Words by Bryan Kalbrosky • Photos by Todd Cooper
J. Cole came to Eugene to launch his “2014 Forest Hills Drive” tour on Monday night, and the show became more than just an early local favorite for concert of the year.
Fans who have followed Cole since the beginning, as well as people who only discovered the North Carolina-born rapper earlier this week, will likely share an opinion about this show. It was, without question, an instant classic. Heck, Cole’s memorable performance even made a strong case as frontrunner for best hip-hop show in Eugene’s recent history.
“Do you wanna, do you wanna be happy?” Cole sang, starting out the set. The tempo picked up with an onset of the horns.
It was interesting to note that the show began with an “intro” track, rather than one of his more popular hits — one of many successful, bold decisions that fans would come to expect from Cole during the show. The crowd rewarded him by throwing their arms in the air when he asked, and by jumping when told to jump.
“Eugene!” shouted Cole, as the immediate rush of screaming fans drowned the speakers at McDonald Theatre. “Tonight is a special night. It’s the very first night of the Forest Hills tour.
Cole announced that during this show, he would perform every single song off his newest album: 2014 Forest Hills Drive — a risky move, as artists don’t usually show all their cards at the beginning of a tour.
Cole, however is one of the more honest, conversational performers in the rap game right now. His onstage presence feels cinematic. He boasts the charisma of a man traveling the world, sharing all types of stories.
“We’re going all around the world: Switzerland, Sweden and Poland. We’re going to places I’d never dreamed about seeing in my life, and we started here,” he told the crowd.
Gone were the fancy lights, and anything that would add an unnecessary layer to the production value of the evening. Cole spent much show interacting with the crowd, and performed much of the show from a stool at centerstage.
“I’m trying to go to little towns, where I can see every face in the crowd,” explained Cole, who heavily promoted hometowns (the creative inspiration for the album) all night.
Cole’s most impressive performance was likely during “No Role Models” when everyone shouted the chorus: “Don’t save her, she don’t want to be saved.”
He displayed his most impressive showmanship during the song “G.O.M.D.” and made sure that every one in the venue knew that they were watching (as Andre 3000 from Outkast once described him) a show from “Hollywood Cole.”
About halfway through his performance, however, Cole took a break from his newer music and showed some love to his original classics. The crowd lost their mind when they were met with older hits like “Lights Please,” as well as his song with Drake, “In The Morning,” and “Workout” from radio fame.
Shortly after, Cole returned to the album and finished the second half of the tracks to close his set. “Love Yourz” was a favorite, with lots of heartfelt emotion filling the venue
The encores for the night were “Can’t Get Enough” which led into a particularly dope rendition of “Crooked Smile” from Born Sinner (2013). He ended the night with “Power Trip” (also from Born Sinner), and Cole asked for management to turn on all the lights.
Cole looked out at the audience and people showed their appreciation — some screamed with gratitude, while others flashed the artist from the balcony. But everyone that stayed for the entire show got a remarkable reward:
“Would you believe me if I said I’m in love?” sang Cole from “Power Trip” as the entire audience joined in.
Dreamville labelmates Omen, Cozz and Bass opened the show.
The UO has dropped its countersuit against the student who says three UO basketball players raped her. According to the R-G, interim President Scott Coltrane said, "that the UO heard from 'many different people on campus, and we really wanted to get away from this distraction.'”
A petition calling for the UO to drop the suit garnered more than 2,000 signatures in less than a week.
The court document, available here, says that the university is no longer countering the victim’s lawsuit and is not asking the student, or her attorneys, to pay for the UO's attorney fees and costs related to the case.
In response to the UO's amended response filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene, UO professor John Bonine, Jennifer Freyd and Carol Stabile sent a letter to Coltrane, taking him to task for victim blaming and using language claiming "the survivor's lawsuit will hurt other survivors."
We appreciate the steps you took in getting the counter claim dropped. It has already had disastrous consequences on the University community.
But while the University has dropped the counterclaim, its amended response kept some of the worst language. Paragraph 102 of UO’s new response still retains some of the most victim-blaming language, namely the language claiming that the survivor’s lawsuit harms other survivors.
