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Music

August 27, 2015

Since Matt Bishop and a group of University of Washington friends started up Hey Marseilles back in 2006, the six-piece chamber-pop band has released two full-length records, secured accolades from NPR and Seattle Weekly and played hundreds of shows all over the country.

All of which has given Bishop plenty of time to think about, well, being in a band. 

August 27, 2015

Gentrification: a word spoken in hushed and frightened tones, as though it’s the black plague, a zombie virus or artisanal ice cubes. 

Five years ago, Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist Danielle de Picciotto decided to do something about Berlin’s gentrification, skyrocketing rents and creeping homogeneity. 

August 27, 2015

Eugene’s The Sawyer Family has been crafting blistering tales of death, murder and suffering since 2001. The psychobilly-cum-swampy-stoner-metal act has seen lineup changes, growing pains and years of touring since its early rockabilly days, elevating themselves into a genre-defying monster.

As tends to happen at home, though, this act often goes unnoticed. 

August 26, 2015

When your band is named He Whose Ox is Gored, people are going to have preconceived notions about what you sound like.

“We started having that post-hardcore influence, a little bit of doom,” guitarist Brian McLelland tells EW. The up-and-coming Seattle quartet is touring in support of its latest release The Camel, The Lion, The Child, out now on Bleeding Light Records.

But McLelland says it would be wrong, despite HWOIG’s epically dark name, to pigeonhole them as a metal band. 

August 20, 2015

Five years ago Pantheon frontman Skyeler Williams saw an opportunity where others might have merely seen cause for complaint. He perceived what he calls “a consistent exclusion of heavy music at community events.” Luckily for Eugene’s metal scene, the hardcore vocalist is not the type to take things lying down. As the music booker and sound engineer at downtown bar The Black Forest, Williams decided to take advantage of the tools available to him and set out to change things. 

August 20, 2015

In 2008, songwriter Kimya Dawson’s caustic naiveté perfectly captured the precocious character Juno from the popular film of the same name. 

Dawson got her start alongside Adam Green in New York “anti-folk” duo Moldy Peaches. Together they made acoustic music that winked at folk and psychedelic idioms alongside sometimes surreal and sometimes hyper-real lyrics. 

August 20, 2015

Los Angeles hard-rock act Stitched Up Heart has a unique approach to self-promotion: They make music and share it live. With a handful of festivals and a few hundred shows under their belts since their 2010 inception, the band members shirk online promotion and big-hype tours in lieu of a simple work ethic and nose-to-grindstone approach. 

August 20, 2015

The members of Eugene post-rock band This Patch of Sky are just a bunch of romantics. “For a bunch of tattooed, bearded guys, we make pretty music,” guitarist Joshua Carlton jokes with EW.

The band returns to the stage Aug. 22 at WOW Hall, alongside Hyding Jekyll, Children and Seattle’s Rishloo. But the reach of This Patch of Sky goes far beyond our fair valley; after picking up New York-based management, the band has scored several high profile licensing opportunities for its brand of post-rock.

August 13, 2015

New releases: Hot off playing the mainstage at Oregon Country Fair, local blues-rock band Blue Lotus is gearing up for a six-state tour to promote its new album, Across the Canyon, recorded at Ninkasi Studios. The band’s fifth album is “a collaborative experiment that weaves elements of progressive rock, jazz and improvisational rock ‘n’ roll with hints of ’60s psychadelia,” the band says via press release. Catch them before they hit the road for a Grateful Dead set Saturday, Aug. 15, at Blairally Vintage Arcade, 245 Blair Blvd.

August 13, 2015

Idealized non-conformism is not a revelation. Forty years ago, the punk movement built its own little utopia on a foundation of middle fingers. But what causes a movement to become a factory setting? Isn’t there inherent irony in a generation of non-conformists conforming to non-conformism, especially when that generation seems hard put to define the word irony?

August 13, 2015

Jazz sometimes gets slagged as mainly grooves for dudes, but women have always contributed enormously to the genre, even if they’ve not received attention proportionate to their contributions. This Thursday, Aug. 13 at The Shedd, the Oregon Festival of American Music (OFAM) showcases three of the most popular female jazz singers of the 1920s. 

August 13, 2015

Chicago duo Zigtebra is comprised of vocalist Emily Rose and guitarist Joseph Dummitt, two half-siblings that weren’t close as children. Fate led the pair to the Chicago-based avant-garde dance troupe, True Magical Love

“We reconnected there,” Dummitt tells EW, explaining the Zigtebra project was born from the Windy City’s experimental performance art scene. 

