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Music

April 28, 2016

Muddy Waters changed Pokey LaFarge’s life. “I was, like, 13,” LaFarge tells EW, recalling the time some “older cats” played him Waters’ classic 1963 album Folk Singer at a pizza joint. “I thought, ‘Wow, the blues are acoustic?’” LaFarge recalls. “It changed my life.” 

April 21, 2016

“Keep the Earth clean. It isn’t Uranus. (No offense to Uranus.)” That’s one of our favorite Earth Day slogans reminding us to tread lightly and kindly on this (thus far) singular planet we call home. 

Locally, Sol Seed, Whole Earth Nature School and Pedal Power Music are reminding you to do the same with their Earth Day Celebration, a fundraiser for the school, 7 pm Friday, April 22, at Hi-Fi Music Hall; $12 adv., $15 door. 

April 21, 2016

Something interesting happens at the end of Flatbush Zombies’ latest release, 3001: A Laced Odyssey. Halfway through the album’s closing track “Your Favorite Rap Song,” the music drifts away and in comes an extended series of voicemail-like recordings. Most are stoned treatises to the greatness of the Brooklyn hip-hop trio. “If this is the Flatbush Zombies, I just wanna say ya’ll fucking rock,” one voice says, holding in a bong rip. 

April 21, 2016

Multi-culti is all the rage in music, food and the rest of today’s global culture. But mixing Latin American and European ingredients still felt pretty novel back in 1954, when Venezuelan composer Antonio Estévez wrote his colorful Cantata Criolla, which Eugene Concert Choir and Eugene Symphony will perform April 30 at the Hult Center’s Silva Hall.

April 21, 2016

Eugene old-timey country-blues act Breakers Yard releases its new album Tried & Untrue April 28 at Sam Bond’s. The self-produced record draws from traditions of pre-WWII jazz, country and blues. 

“Generally, our band pulls from that tradition for our sound, although we each have our own favorite genres,” says Brandon Olszewski, Breakers Yard guitar, harmonica and fiddle player. “In a way, and ideally, we appeal to folks that don’t really know the traditional canon of old blues dudes and hot jazz bands.”

April 14, 2016

In music venue news, The Barn Light East (845 East 8th Ave.) has announced they will be hosting live music. 

Barn Light co-owner Thomas Pettus-Czar tells KVAL-TV: “As opposed to other environments in which [music is] sort of in the background, this is an opportunity where folks can grab a beverage, sit down and really pay attention to the artists.” Look for show announcements soon. 

April 14, 2016

He descended on the Carter era of gas lines and bloody carpets and post-love funk like some infernal geek bastard child of Buddy Holly and Johnny Lydon, spitting out lyrical venom over gorgeous hooks and bellicose riffs that plumbed the deepest, darkest wells of pop music — billboard fuzz attacking itself with newborn impunity — all of it churned out with a churlish amphetamine sneer that belied his antediluvian genius for melodic universalism within the three-minute cliché of radio-radio rock.

April 14, 2016

Eugene has long been one of the beacons of so-called early music, which includes basically anything composed (in Europe) before J.S. Bach died and Mozart was born in the mid-18th century. The Oregon Bach Festival has been the big kahuna, but the city boasts an indie early music scene consisting of historically informed performance practice musicians in outfits like the Oregon Bach Collegium, Vox Resonat and the University of Oregon’s splendid early music program.

April 7, 2016

Get ready to feel some serious butterflies from the sensual rock tunes of Cape Cod’s Highly Suspect and Luz Elena Mendoza (of Y La Bamba) coming to WOW Hall April 9.

 Mendoza has a wispy, sultry voice that will woo you into a trance. She’s also very Portland alt-rock. Her songs are stories that build by layering vocals with sometimes whimsical, sometimes dark, melodies. Now on her third album with Y La Bamba, Ojos Del Sol, Mendoza has a sound that is easy to swallow but at any given moment could send chills down your neck. 

April 7, 2016

On April 9, Old Nick’s celebrates its one-year anniversary. Over the past 12 months, the Whiteaker rock club across from Washington Jefferson Skatepark has upped Eugene’s punk, metal and hardcore game.

“We would like to thank all of the local bands, DJs, comics and burlesque performers in the Eugene scene for supporting Old Nick’s with your amazing talent,” says Tim Kinney, Old Nick’s booker and co-owner. “We will continue to bring in great music and keep Eugene rocking.”

April 7, 2016

G-Eazy is such a big deal that iconic rapper Lil Wayne remixed a song from his new album last week and NBA superstar Kobe Bryant greeted him at a recent Lakers game.

On Billboard’s website, Nielsen Music charts hip-hop and R&B songs using a metric that calculates radio airplay, streaming and music sales. Each week since Feb. 20, G-Eazy’s “Me, Myself & I” ranked higher than any other rap song save Drake’s “Summer 16” and Rihanna’s “Work” (which also features Drake).

