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Music

Popular Eugene hip hop-soul-reggae act Sol Seed is prepped to release its new studio record Spark. Vocalist, keyboardist and didgeridoo player Sky Guasco says the self-produced album is full of his band’s trademark, feel-good Rasta grooves, funk flourishes and elements of world music.

Imagine a single concert that featured the public premieres of these classical masterpieces: Beethoven’s mighty Fifth (da da da DAH) and Sixth symphonies, fourth Piano Concerto and Choral Fantasy.

No wonder the other work on that famous program of premieres was overshadowed. On Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Hult Center, you can hear that relative Beethoven rarity, his underrated Mass in C, when Eugene Concert Choir sings it along with one of the 20th century’s most popular choral masterworks: Leonard Bernstein’s joyous Chichester Psalms

On the opening track “Appropriation,” from DC punk band Priests excellent 2017 release Nothing Feels Normal, vocalist Katie Alice Greer snarls like a toothy Debbie Harry: “It feels good to buy something you can’t afford.” Beneath her, the song propels over a jittery, anxious groove, falling somewhere between surf rock and early B-52s.

Riff Raff, the hip hop artist, takes his craft to the truest lengths of that definition. If you haven’t checked out his stash of both satirical (I think?) and serious music videos, you’re missing out on comedic gold. But who is this guy? Mix together some blatant appropriation of black hip-hop culture with a white trash millionaire aesthetic, and you’ve got Riff Raff.

In the midst of its 40th anniversary season, Eugene Opera announced in January that a $165,000 financial deficit would force cancelation of its spring shows — West Side Story and La Tragédie de Carmen — leaving the future of the company in doubt.

That bad news hasn’t slowed down some of the opera’s youngest supporters — the teenage members of the Eugene Opera Academy.

Audiences will have the opportunity to experience an intimate evening of contemporary music when three composers show off their opera chops at Tsunami Books at 7 pm Friday, Feb. 10.

After a decade in Portland, Berg Radin, guitarist with indie pop group And And And, has returned to the Eugene/Springfield area, in order to be closer to family and raise a kid.

Who doesn’t want to get the heck out of Eugene in February? Clearly it’s time for another virtual musical tour!

These days, resistance is on people’s minds. And Memphis, Tenn., art-punk, self-described “nuevo no wavo” band Nots make an exhilaratingly painful noise that, like the band name itself, stamps a bold, red NO across the face of all the soul-crushing yes-men and sniveling company shills of the world.

Ever since summer 1983, less than a year after Eugene’s Hult Center for the Performing Arts opened for business the previous fall, the Oregon Bach Festival has held its opening concert each year in the Hult’s Silva Concert Hall. Opening night featured festivities in the Hult lobby — often a performance by a children’s choir — followed by a major choral performance in the 2,450-seat Silva.

Every band dreams of touring the world, but even when given the opportunity, the question remains for the artists: “What if, on the other side of the planet, nobody shows up to our show?”

Alt-pop band TV Girl brings summer vibes to The Boreal

From the opening moments of High Step Society’s eponymous debut LP, the listener is dropped down a dust-cloaked chute and spit into a netherworld of speakeasy freedom. The astoundingly visual 10-track album depicts a fever dream of futurist phantasmagoria — robotics at war with compressed air and brass.

Any scholar of South African music can tell you Ladysmith Black Mambazo — who perform at the WOW Hall Friday, Jan. 27 — are a force to be reckoned with. 

Fleeing the centimeters of snow that turned what was once America’s hipster capital into an ice-bound hell, a pair of Portland bands brings music that appeals to fans of both pop and classical sounds.

Nattali Rize is a tender-spoken reggae artist who packs a political punch. Rize puts themes of love and hope front and center in her songs with her soulful vocals. By tying together her multicultural identity with her global travels, Rize has carved out her own mantra of putting humanity first and politics second.

Choosing a new Eugene Symphony music director is big news here, of course, but it’s also national news. That’s because our little symphony, in a middling-sized town far from cultural centers, has launched the careers of three important American conductors: Marin Alsop (the first woman to lead a major American orchestra, in Baltimore), Miguel Harth-Bedoya (who now leads the Fort Worth Symphony and his own Latin American classical music ensemble and guest conducts other major orchestras) and Giancarlo Guerrero (winning an international reputation for showcasing new music with his Nashville Symphony).

At the moment, 21st-century America’s immediate future is looking a little scary. Maybe for just a few days, let’s try — musically at least — living in the past.

Now and then, in order to make ends meet, a musician picks up an odd job. For some, that means waiting tables. And for others, like Phoenix-born songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews, it means singing backup for the Belgian pop star known as Milow. 

Watching Jessica Boudreaux of Summer Cannibals on stage, you’re never sure if the spotlight shines on her or if she shines a spotlight on the crowd. The singer-guitarist has that kind of presence. She’s a firecracker, whipping and thrashing around on stage, mercilessly high-energy yet deceptively simple punk rock — occasionally throwing in an Elvis hip-sway for good measure. 

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.

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

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. 

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.”

With this in mind, MASV collaborated with Tim Khadafi of Eugene band Snow White to present the Eugene Psychedelic Ball, an 11-band psychedelic rock show on New Year’s Eve at the WOW Hall.