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Listing your favorite music genres to include “everything but country” has been in vogue since country went from Hank Williams to Kenny Chesney. But honky-tonk duo The Earnest Lovers are making country cool again with their ’50s and ’60s-style serenades. 

Bay Area act Ensemble Mik Nawooj fuses classical, jazz and hip-hop lyricism to create a sound with the explosive intensity of orchestral post-rock. Composer and pianist Joowan Kim takes his love for Western European classical composition and — with the help of a six-piece chamber orchestra, funk-rock percussion, a lyric soprano and rappers Do D.A.T. and Sandman — he crafts modern classical the likes of which have never been heard. 

Familiar things are sometimes best interpreted by strangers. International musician Monk Parker knows this better than anyone. Splitting his time between the states and the U.K., Parker’s music is influenced by his English mother — an avant-garde, minimalist sculptor — and his more traditional American father. 

The Eugene Symphony has long-enjoyed a reputation as Oregon’s most forward-looking orchestra. Particularly after visionary music director Marin Alsop ascended the podium in 1989, the Eugene Symphony Orchestra’s programming of contemporary and especially American music put it — and Alsop — on the national map. While the usual 19th-century classics have always dominated the repertoire, Alsop’s successors Miguel Harth-Bedoya and Giancarlo Guerrero continued to feature more 20th- and 21st-century music than typical American orchestras. 

Since Matt Bishop and a group of University of Washington friends started up Hey Marseilles back in 2006, the six-piece chamber-pop band has released two full-length records, secured accolades from NPR and Seattle Weekly and played hundreds of shows all over the country.

Five years ago, Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist Danielle de Picciotto decided to do something about Berlin’s gentrification, skyrocketing rents and creeping homogeneity. Along with her husband, Alexander Hacke of seminal German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten, de Picciotto gave up her home in Berlin to become a self-proclaimed nomad — traveling the world in order to examine and attempt to solve the scourge of gentrification in the world’s greatest cities.

Eugene’s The Sawyer Family has been crafting blistering tales of death, murder and suffering since 2001. The psychobilly-cum-swampy-stoner-metal act has seen lineup changes, growing pains and years of touring since its early rockabilly days, elevating themselves into a genre-defying monster.

When your band is named He Whose Ox is Gored, people are going to have preconceived notions about what you sound like.

“We started having that post-hardcore influence, a little bit of doom,” guitarist Brian McLelland tells EW. The up-and-coming Seattle quartet is touring in support of its latest release The Camel, The Lion, The Child, out now on Bleeding Light Records.

Five years ago Pantheon frontman Skyeler Williams saw an opportunity where others might have merely seen cause for complaint. He perceived what he calls “a consistent exclusion of heavy music at community events.” Luckily for Eugene’s metal scene, the hardcore vocalist is not the type to take things lying down. As the music booker and sound engineer at downtown bar The Black Forest, Williams decided to take advantage of the tools available to him and set out to change things. 

In 2008, songwriter Kimya Dawson’s caustic naiveté perfectly captured the precocious character Juno from the popular film of the same name. 

Dawson got her start alongside Adam Green in New York “anti-folk” duo Moldy Peaches. Together they made acoustic music that winked at folk and psychedelic idioms alongside sometimes surreal and sometimes hyper-real lyrics. 

Los Angeles hard-rock act Stitched Up Heart has a unique approach to self-promotion: They make music and share it live. With a handful of festivals and a few hundred shows under their belts since their 2010 inception, the band members shirk online promotion and big-hype tours in lieu of a simple work ethic and nose-to-grindstone approach. 

The members of Eugene post-rock band This Patch of Sky are just a bunch of romantics. “For a bunch of tattooed, bearded guys, we make pretty music,” guitarist Joshua Carlton jokes with EW. The band returns to the stage Aug. 22 at WOW Hall, alongside Hyding Jekyll, Children and Seattle’s Rishloo.

Idealized non-conformism is not a revelation. Forty years ago, the punk movement built its own little utopia on a foundation of middle fingers. But what causes a movement to become a factory setting? Isn’t there inherent irony in a generation of non-conformists conforming to non-conformism, especially when that generation seems hard put to define the word irony?

Jazz sometimes gets slagged as mainly grooves for dudes, but women have always contributed enormously to the genre, even if they’ve not received attention proportionate to their contributions. This Thursday, Aug. 13 at The Shedd, the Oregon Festival of American Music (OFAM) showcases three of the most popular female jazz singers of the 1920s. 

Chicago duo Zigtebra is comprised of vocalist Emily Rose and guitarist Joseph Dummitt, two half-siblings that weren’t close as children. Fate led the pair to the Chicago-based avant-garde dance troupe, True Magical Love

Music News & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

The Bangles called Monday “Manic” and Morrissey called Sunday “silent and grey.” Which day of the week do San Diego’s power-punk duo Gloomsday find the gloomiest?

After establishing a local following at University of Oregon house shows and small venues, Eugene indie-pop trio Pluto the Planet decided to take the summer off to regroup and plan their next steps. 

Have your playlists gone stale? Do tasty new tunes sound tantalizing? If so, check out “You Saw Them First,” a three-day, all-ages concert series presented by Eugene radio station KNRQ and Hi-Fi Music Hall. The event features three of modern rock’s hottest acts: Joywave, In The Valley Below and X Ambassadors. 

Another year, another hot (OK, really hot) Pickathon. This fest continues to be a top EW pick for its perpetually diverse lineup, from old-timey jams to metal.

The Soromundi Lesbian Chorus of Eugene had its humble origins in the home of Eugene native Karm Hagedorn and her partner, Sheryl Bernheine. “We just wanted to sing with some folks,” Hagedorn says, recalling that, at first, the casual choir was just “six of us in our living room and, amazingly, it went from there.”

At 24, Shane Koyczan quit his job to become a spoken-word artist full time. He had discovered his voice. And not just any voice, but a voice people stop and listen to.

Lansing, Michigan rock trio The Plurals are all about the power of three. The odd number keeps things perfectly off balance, conveying the messy electricity of lo-fi rock ‘n’ roll, never enough and never too much — a vibe not unlike Portland’s own power-punk trio The Thermals.

You love Jackson Browne. I guarantee it. Forget about his most recognizable soft-rock radio staples (though, like any self-respecting listener, I’d always prefer Browne’s “Take It Easy” over that “More Than Words” song).