In addition paragraph 102 continues to include the original response’s claim that the lawsuit will “convey” a message to the public in order to “demonstrate the high priority Oregon gives to Title IX.” Someone has confused a legal filing with a press release.
A response to the court is no place for public relations talk about the University’s supposed devotion to women and Title IX. It is a place to admit or deny factual allegations. The University cannot claim that it is devoted to survivors while at the same time saying that a survivor’s use of legal remedies will chill reporting by others.
John, Jennifer, and Carol
From the people who brought you "Snip City" for March Madness (the Oregon Urology Institute) comes:
Because you may as well have an excuse to lay on the sofa and watch basketball.
Bonus, vasectomies = fewer babies, which is better for the planet. Just ask the Center for Biological Diversity about their "endangered species condoms."
Social media posts about "Hope," a dog animal advocates say was starving and dehydrated, led to a KEZI story and then to a response from the Eugene Police Department. Hope the dog, whose name is actually Zena, according to EPD, has since been put to sleep by her owner.
Animal advocates including Tamara Barnes of No Kill Lane County have complained about the way the case has been handled by animal services as well as about Lane County's policy of not filing criminal charges in animal neglect cases. A petition has been started at Change.org and a Facebook page, Justice for Hope, give details on the issue.
The KEZI story, which can be read or watched in its entirety here, starts off:
A group of local animal lovers say they saved a dog Friday after a friend saw the animal emaciated in the backyard of a home.
Gail Kiefer says when she got the call about the dog, now called Hope, she went to the house near the intersection of Bertelsen and Elmira, called animal control, and tried to track down the owner.
No one was home so she went into the backyard, took the dog, and rushed it to the Four Corners Vet Clinic where the dog got food, fluids, and medication.
The vet says he’s never seen anything like this. Kiefer says while she knows she could get in trouble for taking the dog, she couldn’t leave the dog to suffer.
The KEZI story led to a response from EPD, which talked to Zena's owner who said the elderly dog with heart disease had lost "a significant amount of weight" over the last year "but still seemed happy." That release is below.
February 24, 2015Animal Welfare Case Information
After a local media report about a dog who was reported to possibly be neglected, there have been people concerned about the dog. Eugene Animal Welfare would like to clarify information about the dog and its situation.
On February 3 - there was a single report of a young dog that was possibly the victim of animal neglect in the Bethel area. Animal Welfare attempted to follow up on the original report five times between February 8 and February 18. An animal welfare officer went to the home on February 8, February 9, February 11, and February 15 and February 18. On February 15, the animal welfare officer took a police officer with him, and on another visit he asked roofers nearby if they could spot the dog in the backyard. They were unable to see the dog. Police officers and animal welfare officers are not legally permitted to enter private premises without probable cause, consent or a warrant.
On February 20, a woman broke into the yard and stole the dog. She tried to leave the dog, Zena, at 1st Avenue Shelter, which can’t take dogs that have been removed from their owners without permission. Shelter staff provided water for the dog and instructed the woman to wait for Animal Welfare to respond to. The woman left the shelter with Zena prior to the arrival of the animal welfare officer and took her to a veterinarian in Santa Clara. The veterinarian also could not take the dog under that type of circumstance. The woman then called a third party, who had her take it take it to the vet at Four Corners. That third party took the dog home after it was treated.
On February 22, Zena’s worried owner reported her stolen. The owner had been away from home and had a dog sitter caring for the animal, which may account for not being able to get ahold of him. A police officer was able to track the dog down and took it to an emergency vet for treatment. The veterinarian kept the dog overnight. According to the emergency vet, Zena is a 17-year-old, geriatric dog with cardiac disease and a heart murmur. Cardiac disease causes chronic wasting. According to the emergency veterinarian, who last checked the dog, she was in relatively good condition, despite her age, blindness and heart disease.
An investigation showed the owner had Zena on a healthy diet to try to put weight on and kept her mostly inside the house. The owner has had Zena since she was a puppy. He told police that over the past year, she has lost a significant amount of weight but that she still seemed happy. Yesterday, the owner made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize his well-loved pet.
