Eugene Weekly : Cover Story : 8.26.2010


Eugene Celebration 2010

Stylish Pets Take the Stage Raise the woof, meow and bray at the Pet Stroll 

Local, National, International Film mania, plus zombies, at the EC Film Fest

Yoga Slugs and Friends in France SLUG Queen Slugasana takes over the EW

Ready to Raise Some Heck, I Mean Roofs? Eugene Celebration music round-up  

Village People Habitat volunteers to build a shed

Regress, Relax, Unwind Health and Wellness Celebration

Speedy Celebration For runners, the parade happens in the afterglow

Undeath Will Not Them Part The Celebration gets its first zombie wedding


Ready to Raise Some Heck, I Mean Roofs?
Eugene Celebration music round-up  
By Vanessa Salvia

Organizers of this year’s Celebration are hoping for more than just a party to raise the roof in the figurative sense. The theme of the 28th annual celebration of food, music and community in Eugene reflects the Celebration’s new partnership with Habitat For Humanity, with the goal of raising $120,000 over three years to fund construction of two local houses. 

Since its inception in 1983, the Eugene Celebration has provided three days of entertainment throughout the streets of downtown Eugene. Hungry? No problem! Just walk down the street to row after row of food vendors and beverage gardens. Looking for a volunteer opportunity or worthy charity? Visit the Community Causeway showcasing nonprofits and service groups. Want to reduce your carbon footprint? Sustainability Village has the shoe that fits, with info about biking, recycling and going solar. Got hard-to-please kids? Organizers planned for that! Try trampolines or tightrope walking, magic shows, music, dancing and more. Don’t forget about the parades and free film festival. (See our stories about most of these parts of the Celebration in the rest of the issue!)

And that house-raising money? The Celebration will dedicate a portion of admission and sponsorship revenue — up to $20,000 each year — to the Springfield/Eugene Habitat for Humanity. The first house will be built in Springfield’s Meyer Estates; groundbreaking was August.

And of course, there’s music. 

Organizers have booked 33 artists, with a nice balance of nationally known acts and local favorites. Here’s a smattering of our top picks. 

Ruins of Ooah
Friday, 6 pm, KLCC Stage
Friday, 8:30 pm, Luckey’s 

How many bands can you name that don’t have a guitar player, bass player, turntables, keyboards or horn section? Eugene’s Ruins of Ooah may be the only one. This original combination of didjeridu, harmonica and drums provides high-energy dance music with an intense tribal edge. 

Jessie Marquez
Friday, 9:30 pm, Cozmic Pizza
Saturday, 11:30 am, Broadway Stage

Don’t miss out on these two opportunities to see “la reina,” — the queen — of Cuban music in Eugene. Marquez has lived and traveled extensively throughout Cuba, playing with some of that country’s most respected performers. She brings the sensual emotions and rhythms of the Cuban genre called filin (a play on the word “feeling”). 

Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Friday, 10:30 pm, Broadway Stage

Traditionally, brass bands would provide music for funeral processions in New Orleans. While that continues today, outside of Nola brass bands provide the soundtrack for parties and dancing. Since 1971, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has been the world-famous purveyor of that jubilant music. 

The Golden Motors
Saturday, 5:30 pm, Luckey’s 

This all-star local band formed as ZZ Clash in 2008 for a one-off show that paid tribute to the Clash, and then the members went back to their other projects and daily life: But Dan Jones and pals Dan Schmid (Daddies, Visible Men) Jivan Valpey and Jake Pavlak (Yeltsin) and Scott Kirkpatrick (Pass Out Kings) had too much fun to quit, so Mike Last joined on drums, and the ragamuffins recorded a new batch of punky pop songs as the Golden Motors. 

The Underlings
Saturday, 6:50 pm, Luckey’s

Quick, think of your favorite bands! If they include Hüsker Dü, Guided By Voices and the Replacements, you’ll love the Underlings. Not only do they include the punk and garage musical aesthetic and catchy harmonies of those bands, but bandleader Ed Cole is a talented songwriter who injects real honesty and emotion into his pop gems, just like the songwriters of those fab bands do.

Quick and Easy Boys
Saturday, 7:30 pm, KLCC Stage

The Quick & Easy Boys made a name for themselves here in Eugene and then quickly split for the larger crowds of Portland. That’s OK, boys, we forgive you. They’ve been called “home-cooked honkadelic funk.” That’s highly descriptive of their funky psychedelic rock and garage-soul that always gets the crowd moving. 

Blitzen Trapper
Saturday, 10:30 pm, KLCC Stage

The reputation of Portland’s Blitzen Trapper precedes them: Front man Eric Earley is frequently considered a Dylanesque poet. The band favors murder ballads, and yet they also achieve jam moments a Deadhead would love. With this year’s Destroyer of the Void, their ongoing exploration of American music in all its forms continues: They squish ’60s folk, ’70s country, ’80s prog rock and something that sounds very much like Queen into melodic acoustic narratives. Get there early (9 pm) to see Blitzen Trapper’s tourmates from earlier this summer, Seattle’s The Moondoggies, whose second album, Tidewaters, is due out next month.

Hell’s Belles
Saturday, 10:30 pm, Library Stage

You know how your head automatically starts banging when an AC/DC song comes on the radio? Imagine what will happen when you hear that song played live. This all-female AC/DC tribute act plays all AC/DC, all the time, and no other cover band does it better, according to Angus Young. How can you not respect that endorsement?

Halie Loren
Sunday, 12 pm, Broadway Stage

Halie Loren is young, but don’t tell that to her career. The jazzy singer/songwriter from Eugene won the Female Rising Star and Alternative Entertainer categories at the Independent Music Awards before turning 16, the Billboard International and John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and her most recent award for “Best Vocal Jazz Album” at the 2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards. Now 25, her deep, warm voice and original song interpretations make her a favorite Northwest performer. 

Mood Area 52
Sunday, 1:30 pm, Broadway Stage

The inspiration for Eugene’s Mood Area 52 was nuevo tango — gypsy style accordion music that was revered by the tango communities throughout Oregon. Nowadays, the music has expanded to incorporate cabaret tunes and literary narratives along with their Eastern European and tango influences.

The Whiskey Chasers
Sunday, 1:30 pm, KLCC Stage

The Whiskey Chasers say they play “bluegrass tunes about trains, lost love and whiskey drinkin’ with a few crowd pleasing spirituals thrown in for good measure.” Hard to argue with that.  

Danny Barnes
Sunday, 3 pm, KLCC Stage

Danny Barnes may play the banjo, but what he does with that instrument defies expectations. It’s based in bluegrass, but he has a punk rock heart, and he takes songs you wouldn’t think of, such as hip hop or jazz tunes, and brings them to life. His latest, 2009’s Pizza Box, is chock full of truisms and offbeat personality.