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Music

January 12, 2017

This Sunday afternoon, Jan. 15, at the Church of the Resurrection (3925 Hilyard St.), the Oregon Bach Collegium whisks us back to the 18th century and across the ocean to Germany through music by J. S. Bach, his student Carl Friedrich Abel, Bach’s fifth son Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach and one of the latter’s contemporaries, Carl Heinrich Graun.

January 5, 2017

Mack Gilcrest, primary songwriter with Missoula, Montana-based band Pale People, says his music celebrates the unpopular and disaffected among us.

The trio is comprised of Gilcrest on piano and vocals, Kurt Skrivseth on bass and guitar and Austin Graef on drums and percussion. The band is touring to raise funds to release its second album, Portraits. 

January 5, 2017

Eugene is known for a lot of things — its local rap scene is not one of them. Those looking for live lyricism around town usually have to shell out a Jackson at WOW Hall which, granted, attracts an incredible roster of touring rappers year-round. 

On Jan. 7, Sam Bond’s Garage will host an entire night of hip hop, featuring only rappers — six of them, all local — for three bucks. So, if you're hankering to hear some bars, this will be a good introduction to Eugene's hip-hop community.

December 29, 2016

For many, New Year’s Eve is a night of celebration and rebirth. For others, it’s one of the most dangerous nights of the year. 

“People who don’t usually go out go out and don’t know how to handle themselves,” says Gen Schaack of Eugene group Musicians Against Sexual Violence (MASV). “It’s a prime time for sexual assault.”

December 29, 2016

It takes chutzpah for any guitarist to compare his band’s singer to Elvis Presley. But Shelby Turner, of Chicago-based post-punk and kitsch-pop act Richard Album, is willing to go there.

“Maybe in Eugene his name isn’t as well known as Elvis,” Turner says of Richard Album, “but after Jan. 2 …” Turner trails off to heighten the sense of intrigue.

December 29, 2016

However much we’d all like to tell 2016: “Go home, you’re drunk,” New Year’s Eve in Eugene offers plenty of options to get (responsibly) rowdy and dance away the woes of the weird year-that-was.

The Hi-Fi Music Hall downtown hosts a crackerjack lineup of Eugene favorites: Medium Troy and Bohemian Dub Orchestra, Sol Seed, Soul Vibrator and Pancho + The Factory. Festivities kick off at 8 pm; $20 adv, $25 door, 21-plus.

December 29, 2016

In 2016, emo was the dominant sound on the Eugene music scene — and across the nation.

About 10 years ago, emo ruled the world. You probably remember it, even if you tried to forget: the punky guitars, the mopey lyrics, the swoopy hair, the eyeliner. 

Well, we’re going to have to stop you right there.

December 29, 2016

An opera company that produces a New Year’s Eve show typically has two choices: It can present a full opera, often Richard Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (The Bat), which culminates in a bubbly masked ball. Or you can do some version of Opera’s Greatest Hits, featuring popular arias and (depending on budget and whether the choristers have recovered from their Messiahs) choruses from the top 10 operas that still constitute the bulk of American operatic fare. 

December 22, 2016

Singer-songwriter Phoebe Blume offers an eerily breathtaking setting — much like this winter itself — in her dark and moody oeuvre. 

“I don’t have a choice. I’m definitely dark,” Blume says. “But that is my happy; that’s my light. It’s a very honest approach that I take, which is just the essence of who I am.”

December 15, 2016

The road to becoming Sonic Bent is long and winding. The self-described “progressive jam with a splash of cry-in-your-beer Americana” band — featuring Jeff Alberts (drums, vocals), Keenan Dorn (guitar, vocals), Noah Kamrat (bass, vocals) and Patrick Kavaney (guitar, vocals) — got its start in 2011. Founding members Kamrat and Kavaney (who met in middle school), however, have been carving the cross-country path to Sonic Bent, dabbling in other music outfits that laid the groundwork for this one, over decades.

December 15, 2016

Last summer, Portland (and former Eugene) musician Joel Magid admitted on social media he was a sexual predator. The shocking confession garnered national attention, shining a spotlight on sexual assault in music scenes and their subcultures. A cohort of Eugene musicians, led by Jennifer Cheddar (Pancho + The Factory) , Stephen Buettler (Pancho + The Factory) and Nick Gamer (Surfsdrugs, Le Rev) , took the opportunity to galvanize. 

December 15, 2016

If someone makes a movie about the Standing Rock Lakota fighting back against Big Oil, that filmmaker might find the soundtrack at 7:30 pm Friday, Dec. 16, when the Riverside Chamber Symphony premieres Water is Life at Springfield’s Wildish Theater [This event has been rescheduled for Feb. 3]. When he began writing the 10-minute one-movement orchestral work, the composer, UO grad student Justin Ralls, couldn’t have known about the impending protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

December 8, 2016

Wild Child is a band with an intimate toe-tapping twist that could give any indie-folk lover a music boner. Their sound swings between a bottle of wine on a rainy day and a hipster hootenanny.