This is a difficult case to investigate as it involves people with good intentions who felt they were doing the right thing, but did not have all the information. The pet owner was faced with difficult end-of-life decisions for his pet of 17 years.
No Kill Lane County's response to the EPD release and updates are on the Facebook page.
Monday night, people filled The Barn Light for Jessica Pratt and Kevin Morby — a show which had both the intimacy of a singer-songwriter open mic and the energy of a late-night Americana barn bash.
Pratt started off the night, lulling the audience to sit down on the Barn Light’s concrete floor by sitting in a chair herself. The seated crowed proved their innate indie-ness when Pratt asked, “Did anyone watch the Academy Awards last night?” and received an overwhelmingly apathetic collective “No,” despite the packed awards party that the same venue had hosted the night before. Accompanied by a bassist, Pratt played acoustic-cool music over her soft, soprano voice for a delicate 45-minute set in front of an iridescent orange curtain and a Brew Dr. Kombucha logo.
For the next 15 minutes, people refilled kombucha and stretched out their bodies in anticipation of Kevin Morby, who, along with a drummer and another guitarist (who switched to bass later on), took the floor at 8:30 pm.
With a Western-style shirt and shaggy blonde hair, Morby fit the cool-older-brother bill. His first few songs were played to a crowd half-entranced and half-socializing until “Harlem River,” the title track off his debut 2013 album of the same name. Morby switched to electric guitar, stepping away from the mic to perform intricate solos, hold his guitar Beatles-style and swish his hair from side to side. The final chord was met with the most applause of the night.
He immediately followed with “All Of My Life,” the folky ballad from his newest album, Still Life. Morby mentioned this was his first time playing in Eugene, which was met with a round of applause before Morby bade us an early 9:15 goodnight farewell.
As of noon Monday, Feb. 23, a petition to UO trustees entitled "Stop suing rape survivors University of Oregon" has garnered more than 500 signatures. The Change.org petition is in response to the UO and basketball coach Dana Altman's counter-suit against an alleged rape victim.* According to The Oregonian, "Oregon and Altman's suit seeks to have the original 'frivolous, unreasonable' complaint' dismissed and recover legal fees from either the alleged victim or her attorneys."
The petition, which was started two days ago, reads:
The University of Oregon has become the first institution in higher education to sue a rape survivor pursuing her rights under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act -- all after violating medical privacy laws by seizing her counseling records from the campus health center, and asking campus counselors to give her substandard care.
Send the UO a message: suing rape survivors will not make campus safer for the 1 in 5 women who will be sexually assaulted, harassed, or raped each year on campus.
The petition provides links to both The Oregonian's story and to an R-G story detailing an email from a UO therapist who alleges she was told to alter counseling care for the student and that the "student’s clinical records were accessed without her knowledge, without the student’s permission and without any court authorization."
Names of those listed as having signed include those of UO faculty, graduate students, alumni and undergrads.
* EW uses the word alleged not to indicate doubt in a rape victim's story but for legal reasons to indicate that the accusations have not been proven in a court of law.
Update: the UO has dropped the suit.
We all make mistakes, but The Register-Guard wins typo of the week with this one in the article "Final Frontier" from the Feb. 21 issue:
“'Microgreens will be the first cash flow boost,' Jason Waligoske said. 'That will be followed by mescaline, baby spinach, other greens."
In the print version, it appears after the jump under "Unusual varieties planned."
The story continues, "'My wife is from Germany,' Jason Waligoske said. 'Some of that outlook is her desire for produce that is over there that is hardly ever seen here.'”
Recreational pot has been legalized in Oregon, so why deny fans of fresh hallucinogens and hard-to-find produce a little peyote-type snack to munch with their microgreens?
The band Con Brio, from San Francisco, spent the last night of their tour here in Eugene. With Ziek McCarter as the vocals, Benjamin Andrews on guitar, Micah Dubreuil on keyboards, Jonathan Kirchner on the bass, Andrew Laubacher on drums, Marcus Stephens on tenor saxophone, and Brendan Liu on the Trumpet they had quiet the set up on stage. They filled the room with soulful funk music that was reminiscent of an era long gone but not forgotten.
