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September 17, 2014 12:25 PM

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain sent out this statement today on the 2015 minimum wage:

“Today's announcement that the 2015 minimum wage will be $9.25 is welcome news.  Oregon has long been ahead of most states by ensuring our lowest-paid neighbors aren't falling even further behind.  But in reality that amounts to $19,240 a year, or $1,603.33 a month, to help families make ends meet.  More and more new jobs pay minimum wage or close to it.  It's time for us to do more. 

 

"The average age of a minimum wage worker, nationally, is 35.  It's not much different here in Oregon.  We can't expect a person to raise a family on $19,240 a year.  That's why the Oregon AFL-CIO is calling on the 2015 Legislature to give Oregon workers a boost.  Every family in our state should have a fair shot; the first step is ensuring every person who is working full time can afford to put food on the table.”

September 17, 2014 11:18 AM

Oh, wait, I KNOW you missed The Band of Heathens last night because it was pretty much just me and 20 other people at the WOW Hall on a Tuesday night.

You missed a great show and the Heathen's new Tom Petty-esqu song "Carry Your Love," which debuted on Texas Monthly yesterday a couple hours before the Eugene performance. Click the image to listen:

Despite the sparse audience The Band of Heathens were their usual mix of instrospective, danceable Americana rock — you can shake to it or just listen, and last night was worth  doing both. Let's face it, it's asking a lot to pack the WOW Hall on a Tuesday; if this had been a Thursday or a weekend there would have been a lot more people, as there were when BoH played Sam Bonds on a Friday last November. Points for making a cover of "The Mighty Quinn" the encore. Hell, points for an encore with such a small (albeit enthused) audience. 

Midway through their set, an audience member hollered out "Play 'Medicine Man'" off the "Top Hat Crown and the Clapmaster's Son" album.

"What?" responded Ed Jurdi, "I can't hear you over all these people." (OK, I think it was Jurdi, he's the beardy one. I had some hard cider in me at that point).

 

If you're unfamiliar with The Band of Heathens, their albums have topped the Americana charts, and they've played Austin City Limits and SXSW, getting them a shout-out in the Wall Street Journal.

BoH tapes all their shows and announced they recorded the WOW Hall show, which you can buy and download on their website. Don't miss them next time  or you can catch them in Portland Sept. 20 (lucky PDX, that's a Friday).

September 16, 2014 08:05 AM

Photos by Sam Gehrke. Words by Bryan Kalbrosky.

Atmosphere represents a lot of things in my life: an intro into an obsessive relationship with indie rap, the most played artist on Spotify via Bluetooth in my living room and the dude who provided me with a fun September night in Eugene.

The crowd at the McDonald Theatre was fairly diverse (as far as Eugene rap shows go) and fans seemed stoked to reconnect with rapper Slug and producer Ant. Atmosphere draws from a variety of sonic influencers, and delivers a sound widely appreciated in the greater music community. Concertgoers that I traveled with even asked our Uber ridesharing driver if he ever got down with Atmosphere — though he claimed to not like rap music, he appreciated the sampling that we gave him from one of our cell phones.

 

Prof (another Minneapolis rapper from the Rhymesayers label) was an entertaining opener, who I enjoyed from the “21 and over” balcony. But when Atmosphere came on, it was time to move down and party with the general admission folk.

As the lights went down, this immediately proved to be a good decision: Slug even mentioned that it felt more like a “family reunion” than a party here in Eugene. The overall message that he hoped to share is that it was a beautiful day to be alive and that “God Loves Ugly”— which is the title of his famous 2002 LP, and has become a trademark phrase from Atmosphere. 

Slug and Ant have been making music together for a helluva long time, longer than many of the patrons of the show have been alive. “The force is too strong, it’s been going too long: since 1995,” Slug said during the show. Atmosphere is old, yes, but they’re far from drawn out. Slug begged us to listen to his “old shit” and played many of my personal favorites, including “The Waitress” as well as “Guns and Cigarettes.”

The lyrics of Atmosphere express such remarkable candidness (“Damn I should’ve been a better father to my daughter”) that even the most stone-cold crowd can empathize with the music. Yet Atmosphere fans find the joy in songs like “Yesterday”— despite a troubling subject of Slug’s poor relationship with his father.

Atmosphere thrives off the interactivity of an audience, which made the concert a significantly more enjoyable experience. There was so much love in the room on Thursday night that Slug even said he was “pretty sure that we impregnated” him.

 

The encore included a song supposedly about Eugene (“Shhh” is actually about loving your hometown) and a freestyle session with other MCs from the night, including one who had a verse about local track legend Steve Prefontaine.

To end the night, Slug said that they “almost sold this bitch out” and that he was going to go buy five more tickets so that it could be classified as such. His parting words were to encourage us to make something tonight: whether it was a painting, your bed or just some pancakes.

 

September 11, 2014 09:55 AM

Former Eugenean Mare Wakefield and her husband, Nomad, are back in town this weekend and will be performing at 7 pm Saturday, Sept. 15, Out On a Limb Gallery, 191 E. Broadway. Mare and Nomad have a new video out, recorded in their studio in Nashville. Find more videos, including some from their earlier tours through Eugene, on YouTube.

September 10, 2014 09:55 AM

Now, for something completely different, a sweet, singing snail...

September 10, 2014 03:43 PM

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, farmland occupies 16.5 million acres of Oregon soil. And what's growing in that soil? You name it, we've got it: pears, cranberries, potatoes, hops, hazelnuts and so much more.

