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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.