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Salt Lake City’s Heartless Breakers play a brand of bombastic, overwrought rock ‘n’ roll popularized at the turn of the millennium — a style known as emo. 

Sapient might just be the biggest rapper you’ve never heard of, which is a sad fact considering the Portland-based artist grew up here in Eugene. As one half of hip-hop duo Debaser, as well as a member of Sandpeople, he’s rubbed elbows with members of Hieroglyphics, Living Legends and Grayskul.

“Hey Ho! Let’s Go!” The classic battle cry will inevitably reach the rafters this Sunday as Richie Ramone, one of the last remaining member of classic punk-rock act The Ramones, brings his leather-clad gospel anew to Eugene. 

“Still a real world here,” sings Joanne Rand on the track “Real World” from her 2014 album Still a Real World. The song is a manifesto of sorts, cajoling us to disconnect from our networked lives and refocus on the material world. 

With his always-vacant bug eyes, gap-toothed perma-grin and just-rolled-out-of-bed demeanor, Canadian musician Mac DeMarco is indie rock’s greatest goofus. 

There’s a new sound in the underground and it’s taking foothold in Eugene. The sound is called electro swing, or e-swing, a blending of modern techno, bass and house music with vintage jazz and swing music of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. For Eugene’s plentiful, dance-hungry audiences, this combo is a no-brainer.

Straight-edge bands get a bad rap. Often unfairly branded as a general crankiness toward all things fun, the straight-edge, or “sXe,” movement is largely anti bar, house party or any other place where drugs or alcohol might rear their ugly heads. It isn’t a scene particularly synonymous with “ragers.” 

Colorado producer, DJ and electronic musician Michal Menert is called “the Godfather of Electro-Soul.”  “It’s a title the fans have given me,” Menert tells EW via email. He says his work with trendsetting artist Pretty Lights put him at the forefront of the white-hot EDM scene.

If music is the universal language, the voice is the universal instrument.

“People won’t commit to your music if you don’t commit to it first,” says Sam Wartenbee, Eugene rapper and Crushkill Recordings artist.

If you’ve paid attention to local music for any length of time, chances are you recognize Wartenbee (aka Sammy Warm Hands), whether from hardcore punk band This Day’s End or local hip-hop act The ILLusionists. 

With a gender twist on the Adam and Eve story, Montreal’s experimental techno musician Marie Davidson offers us the apple of temptation. 

At first listen, Portland’s Ages and Ages seem to provide the perfect indie-pop soundtrack to a lazy afternoon spent in careless sun-soaked abandon. But, an underlying darkness looms.

The Portland-based band Goldfoot features some faces familiar to Eugene audiences: Joe McClain, Elijah Medina and Trevor Forbess, formerly of Eugene’s funk-rock group Volifonix, who took home Eugene Weekly’s Next Big Thing crown in 2012.

In the early ’90s, drag star RuPaul was dazzling the club scenes in Atlanta and New York City and Jennie Livingston released her award-winning documentary Paris Is Burning, which captured the culture of New York drag balls. 

In Eugene, the first Damsels, Divas & Dames drag show was performed at the Hult in 1992.

Pop quiz: What do Joseph Campbell, Blade Runner and Trent Reznor have in common? Answer: The L.A. synth-pop quartet LEX

No one has a voice quite like Iris DeMent — an aching, soulful twang reminiscent of a bygone era. “She’s the best singer I’ve ever heard,” Merle Haggard has said of the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter. Via email, EW caught up with DeMent, who plays March 29 at Cozmic, to chat about music collaborations,  her music roots and her latest project.

String quartets might be the most common classical music chamber ensemble, but it’s hard to find a quartet that performs regularly hereabouts and thereby develops the kind of chemistry that can really make the music sing. That hole in Eugene’s musical tapestry will be repaired at 7:30 pm Tuesday, April 7, at United Lutheran Church (2230 Washington), when the new Eugene-based Delgani String Quartet takes it opening bow.

Would you like a gin and tonic with that guitar riff? How about a rum and Coke with that rhyme?

“In Eugene, you’ll see a bartender onstage everywhere you go. We all play music,” says Casey Lynch, Level Up Arcade manager and bartender.

Geographer exists somewhere between the emotive synth pop arias of Depeche Mode and the earnest coffeehouse-meets-arena-rock of fellow Bay Area acts Train and Counting Crows. 

Nihilism and depression have long been compatriots. Dwelling together in the darkness, they lay entangled, drawing from one another, separate, yet not inseparable. It is apt, then, that the stars would align for California’s experimental two-piece Wreck & Reference to cross paths with Portland goth-rock duo Muscle & Marrow. It is beyond fortunate, and a gift to the sullen, that both bands will occupy the same space on the same night while on their own respective tours.

Bad Religion has been busting establishment chops since 1979. The band returns to Eugene in support of 2013’s studio record True North. Bentley says in addition to touring, Bad Religion has started writing a new record.

In the fog-ridden murkiness of Cascadia, one can easily forget that not all metal is black metal. Shattering our illusions of “all-grim everything” comes the brilliantly crisp technical metal of Archspire from Vancouver, B.C. 

One easy way to keep rap lovers happy is to introduce them to an emerging emcee with fast flow and a sharp, cutting vocabulary. Futuristic, born in Illinois and based in Arizona, is just that.

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley