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December 6, 2012 01:00 AM

After touring the West Coast with their Dead Rockstars exhibition, Blunt Graffix is back with another blockbuster show in Eugene, Blunt Fink! which gives iconic movies like Easy Rider, Big Trouble in Little China and Lolita a deliciously ghoulish spin.

After touring the West Coast with their Dead Rockstars exhibition, Blunt Graffix is back with another blockbuster show in Eugene, Blunt Fink! which gives iconic movies like Easy Rider, Big Trouble in Little China and Lolita a deliciously ghoulish spin. The “Fink!” part is derived from Rat Fink, the hot-rod icon created by cartoonist and custom car designer Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.

December 6, 2012 01:00 AM

This year, we decided to crack the problem of gifting wine. Here’s the kernel inside the shell of this nut: Most of us want to give gifts that somehow endure and keep giving, keep buzzing the giftee with pleasures.

Election’s over and Santa sent Artie back to Cave Junction with a lump of coal, also Gov. Poopiehead back to Ogden or wherever, so we’re ready to red-line the jolly-meter, even if it’s mostly pretend (the Refumblicans are still dangling America’s economy over the fiscal cliff). Folks who know me are aware that this time of year I morph into sap mode; I get giddy with giving gifts.

November 28, 2012 11:00 PM

When Charles Dickens put ink to paper for “A Christmas Carol,” he probably never could have envisioned his tale being told quite like this.

When Charles Dickens put ink to paper for “A Christmas Carol,” he probably never could have envisioned his tale being told quite like this. Al LePage, a laugh riot with acting chops to boot, returns to town this year with his production “A Christmas Carol for Kids! The one-man show is a retelling of Dickens’ classic tale through the eyes of Englishman Thomas Hutchinson, Traveling Thespian. LePage uses his skills to enliven the story by playing every character, and doing it well.

November 28, 2012 11:00 PM

I bang through the heavy wooden doors of the Actors Cabaret of Eugene, ten minutes late and anxious to escape the rain and noise of Willamette Street. But two steps in the door and I am immobilized, dripping a small pool of water in the entrance.

I bang through the heavy wooden doors of the Actors Cabaret of Eugene, ten minutes late and anxious to escape the rain and noise of Willamette Street. But two steps in the door and I am immobilized, dripping a small pool of water in the entrance. Actors Cabaret has been transformed for their upcoming, original production Christmas: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Every inch of space is adorned with Christmas decorations, the stage festooned, the hallway decked.

November 28, 2012 11:00 PM

What would you put on posters for a band that revels in love, loss and genetic mutations? Instruments sprouting like tentacles from a skeleton’s mouth, maybe?

What would you put on posters for a band that revels in love, loss and genetic mutations? Instruments sprouting like tentacles from a skeleton’s mouth, maybe? A lone Hohner accordion? A whistling octopus? 

November 21, 2012 11:00 PM

For an entire Minnesota winter, Peter Happel Christian left a thick stack of black and white photo paper, tied up with twine, on a cedar pallet in his snowy backyard. Over the season, the paper turned black, the corners curled and the waterlogged sheets began sticking together.

For an entire Minnesota winter, Peter Happel Christian left a thick stack of black and white photo paper, tied up with twine, on a cedar pallet in his snowy backyard. Over the season, the paper turned black, the corners curled and the waterlogged sheets began sticking together. By the time the snow was melting, the stack had transformed into a rigid, solid mass the color of darkness.

November 14, 2012 11:00 PM

Does wrath look like a pop, lock and drop or a ball change? And envy? Perhaps an axel turn or a stag leap?

Does wrath look like a pop, lock and drop or a ball change? And envy? Perhaps an axel turn or a stag leap? Pride is most certainly jazz hands. In 7Even, the Dance Factory takes on all seven cardinal sins to show us how even the best of intentions can go wrong. Artistic director Roshny Bhakta has put together a show based on our deepest and darkest human urges. “We’re going for a kaleidoscope of emotions,” she says. “In the greed category, for example, you’ll see different pieces conveying the idea of being rich and overwhelmed by it.” 

November 14, 2012 11:00 PM

The Actors’ Table of Eugene (TATE) will flood Tsunami Books once more with Leaps of Faith. It’s an evening of the trials and triumphs of trust, whether in ourselves or the divine.

The Actors’ Table of Eugene (TATE) will flood Tsunami Books once more with Leaps of Faith. It’s an evening of the trials and triumphs of trust, whether in ourselves or the divine.

TATE is on fire, as literally every theater person I ran into this month was planning a reading. Founder Judy McKenzie has expanded her production team, enlisting the help of Emily Hart and Carol Massahos. 

November 14, 2012 11:00 PM

“Grief is the price we pay for love,” an actress concludes, and I can almost see the words as they drift from the somber stage. You can hear the assembled audience of college students nodding their heads in solidarity with the characters.