The words Con Brio in Italian mean “With spirit” and that is exactly how they played last night. Between the Saxophone, Keyboard, Guitar, and Drum solos you could see the lead singer dancing about the stage pulling moves that, admittedly, not many of us could do. Even though it was a Monday night they had a decent sized crowd dancing around the room and clapping along to some of the groovy music. - Chloe Shaughnessy
The ongoing battle between car sharing service Uber and the city of Eugene has taken to social media. Let the Twitter wars begin!
Uber has launched an online petition asking Eugene to back down on its stance that the ride service must obtain the same $400 permits local taxi companies have. It is using the hashtag #EugeneNeedsUber.
Eugene is responding with #EugeneDeservesSafety and tweeted back at the petition that Uber could "Or you could just agree to City driver checks, insurance reqs, & car safety checks. Not hard."
Snark from a city Twitter feed? #winning.
In the R-G's story today, which also gives some background on the Uber-dispute over the regulations, it says the city did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the petition, but the city is commenting now.
The city responded to the criticism that Eugene's "old regs" are a "big problem" with "@Uber_OR Actually, updated code for apps & offered to do more once Uber agrees to safety reqs - driver checks, insurance, & car checks."
We're hoping the city keeps tagging us on its responses throughout the day. You can follow the tweets at the city's feed here.
Portland media has been having a field day (or rather field month or two) with Gov. John Kitzhaber's troubles and the back and forth question of whether he plans to step down or not. Now, as the story gets weirder, it's gone national with the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and the Washington Post, among others, tracking Oregon's non-lethal version of OJ Simpson's slowspeed chase down the freeway.
Here's the WaPo's summary of what it calls "The Long, Bizarre — and Dumbfounding — Saga of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber."
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) had decided to resign his office Tuesday over continuing questions about his fiancee's actions as a consultant, according to the Oregonian. Then, on Wednesday, he reportedly changed his mind.
The governor is pretty clearly holding onto his career by a thread. As summarized over on GovBeat, first lady Cylvia Hayes was guiding state employees on the implementation of a new policy even as she was doing private consulting work for a group pushing the same policy. The story has taken several turns, most recently with the Oregonian, the state's largest newspaper, calling on Kitzhaber to resign. A recall effort has also been launched, as has a criminal investigation by the state attorney general. And tangentially, there's that whole matter from last year about Hayes havingmarried an 18-year-old Ethiopian to secure a green card for him in exchange for $5,000. She neglected to inform the governor of this before the media unearthed it.
In its article, "Love and Politics Collide as Scandals Plague Oregon’s Fourth-Term Governor," the NYT kicks off with more on the enviro aspect of the Hayes saga and the fact Kitzhaber is a long-term governor:
The inquiries stem from contracting work that Ms. Hayes, 47, a clean-energy consultant, performed and was paid for while living with the governor and advising him on clean-energy issues. Those issues have long been a priority of Mr. Kitzhaber’s administration, but now they are bound up in, and perhaps undermined by, questions of whether love and politics got too cozy in the governor’s mansion.
But the deeper trouble is that after 12 years in office, the governor’s enemies and critics — and erstwhile supporters, who think he has simply stayed in office too long — have grown like compound interest over everything from his laid-back management style to the disastrous rollout of the state health insurance website, which never fully worked and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Today's latest was the news that Secretary of State Kate Brown — who would take the governor's seat should Kitz step down — was rushing back from Washington DC, leading politcos to speculate he was ready to leave. Before her plane landed, Kitzhaber announced he was in fact not stepping down.
Here is Brown's press release in response and you can hear more about it via KLCC.
As the Christian Science Monitor reports, fellow Dems such as state Treasurer Ted Wheeler are calling for Kitz to step down.
The Oregonian, which has been birddogging the issue as well is now providing live updates.
Anyone taking bets on which late night and news-satire or commentary shows Oregon will be on tonight? This almost beats the attack owls.