• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Music

August 20, 2014

“We love playing house concerts because it’s always a listening audience,” says Jeff Poynter, vocalist and accordion player for Victoria, B.C.-based indie-folk outfit West My Friend. “We’re not really a bar band, and so we like audiences that show up to hear music. It’s great as well because you can really connect with the audience — talk to them throughout the show, hang out with them afterwards and learn a little about them.” 

August 13, 2014

He luvs this shit: New Orleans hip-hop crooner August Alsina is bringing the “Testimony Live” tour to the WOW Hall Aug. 15. The year 2014 has been big for Alsina; in addition to releasing his debut album Testimony in April, he won BET’s Best New Artist award and the Viewer’s Choice Award for the single “I Luv This Shit,” and was placed on the roster for hip-hop magazine XXL’s Top 10 Freshmen list alongside Chance The Rapper and Ty Dolla $ign. Want to schmooze with Alsina?

August 13, 2014

“This sounds really young, it sounds like early Helio Sequence,” says Brandon Summers, the band’s singer and guitarist, of the new record. “To me, it feels like a 90-degree sunny day in Portland.”

The Portland-based alt-rock duo is back on stage for a West Coast summer tour, during which the band is unveiling tracks from the new album, due out in early 2015. EW caught up with Helio Sequence two days after they finished recording. 

August 13, 2014

In 2009, Shelby Earl quit her job on Amazon’s music team to record her first album. The Seattle singer-songwriter was excited; after three years of promoting other musicians at the internet giant, she was going to be the one promoted — hopefully. 

“Then six months in it got really scary. It got really real and the money ran out,” Earl tells EW. “I told my mom I was freaking out.” 

August 13, 2014

New Orleans can justly claim to be one of the birthplaces of American music, with its legendary gumbo of Caribbean, African and European music influences providing the essential ingredients for the rhythms that spread from the Gulf of Mexico and conquered the music world. 

August 13, 2014

I was pulling the Sam Spade act (à la The Maltese Falcon) last week, hovering over a slider and fries at the bowling alley up Hwy. 99 and watching some good-looking kids roll the rock. The place was damn near empty; just me, the kids and the gal at the counter spraying high-grade disinfectant into the guts of the smooth communal shoes. 

August 6, 2014

#winning: Eugene Weekly’s sixth annual Next Big Thing music competition came to a close Friday, Aug. 1, at Cozmic with winners in three categories: funk crew Soul Vibrator took home the prize for Best Band, acoustic fingerstyle guitar virtuouso Will Brown nabbed the top spot in the Single/Duo category and Bailee Jordyn sang her self into first place in the Youth slot. Congratulations! Soul Vibrator went on to tear up the Cornerstone Stage Aug. 2 at the Whiteaker Block Party, drawing the praise of 2013 NBT winners Sol Seed.

August 6, 2014

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 — 2010’s Doo-Wops & Hooligans and 2012’s Unorthodox Jukebox — 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. B.o.B.’s “Nothin’ On You,” for example? Co-written by Mars. Cee-Lo Green’s “F*** You”? Ditto.

August 6, 2014

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.

DeAndre “Soulja Boy” Way always knew he was going to be “the next big thing” in the rap game — and even said as much on the Wikipedia page that he created for himself when he was 15. He worked at Burger King in high school, but before he was 20 “Crank That” helped him earn a major record deal and a Grammy nomination. 

But it doesn’t stop at the crank.

August 6, 2014

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

“If you recognize it as ZZ Top then we’ve had a successful expedient in sonic branding. Taste is the stuff we play, how we play it, but, more importantly, the stuff we don’t play. Tenacity of course is stick-to-it-iveness and we have been pretty good at sticking around,” Gibbons says via email.  

August 6, 2014

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. 

July 30, 2014

There’s something about Warpaint’s double music video for “Disco//Very” and “Keep it Healthy” that rings of the 1996 alt-witch flick The Craft. Perhaps it’s four badasses walking towards the camera, or Theresa Wayman’s and Emily Kokal’s ode to ’90s fashion wearing a plaid mini skirt over jeans and a Chicago Bulls T-shirt respectively.

July 30, 2014

Miranda Lambert is one of country music’s top female artists, but she has a gutsy-ness and grittiness that many women in country lack. She’s got sass and strength as well as suffering and insecurities, and isn’t afraid to reveal any of it in her lyrics. Lambert, who is performing at Sweet Home’s Oregon Jamboree, just released her fifth album, Platinum. She also just turned 30, and along with that milestone came self-scrutiny and pangs of aging.