December 8, 2016

For 20 years, Xasthur’s Scott Conner didn’t tour. He didn’t do interviews. He recorded solo. He posed with nooses, called himself “Malefic,” recorded songs with names like “Slaughtered Useless Beings In A Nihilistic Dream,” recorded vocals in a coffin and became one of the most famous figures in American black metal — a mostly Scandinavian phenomenon when Conner started Xasthur in 1995.

But, as it turns out, he’s not such a grouch, or at least so he claims.  

December 1, 2016

Ah, the holidays! Time for families and friends to get together and celebrate love and friendship and all those other virtues. So what’s the big family-friendly musical onstage this season about? Why, guns, of course. Hey, this is America! 

December 1, 2016

Portland singer-songwriter Tara Velarde fuses a wide range of vocals and Latin rhythms to create a concoction I can only describe as diva folk. In the course of one album, Velarde maneuvers her voice from feathery to spine-tingling. You could compare her to Ingrid Michaelson or Laura Marling, but she raises the bar for folk-pop with her experimental and multi-influential mash-ups within the genre. 

December 1, 2016

It’s often said punks and hippies don’t get along. Nevertheless, Blag Dahlia, vocalist and founding member of legendary and, in some circles, notorious San Francisco shock-punk legends Dwarves, would like to extend an olive branch to the hippie girls of Eugene. 

“Hippie girls are fine by me,” Dahlia tells EW. “But please shower.” 

December 1, 2016

Mike Stortz always dreamt of relocating his band Johnny Raincloud from South Florida to Portland. During a recent visit to Oregon, Stortz caught a show at Portland music venue Crystal Ballroom. What transpired convinced Stortz to take the plunge.

"James Mercer of The Shins walked past me,” Stortz recalls. “Chris Funk of The Decemberists was at the bar around the corner. I was freaking out. I took it as a sign.”

December 1, 2016

As a young man, Chris Robinson experienced overnight success with his band The Black Crowes. The Crowes had a major hit in the late '80s with their album Shake Your Money Maker, led by the Rolling Stones-esque single “Hard To Handle.” 

“I had a lot of people who could say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ about my life,” Robinson explains to EW. “It’s cool when people say ‘no.’ It’s really dangerous when people say ‘yes.’”

“The Black Crowes didn’t get to have a trajectory,” he continues. “We were shot out of a cannon.” 

November 23, 2016

New York-born Ian Matthias Bavitz, better known in the alt-rap world as Aesop Rock, is the epitome of a committed artist. Bavitz has been churning out music with mind-blowing word counts and sick rhythms for more than two decades, but there’s something more to his style than hyping up a crowd. This guy is a sculptor; the beat is his foundation, which he cuts and molds with his lyrics to create a work of art.

November 23, 2016

Much like life and politics, this week’s music news brings you a mix of good and bad, light and dark. First, the happy: Portland’s Summer Cannibals nearly stole the show opening for The Thermals last spring at Hi-Fi Music Hall. And now the sludgy, motorcycle-punk trio has announced its return 8 pm Saturday, Jan. 14, at WOW Hall. Summer Cannibals tour behind their latest LP Full of It, out now on Kill Rock Stars, and behind her girlish demeanor, singer and vocalist Jessica Boudreaux brings a ferocious guitar style and charismatic, high-energy stage presence.

November 18, 2016

Christopher Ward, known as mc chris, is considered the king of nerdcore rap. Filmmaker Kevin Smith once called him the “poet laureate of pop culture” due to his entertainment-inspired lyrics.

Mc chris is not the first rapper to make hip-hop songs about his geekier side. The Wu-Tang Clan, for example, has made more than ten references to Star Wars while also giving shout outs to Marvel comic book characters in their songs. But Ward is one of the most successful hip-hop stars to ever make nerd culture the focal point of his career.

November 17, 2016

YG might not be a rapper that everyone has heard of, but his politically straightforward message echoed throughout cities across the nation last Tuesday night as results of the presidential election filtered in. The Compton rapper released his single “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)" back in March — and, in fact, someone drove down 13th Avenue repeatedly playing this during the Trump rally in May — but the catchphrase has remained a whopping battle-cry during this political cycle. 

November 17, 2016

Consider the humpback whale. Small pods separated by a million gallons of briny seawater, seeking kinship in endless blue. It is widely acknowledged that the aquatic mammals sing to one another. Using echolocation, then, two whales set miles apart can find each other and continue their song in unison. In a vast sea of musical voices, this is not an uncommon occurrence. But what likelihood is there that these two voices, drawn together from far-off reaches, will intertwine in perfect harmony? Here on land, the members of Lake Toba face down those odds.