If that sounds like the makings of a delicious dinner, you're not wrong, and on Sept. 13 at 4 pm, you can tune in to KVAL and learn how three Oregon families used locally sourced ingredients to create delicious "made in Oregon" meals. 

According to the press release: 

With Oregon producing more than a hundred specialty crops, which include fruits and vegetables, it was impossible to feature them all in the show. But there was a big effort to highlight as many as possible in all of their different forms– fresh, frozen, dried, and canned. As part of the show, each family receives help in preparing their specific dishes from chef and registered dietician Garrett Berdan. In planning the show, Ratcliffe worked with Berdan to customize a recipe for each of the unique families being featured. The result was a handful of recipes that were fun, easy, affordable, nutritious, and, of course, Oregon grown.

"Dinner in Oregon" airs on KVAL 4 pm Saturday, Sept. 13.

September 8, 2014 02:46 PM

Tonight's (9/8) Eugene City Council meeting at 7:30 at Harris Hall does not have a public forum on the tear-down of City Hall on the agenda, but we hear a group of local architects will be speaking during the public forum session near the beginning of the meeting.

They will likely question the information and assumptions that were the basis of the council decision to tear down City Hall. We hear some on the council might be rethinking their decision based on new information provided by the architects and engineers. But is it too late?

September 7, 2014 05:31 PM

I admit it, I didn't watch the new Mat Kearney video until today. I got the press relases, I saw the R-G did a story, I saw friends posting it on Facebook. But the moment I see something is paired up with Duck football, I lose a little interested (that's blasphemy if you live in Eugene, isn't it?). 

But I talked to a couple friends with good taste in music (and a similar "meh" attitude about football) and they praised it so I pulled up the video … and it's pretty darn good. The song is anyway. Given a certain feeling that the Ducks are a little oversaturated, the video is a little football heavy, but the wistfulness of the song and the historical footage make it work. About minute 48 there's a shot of sailboats on Dexter Reservoir with Parvin Butte (pre-current mining destruction) that made me even more wistful.

Also it has horses. I'm a sucker for horses. 

 

If you were unaware that Kearney is a Duck's fan, then you missed "Chip Don't Go."

September 5, 2014 12:38 PM

Tonight is the night we here at the EW offices have been waiting months for — the First Friday ArtWalk when we will introduce the winning box art for our ArtsHound on Broadway contest and the artists behind the winning designs (read more here). Eugene Weekly will be the tour guide for this event and we begin with the first box outside Tokyo Tonkatsu at Broadway and Charnelton downtown at 5:30 pm sharp, so don't be late. Artist will speak about their designs and artwalkers are encouraged to ask questions.

We will stop at each art box along Broadway and Willamette until we reach the Hult Center's Jacob Gallery for the 2014 Mayor's Art Show, with more stops to follow.

I was able to pop into the Jacob's Gallery yesterday and I must say, this is one of the best collections of local art I have seen. Here's a little visual appetizer from the Jacob's Gallery to whet your appetite for the ArtWalk tonight.

September 5, 2014 09:57 AM

It's a pretty well-known fact that you're not supposed to flush prescription drugs, or any pharmaceuticals for that matter, down the toilet. What many people don't think about is that the same rule applies for pet pharmaceuticals. It's unclear just what pet owners do with their pet's unwanted medication, and for that reason, OSU is launching a survey to assess common practices in order to learn more and strengthen its outreach and education strategy. Give it a click, because clean water is good for you and good for your pets.

You can take the survey here.

September 4, 2014 04:12 PM

When I started reading the "long-form journalism" piece on SB Nation about former UO Duck player Colt Lyerla I was speechless. Not because he alleges the UO promised him a house and car (hey at least it wasn't allegations about being offered sex this time) but because of the florid descriptions of Lyerla and over-the-top language that "A Place to Call Home" is peppered with. Papers including The Oregonian and the R-G weeded through it until the pulled out the details about the alleged offer, but I feel that just getting out the actual news in the piece isn't nearly as much fun as reading the rather remarkable prose.

The descriptions of Lyerla are what make the piece. Here's the first one:

In person, he appears impossibly large. His measurements — 6'4, 242 pounds, as of February's NFL Combine — are plausible enough, but up close, the body appears to be something out of a create-a-player generator in a video game, his outsized proportions more virtual reality than man-made. It starts with the hands, soft tensile masses perfectly engineered to catch footballs. His enormous calves challenge the elasticity of his socks, while his forearms seem as thick as telephone poles. Even as he sits at the small glass kitchen table, in a baggy white T-shirt and black basketball shorts, he seems to loom over it. His dark brown eyes, cleft chin and strong, smooth jaw line complete the look of someone who has never been an underdog on the field, and who has never lacked attention.

The metaphors really make the piece. Later, there is this one:

He was used to being an anomaly because his body enabled him to do things that defied what so many others had hardwired into their genetic code, a hacked iPhone when everyone else still operated on factory settings.

Yup, a football player = hacked iPhone.

You can read and enjoy the whole piece for yourself at SBNation.com

According to the R-G, the UO Athletic Department responded, “The University of Oregon takes seriously any allegation of a rules violation and the compliance department will thoroughly examine the information to determine its validity as we do in all cases.”

September 3, 2014 04:10 PM

KWVA's Occupy Radio broadcast hosted by David Geitgey Sierralupe and Rivera Sun discusses Gaza and … Eugene this week. Specifically we get into what is undercovered in Eugene media. I only talk really fast a couple times.