“Grief is the price we pay for love,” an actress concludes, and I can almost see the words as they drift from the somber stage. You can hear the assembled audience of college students nodding their heads in solidarity with the characters. Grief, love, sex and gross over-dramatization are hallmarks of many people’s freshman year at university and of Shakespeare’s sonnets. 

November 7, 2012 11:00 PM

Quick: Name ten female stand-up comedians … not as easy as you’d think, right? Naming ten male comics is much easier. But local comedian Leigh Anne Jasheway hopes to change that.

Quick: Name ten female stand-up comedians … not as easy as you’d think, right? Naming ten male comics is much easier. But local comedian Leigh Anne Jasheway hopes to change that. “According to research, between 12 to 18 percent of professional touring stand-up comedians are women,” Jasheway says. “Of the top 100 American Film Institute comedy movies of all time, only two were written by women. Most daily and weekly comedy talk shows have one or no female comedy writers.” 

November 7, 2012 11:00 PM

Eliot Treichel calls Eugene home but he misses Wisconsin, and his debut collection of short stories, Close Is Fine, is a tribute to his home state.

Eliot Treichel calls Eugene home but he misses Wisconsin, and his debut collection of short stories, Close Is Fine, is a tribute to his home state. “It’s where I grew up,” Treichel says. “I wanted to understand it. I guess I started to miss it once I left. I was working on all the stories together to be a book.” And nostalgia for home permeates Close Is Fine, focused mainly on rural areas of the state and the characters that inhabit them.

November 7, 2012 11:00 PM

Luke is going to come out to his parents next fall. Always next fall. For Luke (John Jeffrey) conservative, literalist Christianity has made sense of the world, giving him peace and even joy. He views homosexuality as his own particular struggle and prays for forgiveness while taking great pleasure in this “sin.” 

Luke is going to come out to his parents next fall. Always next fall.

For Luke (John Jeffrey) conservative, literalist Christianity has made sense of the world, giving him peace and even joy. He views homosexuality as his own particular struggle and prays for forgiveness while taking great pleasure in this “sin.” It works for him, but not for the man he has fallen in love with: Adam (Tony Stirpe) can claim the preachy moral high ground of an atheist but is wracked with doubt and angst, scrambling for a sense of purpose as he negotiates his way through the world. 

October 31, 2012 11:00 PM

I’m writing days before this ominous election, a harsh test of our fragile democracy, a chance for us to learn if mere money can overwhelm the process.

I’m writing days before this ominous election, a harsh test of our fragile democracy, a chance for us to learn if mere money can overwhelm the process. One test: If voters have elected a zombie fraud, financed by a Wall Street hedge-fund vampire, over Peter DeFazio, one of the most principled congressmen ever to sit in the House, then maybe we  have little reason to hope that this experiment in democratic self-rule has much chance for success.

October 31, 2012 11:00 PM

If you were an artist, how would you represent the worst of the human condition? How about rabid hyenas emerging from the swollen, bandaged head of a faceless man?

If you were an artist, how would you represent the worst of the human condition? How about rabid hyenas emerging from the swollen, bandaged head of a faceless man? That’s how artist and University of Oregon student Bryan Schuldt imagined it with his piece “Head Fuller,” on display at the UO’s Mills International Center.  “Hyenas seemed to be the perfect animal to show disgust, fear, restlessness, anger and just a lot of ‘bad’ emotions that we have in everyday life, especially in interactions with others,” Schuldt says. 

October 31, 2012 11:00 PM

It’s really too bad that whenever I huff bud I wind up feeling like Woody Allen on pig’s feet and strychnine, fretting that I didn’t wipe good enough and convinced I’ve come down with lupus.

I don’t much care for pot. In theory, marijuana strikes me as an ideal recreational drug, a mellow, groovy high that is nowhere near as murderous as alcohol or aggrandizing as cocaine — not to mention that, unlike junk, it would take an almost Herculean effort to get addicted to the weed. That said, it’s really too bad that whenever I huff bud I wind up feeling like Woody Allen on pig’s feet and strychnine, fretting that I didn’t wipe good enough and convinced I’ve come down with lupus.

October 24, 2012 11:00 PM

Eugene will soon be graced with the presence of an author so clever, elaborate and terrifying that he has channeled his talents into writing some of the most interesting and “obstinately obscure” books you’ll ever read.

Eugene will soon be graced with the presence of an author so clever, elaborate and terrifying that he has channeled his talents into writing some of the most interesting and “obstinately obscure” books you’ll ever read. Dale Basye, an author from Portland, will be a featured speaker at the Young Writers Association (YWA) Scare-A-Thon FUNdraiser on Saturday, Oct. 27. Basye will be reading excerpts from his Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go book series. 

October 24, 2012 11:00 PM

The founders of Eugene Contemporary Art (ECA) want the city of Eugene to embrace challenging art. “Difficult art is what everyone remembers from history,” ECA Executive Director Courtney Stubbert told the audience at the packed Red House Oct. 19 during the “Creative Conversations: Re-imagining Eugene — What the Arts Do for Downtown” panel discussion.

