Painting Pop In Psychedelic Colors

In an alternate universe, the album Painting With, which dropped in February, might have been Animal Collective’s pop breakthrough. But because the world is backwards and topsy-turvy, the album that broke through was 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, a synth-slathered fantasia that sounds like harsh noise next to Painting With. Before it was released, nobody expected the Baltimore psych-pop band would ever play the actual Merriweather Post Pavilion, a Maryland mega-venue that typically hosts bands like Green Day and The Who. Continue reading 

From Guinea with Love

The Yansanes put African dance in its cultural context through the West African Cultural Arts Institute

The Yansanes

Before moving to Eugene, Alseny Yansane danced for Ballets Africains, the most prestigious dance troupe in the West African nation of Guinea.  But there’d be no mistaking his moves for anything from Swan Lake.  Low squats, flips, rapid sideways motions, windmill arm movements — these are some of the most common hallmarks of the dozens of dances that can be found across Guinea and which Yansane and his wife Andrea Yansane teach at the West African Cultural Arts Institute (WACAI) here in Eugene.  Continue reading 

A Queen for the Books

The 2016 SLUG queen talks bar clowns, books and baby dolls

Do you remember what your favorite color was when you were a kid? Winter Peterson remembers hers: multicolor. “I saw that on a container of glitter when I was a kid and thought it was one color,” she says. “But no – it was all colors.” Since then, her worldview hasn’t gotten any less colorful. Peterson calls herself a “recreational, loud, gaudy person,” and she can often be seen around Eugene in drag or even a clown costume. “People don’t expect to see clowns out at the bars,” she says. Continue reading 

Mischief Mistress’ Daily Defiance

Jane Andres makes tunes under the moniker Mischief Mistress

Jane Andres

Jane Andres isn’t religious, but she has a lot of what she calls “woo-woo ideas.” She’s really into astrology, for one. And she’s fascinated by Norse mythology — especially the goddess Freyja. “Most people don’t know this,” Andres explains, “but only half of the warriors went to Valhalla, the realm ruled by Odin. The other half went to Freyja.” Continue reading 

Progressive Poptimists

Stockholm’s Miike Snow

Miike Snow

Bloodshy & Avant, the production duo that takes up two-thirds of Stockholm’s Miike Snow, are known as some of the most forward-thinking producers in pop.  Their songs with Britney Spears — including the epochal “Toxic” and the Bridesmaids-immortalized “I’ve Just Begun” — are still head-scratchers even in today’s postmodern pop landscape. One would think that in their own band, free of the commercial expectations of writing for the world’s biggest stars, Bloodshy & Avant would let their ideas go completely off the chain.  Continue reading 

The Not-So-Lonely Island

Corvallis band the Barker Gypsies bring music and art to the river

Catherine Ellis and Brian Poucher

If you’re sailing down the Willamette River through Corvallis, don’t be surprised when you hear distant piano music. No, it’s not some river ghost — it’s probably the Barker Gypsies.  For the past three summers, the folk-pop duo of singer Catherine Ellis and keyboardist Brian Poucher has claimed a sandbar just offshore from their hometown’s Willamette Park and Natural Area as their base, playing for river-floaters and landlubbers alike.  “People can hear us before they see us,” Ellis says. Continue reading