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Lead Stories

 

Being a rock star isn’t about playing rock music. It’s about the unabashed charisma that an exceptional performer guts out into the world and how that magnetism affects listeners and fans over the course of time. An authentic rock star can win our love from beyond the grave. 

That said, and given that rock stars are often fringe personalities who find themselves prematurely on the other side of mortality, there sure are a lot of dead ones. And there is perhaps nothing more romantic in our culture of arts and entertainment than the dead-rock-star archetype.

 

Coal doesn’t just burn hot, it burns dirty — it’s pretty much dirt that burns — and like most hot things, it just might burn you. 

No active commercial coal mines remain in Oregon, and the state plans to phase out coal from the Boardman coal-burning power plant in the Columbia Gorge by 2020. But if you thought coal wasn’t a concern for Oregonians, think again. Oregon is pretty dependent on coal — almost 40 percent of the state’s electricity comes from coal-burning power plants — and now Big Coal has plans to drive massive open trainloads of the grimy fossil fuel right through Eugene.

There is a high, lonesome, gravelly sound in the air. The sound is simple but by no means easy to play — and even harder to categorize. Traditional and alternative genres are merging, multiplying and mating. The acoustic strumming and picking of hybrid Americana roots music sloughes the edges of other genres adopting bits of punk, blues and country as the music flows from the instruments of younger musicians willing to experiment with it. The resurgence is national, and we have a Eugenean abundance.

 

Perry Graham sits at a small table at Espresso Roma at the edge of the UO campus with his brown dreadlocks pulled back into a frizzy ponytail. The 23-year-old scribbles in his notebook as he sips coffee out of a clear mug — all pretty normal for a college student on a gray fall afternoon. 

 

You could say that Graham is just another young hippie wannabe who probably thinks peace and freedom are achieved by smoking a lot of pot. What more could he be doing with his life? He’s only 23; he doesn’t care about politics or the community. He’s too young.