The founders of Eugene Contemporary Art (ECA) want the city of Eugene to embrace challenging art. “Difficult art is what everyone remembers from history,” ECA Executive Director Courtney Stubbert told the audience at the packed Red House Oct. 19 during the “Creative Conversations: Re-imagining Eugene — What the Arts Do for Downtown” panel discussion. “The commercial arts scene has always been a limp, sad creature. Difficult art is what Eugene needs.”

October 17, 2012 11:00 PM

Cottage Grove’s 29-year-old Thomas Haney likes snakes, lizards and bugs — a lot. At one point as a kid in Austin, Texas, Haney wrangled over 80 lizards for pets. When his love of reptiles transformed into a love of reptilian (and nature) photography, the world took notice.

Cottage Grove’s 29-year-old Thomas Haney likes snakes, lizards and bugs — a lot. At one point as a kid in Austin, Texas, Haney wrangled over 80 lizards for pets. When his love of reptiles transformed into a love of reptilian (and nature) photography, the world took notice.

October 17, 2012 11:00 PM

When Joseph Kesserling sat down to write Arsenic and Old Lace — about a pair of spinster sisters who act as angels of mercy to lonely old pensioners, and the nephew who struggles to put a cork in his murderous aunties’ decanter of toxic elderberry wine — the American playwright believed he was cooking up a mean, disturbing drama about the banality of evil.

When Joseph Kesserling sat down to write Arsenic and Old Lace — about a pair of spinster sisters who act as angels of mercy to lonely old pensioners, and the nephew who struggles to put a cork in his murderous aunties’ decanter of toxic elderberry wine — the American playwright believed he was cooking up a mean, disturbing drama about the banality of evil.

October 10, 2012 11:00 PM

“Terrific!” “Radiant!” “Humble!” Any of these web-woven words can be used to describe E.B. White’s timeless story of a spider who saves her friend Wilbur with a few, well-chosen adjectives.

“Terrific!” “Radiant!” “Humble!” Any of these web-woven words can be used to describe E.B. White’s timeless story of a spider who saves her friend Wilbur with a few, well-chosen adjectives. For decades readers have fallen in love with the thoughtful little pig as he negotiates a barnyard full of opinionated critters and kind-hearted humans who have every intention of eating him. 

October 3, 2012 11:00 PM

Glorious autumn: I’ve sojourned in Eugene nearly 50 years and I don’t recall an autumn more lovely. I just want to wander the streets, besotted by colors and aromas, tipsy with nostalgia for autumns of my childhood, lingering now in the autumn of my life.

Glorious autumn: I’ve sojourned in Eugene nearly 50 years and I don’t recall an autumn more lovely. I just want to wander the streets, besotted by colors and aromas, tipsy with nostalgia for autumns of my childhood, lingering now in the autumn of my life. For viticulturalists (grape-growers and winemakers), autumn 2012 has them trembling; despite our soggy June which reduced crop size, these long stretches of warm days and cool nights have led to rising sugars and deepening colors in the clusters, promising what could become a classic vintage. Harvesting has already begun.

October 3, 2012 11:00 PM

One of the smallest and nicest farm stands in Eugene can be found in the courtyard of the Excelsior Inn on 13th Avenue. It is operated each Friday, July through October, by Angela Andre, manager of Excelsior Farm.

One of the smallest and nicest farm stands in Eugene can be found in the courtyard of the Excelsior Inn on 13th Avenue. It is operated each Friday, July through October, by Angela Andre, manager of Excelsior Farm. When Andre’s garlic caught my eye, it was the first I’d heard of Excelsior Farm. In the fall of 2009, the owner of the Excelsior Inn and Restorante, Maurizio Paparo, turned a 5-acre pasture on his property into a farm to supply the restaurant with fresh organic eggs and produce. He hired Andre, a veteran organic farmer, to set up and manage the farm.

October 3, 2012 11:00 PM

Art is as art does, and sometimes we find it in the most unusual of places.

Art is as art does, and sometimes we find it in the most unusual of places: Wallace Shawn, for instance, brought lower Manhattan audiences into posh bourgeois apartments to stage The Fever; Wayne Coyne gathered Flaming Lips fans into an Austin parking garage for his Zaireeka boom-box experiment; and another Wayne — Wayne Vajgert of Springfield — is hoping local art aficionados are willing to wander outside the gallery scene in order to view his growing collection of outlaw art.

September 19, 2012 11:00 PM

So you think the gardening year is winding down? Think again. We are entering the best all-around planting season of the year.

So you think the gardening year is winding down? Think again. We are entering the best all-around planting season of the year. Let’s start with vegetables. Depending on the weather, you can still get fall and winter harvests from sowings of lettuce, mache, arugula and other leafy greens, with or without protection from cloches or row covers. Carrots too. Kale, mustard and beets, planted now as starts, can yield from late fall through early spring. Enrich the beds for overwintering crops with compost before you plant, but don’t add too much fertilizer.