April 7, 2016

From April 12-16, the UO is hosting its first free and open to the public early music conference, Musicking, which includes lecture series, master classes and other coaching opportunities, along with stars from the admittedly geeky early music world, scholarly sessions and, of course, concerts, not to mention a “period-instrument petting zoo.”

March 31, 2016

Farewell John Evans. The former Oregon Bach Festival director (2006-2014) and head of music for the BBC’s classical network passed away from a heart attack March 20, reports Slipped Disc, a classical music site, and Eugene Art Talk, a site by local arts writer Bob Keefer. Evans was 62. Originally from the UK, Evans was a preeminent scholar of British composer Benjamin Britten. He compiled the 2009 book Journeying Boy: The Diaries of the Young Benjamin Britten 1928-1938

March 31, 2016

"Bang," "quack" and "sizzle" are onomatopoeias. If a band name were ever onomatopoeic, it would be Mexico-via-L.A.’s Metalachi — the self-proclaimed first and only heavy metal mariachi band in the world. 

Lead singer Vega De La Rockha calls the band’s blend of traditional Mexican music with hard rock and metal a genre of its own. 

“El Cucuy [trumpet player] is very fond of the ranchera sound,” La Rockha tells EW. “Pancho [guitarron player] is a fan of both genres.” 

March 31, 2016

The Minneapolis-based Davina and the Vagabonds have swagger — circa 1920s swagger, the kind found in the midst of big-band jazz and the blues. It was 2011 when Davina Sowers (vocals, piano, ukulele) put out her first full-length album, Black Cloud, and she and the Vagabonds have been crashing to the top of the modern blues scene ever since, winning accolades like one of the 10 top releases of the year (Minneapolis Star Tribune). 

March 31, 2016

When the Eugene Symphony chose a young, little-known conductor named Marin Alsop as its music director in 1989, both she and the orchestra were at best marginal micro-planets orbiting the farthest reaches of the American classical music solar system.

By the time Alsop left in 1996, the New York native was one of classical music’s rising stars, crashing through a series of glass ceilings in a seriously sexist classical music milieu to score a handful of increasingly prestigious gigs with orchestras around the world, from São Paulo to Scotland.

March 24, 2016

If you strolled downtown last weekend you may have caught a glimpse of new lights on Broadway: The Jazz Station revealed its new double-sided neon sign pairing the venue’s name with a saxophone. The sign helps highlight the West Broadway block as the arts and nightlife anchor its becoming with neighbors Oregon Contemporary Theatre (which also has some great neon signage), The New Zone Gallery, The Wayward Lamb and Nephos Vape Werks.

March 24, 2016

On the night of March 30, Sam Bond’s Garage is going to be painted with some funkadelic jams, man. Lucy Arnell and Holly Bowling are bringing tunes laced with Phish-y influences and classic experimental sounds.

Arnell, a self-described former New York City “concert bum,” moved to the West Coast in 2013. She then met and collaborated with guitarist Jason Abraham Roberts (Norah Jones, HYMNS) to produce her first EP, Side by Side, which later unfolded into a full-length album with a track featuring Jon Fishman (Phish) on drums. 

March 24, 2016

Young Florida rapper Denzel Curry — he turned 21 in February — is returning to WOW Hall as a headliner after his last stop in 2015 opening for Joey Bada$$ and Mick Jenkins.

The evolution to headliner in one year makes sense: Before releasing his debut album Nostalgic 64 in 2013, Curry appeared on BBC Radio and performed at Coachella. His hard-hitting track “Threatz” has a phenomenal, psychedelic music video that has racked up 6.5 million views.

March 17, 2016

The crunchy, poppy garage rock of The Googins — which combines the power-chord bash of The Who with the sing-a-long stomp of the Ramones and the Sex Pistols — might be one of the best-kept secrets of Eugene’s music scene, but nobody likes secrets, so you can catch The Googins at Old Nick’s 9 pm Friday, March 18, when they play with Fools Rush, Cuntagious and Rum Rebellion; $5-$10 sliding scale. 

March 17, 2016

In 2009, at the tender ages of 9 and 14, best friends Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse formed the band Skating Polly. Bighorse says the pair bonded over a shared love of music and movies. 

“We were pretty fast friends,” she recalls. “We’ve always been surrounded by music and instruments, so it came very naturally for us and since we were so close before, it felt easy to be creative with each other.” 

March 10, 2016

Now that Eugene has recovered from our “was-he-or-wasn’t-he-really-here” Justin Bieber fever (Bieber-fieber, if you will), it’s time look ahead at the upcoming week in live music. But first some show announcements:

March 10, 2016

Musical traditions, like cuisine, say a lot about a culture. Pay attention and learn of pinnacles, invasions, conquests and declines. The recipe for great music and food is often the contradiction of outsiders celebrating their own lousy situation, mixing in ingredients that in different contexts might not make sense. New York’s Gogol Bordello has long been one of rock’s tastiest stews — a culture unto themselves. 

March 10, 2016

We usually hear one dimension of Peter Tchaikovsky: his melody-drenched ballet scores, especially that one that cracks up every Christmas.