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Music

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats take life’s lowest days and turn them into old-timey rock tunes catchy enough to make a sourpuss hoop and holler her troubles away (at least until tomorrow’s hangover).

The experimental blues of Hello Dollface puts listeners under a spell. In true witch fashion, Ashley Edwards (front woman and creature of the night) is on a spiritual journey to bring women closer together with the power of song and energy.

I’m eating skewered beef heart with Eugene band Le Rev at a Peruvian restaurant in the Whiteaker neighborhood, and the band is explaining how they started playing music together in a snowstorm. “That’s kind of a beautiful thing,” I say, thinking of the oppressive heat outside and how the next day threatens to be the hottest of the summer. 

Indie singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy is a collision of contrasts. Her petite frame hosts a diaphragm that belts out sandpaper-rough lyrics while her nimble fingers string along lazy blues chords. Glaspy has pieced together these opposites to create the sound of success, as evident in the wake of her first full-length album, Emotions and Math (June 2016).

Every artist wants to build a brand these days, so it takes some courage to change your name after building up a reputation and a fan base. But that’s what Jasnam Daya Singh — previously Weber Iago, and before that called Weber Drummond — has done.

Rockabilly-Americana band Petunia and the Vipers delivers toe-tapping rhythms with lyrics sure to make your spine shiver like a sharp shot of whiskey. Pull out your flask (liquor optional) and slap on your best pair of Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas shades to properly experience the Vipers’ latest, hauntingly charismatic album, Dead Bird On the Highway (2016).

Our favorite moments from Pickathon 2017.

All photos by Todd Cooper, except “Priests” by Dmitri Von Klein.

Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires

Priests

 

Veteran heavy metal demi-gods Slayer return to Eugene behind their 12th studio album, 2015’s Repentless. And — besides a long and consistent output of some of the most diabolical and scorching heavy music in the game — what makes Slayer metal demi-gods are some truly metal life experiences. 

Surveying this year’s Whiteaker Block Party music schedule (12 stages!), it’s hard to know where to start. So EW put together its own music itinerary. Call it a tour-guide or a list of must-see acts you don’t want to miss at the year’s biggest — and really only — showcase of local talent. You can’t see it all, but if you see anything, consider these suggestions. The WBP runs noon to 10 pm Saturday, Aug. 5, and revolves around the corner of 3rd and Van Buren in, of course, the Whit. 

Brian Viglioni, drummer with New York four-piece rock band Scarlet Sails, agrees there’s a theatrical edge to his band’s latest release, Future from the Past. Scarlet Sails is fronted by Viglioni’s Russian-American wife, Olya Viglioni, and Brian himself is known for working with well known acts like Dresden Dolls and as a studio musician and touring drummer for Nine Inch Nails and Violent Femmes. 

Kilynn Lunsford, vocalist with noisy art-rock band Taiwan Housing Project, is feeling scattered as she talks to me on the phone from her home in Philadelphia. “It’s hot,” she says.

After seven years, Eugene Metal Celebration — a multi-night event held at Black Forest in downtown Eugene — is gaining attention from metal acts around the region and across the country.

This summer’s annual Oregon Festival of American Music is dedicated to the timeless hits from the 1920s-50s in 14 concerts, films, talks and the staged musical Good News!, which continues through this weekend.

A wanderer of the woods always needs a compass and a map. Singer-songwriter Ayla Nereo sings with imagery thick as an old-growth forest and provides direction with her finely syncopated loop pedals and percussive rhythms.

“The problem with genres is you don’t get to pick,” Minnesota musician Charlie Parr tells me over the phone from his favorite Eugene café. He doesn’t play Eugene for a few days yet, but he’s pit-stopped here for lunch on his way to California. “They just assign you one,” he says. 

Bay area songwriter and soul singer Quinn Deveaux has his own term to describe the music he plays: “blue beat dance music.”

Popular Eugene rock act Fortune’s Folly celebrates the release of its new EP, titled simply Red EP. And Fortune’s Folly vocalist Calysta Cheyenne tells EW the color red was used as inspiration for the music. “We chose songs that are powerful, fiery and energetic,” Cheyenne explains. 

If the dream of the ’90s is alive in Portland, the dream of the ’80s lives happily in Canby — at least for two days in July during Harefest, a tribute-band music festival — and that’s partially thanks to Jason Fellman.

Some things just won’t wait. Only two days before he was scheduled to conduct the Oregon Bach Festival’s opening night concert, Matthew Halls received urgent good news: the birth of his and his wife Erin’s son, Henry. While Halls flew to Toronto to be with his family, the festival implemented its backup plan: turning over the reins to Scott Allen Jarrett, who runs Boston’s renowned Back Bay Chorale, choral programs at Boston University and the OBF’s Vocal Fellows program, and reportedly did a bang up job directing Bach’s St. Matthew Passion here. 

Portland’s Jenny Don’t and The Spurs are on the road promoting their latest release, Call of the Road, out now on Mississippi Records. Guitarist, vocalist and primary songwriter Jenny Connors says her band’s “Western cowboy music” has an outlaw, Wild West attitude, “romanticizing the desert” and “vast openness where anything goes.”

When Callie Dean and Alex Yusimov — veteran employees of Portland-based record store, music venue and record label Mississippi Records — decided to go into business for themselves, they looked beyond Portland to Eugene.

British-American musician Nellie McKay tends to find the inspiration for her musical projects and performances in other people, and most of her subjects, although not widely known, are extremely interesting.

“Everyone I talk to, there’s something different in the air,” says Bri Childs, guitarist with Eugene/Portland instrumental act Childspeak. She’s talking about the energy in Eugene’s indie-rock scene. “Bands are really supporting each other,” she continues. “The music community is growing so fast.”

There’s less of the Oregon Bach Festival than there used to be. Some of that amounts to addition by subtraction. Gone are the bloated, historically inauthentic on anachronistic modern instruments and tunings that undermined the full beauty of authentic Baroque music.