July 30, 2014

A major attraction of the Oregon Festival of American Music’s two-year exploration of the so-called American songbook in Hollywood is rediscovering the original incarnations of stories most of us remember only from the later movies they inspired. The 1949 Jule Styne-Leo Robin musical, based on Anita Loos’ theatrical adaptation of her Jazz-Age comic novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (running Aug. 1-10), is perhaps best known from the 1953 film, which helped make stars out of pneumatic gal-pal leads Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell.

July 30, 2014

Tuscon, Arizona, duo Sweet Ghosts took their name from a poem by Jack Gilbert: “Again and again we put our sweet ghosts on small paper boats and sailed them back into their death …” And listening to Sweet Ghosts’ latest release Certain Truths, it is easy to imagine “sweet ghosts on small paper boats.” The album is melancholy and acoustic with the pitch and drift of a boat on water. 

July 30, 2014

Alongside Neil Young and Bob Dylan, Tom Petty has one of the most distinctive voices in rock music. And when you have a distinctive voice, it gets spoofed a lot by comedians. So I ask Mike Campbell, longtime lead guitarist with Petty’s band The Heartbreakers, which comedian does the best Petty impersonation? After giving it some thought, Campbell laughs. “Ask Jimmy Fallon, he’ll give you a good answer,” Campbell says.

July 23, 2014

“But what really matters is not what you believe but the faith and conviction with which you believe,” wrote the great Norwegian authur Knut Hamsun in his novel Mysteries. Hamsun — who, unfortunately, ended up believing some pretty vile stuff — nonetheless may have been forecasting the astral projections of fellow countrywoman Martine Kraft, the virtuoso violinist and songwriter whose ethereal sounds will provide a swan song for final staging at Mount Pisgah of the Faerieworlds festival this weekend.

July 23, 2014

With all the middle-of-the-road county fair and casino appearances Pat Benatar makes, it’s hard to remember just how edgy this four-time Grammy winner once was. 

In the days of leg warmers and smoke machines, Benatar jazzercised her way through a string of early MTV mega-anthems including “Love is a Battlefield,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “We Belong” and “Invincible.” 

July 23, 2014

If you’re pestered by indecision — vanilla or chocolate, Beatles or Rolling Stones — rest assured that when it comes to Rod Stewart and Carlos Santana, you won’t have to choose. Stewart, “The Voice,” and Santana, “The Guitar,” reunite in an exclusive North American tour that hits Matthew Knight Arena July 31.

July 16, 2014

Vince Staples, who recently signed to Def Jam Records, released Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 in March 2014 —the fourth mixtape he’s dropped since 2011. 

July 16, 2014

Looking at lineups for some of the major local venues this summer, it appears that audiences and/or bookers want one prolonged and mostly vanilla sausage fest. For Cuthbert’s 2014 season, of the nearly 40 acts scheduled to grace the amphitheater stage, seven include women (counting the Eugene Symphony’s free concert July 19). The Lane County Fair does not fare better: Of the eight acts to hit the main stage, there will be one musician who’s a woman — Pat Benatar (July 26 with Neil Giraldo).

July 16, 2014

Like something from your grandma’s collection of 45s, “10-gallon funnyman” Sourdough Slim harkens back to the days of the singin’, yodelin’, joke-tellin’ cowboy. You might be asking yourself: Is the world really waiting for a revival of the Burl Ives, Will Rogers and Gene Autry sound? The answer is: Probably not. But like a dusty little gem found in a secondhand shop, Slim (né Rick Crowder) shows that you didn’t know what you were missing the first time around. “My true calling as a cowboy was not on the range but, rather, on the stage,” Slim says on his website.

July 16, 2014

Time changes things, and Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac knows this as well as anyone. After all, before he and Johnny Rzeznik became one of the more notable pop rock acts of the last two decades, they preferred to be noisy rather than pop savvy. But they got the chance to evolve artistically through early albums, get out their inner punk and heavy metal aggressions and figure out who they wanted to be as a band. Takac knows how lucky they are.

July 16, 2014

If all you know of Soul Asylum is a touching little torch song called “Runaway Train,” listen up: Long before that unexpected hit was released in 1992, Soul Asylum had achieved a rare kind of cult status among fans of guitar-heavy alt-rock — a status founded largely on the soulful songwriting and indubitable white-boy groove of frontman Dave Pirner.