“We started getting weird on stage,” Dummitt jokes, “did a lot of experimental theater, short open mics. We played wherever would have us. It eventually turned into us writing songs.” 

August 6, 2015

The Bangles called Monday “Manic” and Morrissey called Sunday “silent and grey.” Which day of the week do San Diego’s power-punk duo Gloomsday find the gloomiest?

“Every day so far is Gloomsday,” Lori Sokolowski, Gloomsday drummer and back-up vocalist, tells EW. She concedes that her gloomiest day is “Sunday night when the fun’s over and you have to go back to real life.”

The San Diego duo returns to Eugene, playing its brand of hard-hitting, punk-inspired indie rock. 

August 6, 2015

After establishing a local following at University of Oregon house shows and small venues, Eugene indie-pop trio Pluto the Planet decided to take the summer off to regroup and plan their next steps. 

“We wanted to scale back on shows,” guitarist Cameron Lister tells EW. “We’ve played so many shows in the past few months, we didn’t want to saturate the community.” 

On Aug. 14, Pluto the Planet returns playing the In the Valley Below (see “New Rock Series” this issue) after-show in Hi-Fi Music Hall’s Encore Lounge. 

August 6, 2015

Have your playlists gone stale? Do tasty new tunes sound tantalizing? If so, check out “You Saw Them First,” a three-day, all-ages concert series presented by Eugene radio station KNRQ and Hi-Fi Music Hall. The event features three of modern rock’s hottest acts: Joywave, In The Valley Below and X Ambassadors. 

August 6, 2015

Another year, another hot (OK, really hot) Pickathon. This fest continues to be a top EW pick for its perpetually diverse lineup, from old-timey jams to metal. How many chances are you going to get to see Leon Bridges perform in a barn? ’Nuff said.

1. Kamasi Washington photo by Todd Cooper

August 6, 2015

The Soromundi Lesbian Chorus of Eugene had its humble origins in the home of Eugene native Karm Hagedorn and her partner, Sheryl Bernheine. “We just wanted to sing with some folks,” Hagedorn says, recalling that, at first, the casual choir was just “six of us in our living room and, amazingly, it went from there.”

August 6, 2015

At 24, Shane Koyczan quit his job to become a spoken-word artist full time. He had discovered his voice.

And not just any voice, but a voice people stop and listen to. Koyczan moves through line by line, transitioning like the ocean, with soft articulation and a powerful yet affable tone, speaking about the world and its shortcomings. 

July 30, 2015

You love Jackson Browne. I guarantee it. Forget about his most recognizable soft-rock radio staples (though, like any self-respecting listener, I’d always prefer Browne’s “Take It Easy” over that “More Than Words” song).

Forget even Browne’s tries at activism. Lives in the Balance, his 1986 album condemning U.S. policy in South America, is a strikingly admirable use of his talent, but this consciousness of the greater good is only a symptom of an even more powerful quality.

July 30, 2015

Roll Jimmy Kimmel, Elvis Presley and Jim Carrey into a single explosive entity and you might come close to Eddie Cantor’s impact on American entertainment.

Rising from an impoverished Russian Jewish immigrant New York family, the little, bug-eyed and singing waiter parlayed his broad talents and irrepressible personality to Vaudeville before doing a decade on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Follies, eventually becoming one of the dominant figures on American radio in the 1930s and ’40s.

July 30, 2015

It wasn’t many years ago that San Diego rapper Twisted Insane was homeless, struggling to get by, hustling CDs for food in mall parking lots and on busy sidewalks. Bouncing from one metropolitan area to another, the horror-core hip hopper would build a following and relocate, honing his craft while building a small but viciously loyal fan base. 

July 30, 2015

Lansing, Michigan rock trio The Plurals are all about the power of three. The odd number keeps things perfectly off balance, conveying the messy electricity of lo-fi rock ‘n’ roll, never enough and never too much — a vibe not unlike Portland’s own power-punk trio The Thermals.

July 30, 2015

Colorado musicians Hello Dollface have deep roots in Eugene. Besides frequently playing the Oregon Country Fair, two members studied music at the UO. 

In collaboration with its non-profit music education program, iAM MUSIC, the band has even founded a festival in Colorado, which Hello Dollface vocalist Ashley Edwards says is patterned somewhat after OCF. 

July 23, 2015

Something wonderful is happening: I’ve got Third Eye Blind’s cute-ass frontman Stephan Jenkins on the phone, and he’s asking me if I want to hang out.

“I don’t know anyone in Eugene,” he coos. 

I reply coolly: “You know me, man.”

“Well, now you have my number.”