality of some craft brews in Beer-vana. As a lark, clever staffers decided it might be fun to include on the trip — and into the story — a known “wine guy” and recognized beer-phobe, namely me.

Whether aging is kind to an actor seems to be largely a matter of choice, and by extension, integrity. Often, great actors getting on in years seem to opt for a kind of working retirement, leaning back like a senescent actor emeritus on the coattails of previous grand achievements.

I have a confession to make: I’m a junky for Lane County Mugshots Uncensored — a massive, sprawling, closed-group Facebook page revolving around the spectacle of daily mugshot postings released to the public by Lane County law enforcement and other nearby jurisdictions.

I’m not proud. I have an addictive personality, and something about the site — its raw, adrenalized hit of unreconstructed civic collapse from the street level — makes me feel giddy and dirty and kind of sick at the same time.

Philosophy instructor Jeffrey Borrowdale has taught at Lane Community College for 17 years. In one month, though, his position as the school’s only full-time philosophy instructor may be cut to save money.

LCC has a $10.6 million budget deficit for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Servando Lomeli Ramirez came to the U.S. illegally in 1991 when he was 16. He has been living in an average house on an average street in Creswell, a home decorated with family pictures and motivational sayings on the wall.

But the 43-year-old millworker’s life is no longer average.

Lomeli is now being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Tacoma, Washington. He faces deportation for illegal reentry after a crime he says he didn’t commit and that is no longer on his record. 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent the City of Florence a warning letter on May 4 following an April inspection at the city’s sewage treatment plant during which DEQ noted multiple Clean Water Act violations. DEQ noted that the city does not have an emergency response and public notification plan, an operations manual, or a written quality assurance and quality control program. DEQ has asked the city to correct these violations by June 5.

 #TrumpResistance.

We’re urging our family and friends in Montana to support Rob Quist, the Democratic bluegrass musician and supporter of Bernie Sanders, running in the May 25 special election for the state’s only congressional seat. We’re also sending a contribution (average donation is $32) to help all we can in this Wild West red state with a blue governor and a blue senator. Democrats need to win 24 seats to take back the U. S. House. It is possible.

 

 

W. Kamau Bell is a sociopolitical comedian and host of the CNN docu-series United Shades of America. Before launching the show last season, Bell was probably best known for his critically acclaimed — and criminally short-lived — comedy series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.

• Poppi’s Anatolia, the popular Greek and Indian eatery at 992 Willamette Street, will be closing on Tuesdays beginning May 16 to deal with “some deferred maintenance projects as we head into summer,” says owner George Schaefer. The casual restaurant has been open seven days a week for nearly 30 years. Schaefer says Tuesdays were chosen since they are “typically the quietest of days” at the restaurant. Find a menu and more information at poppisanatolia.com.

May has traditionally been National Historic Preservation Month, a time for communities to celebrate the successes of local efforts and to recall the losses. Last year was a milestone: fifty years since the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966! 

• A discussion of “White Supremacy, Anti-Semitism and Building a Resilient Community” is 5:45 pm Saturday, May 13, at Temple Beth Israel, 1175 E. 29th Avenue. 

• A campaign to divest the city of Eugene from US Bank is gearing up in May as part of a national effort to weaken the fossil fuels industry and “open up more space for climate solutions to flourish,” according to Community Alliance of Lane County. Contact Michael at CALC at 541-485-1755 or visit world.350Eugene.org.

 “I loved the mountains,” says Carter McKenzie, who spent her childhood in Colorado Springs. She studied English literature at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, on her way to a master’s from the University of Virginia, and she worked on American history projects in the Library of Congress. “I was writing poetry and short stories on my own,” says McKenzie, who got married and followed her husband’s theater production career from New York City to Berkeley.

In 18th-century poet William Blake’s invented mythology, the character Urizen embodies conventional reason and law, often depicted as a bearded old man carrying nets or architects’ tools. Blake was fascinated by the tension between enlightenment and humanity’s baser instincts — free love, for example — and through Urizen, the poet seems to present societal dictums as a trap or snare preventing humans from reaching their truest plane of existence.

California songwriter Chuck Prophet’s latest release, Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins, recalls an era when Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello back-flipped over metal’s devil horns and prog rock’s wizard hats, reviving a kind of pop songwriting traditionalism that at the time felt radical in its simplicity — a look back in order to move forward.