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Music

New York musician Marco Benevento recorded his 2014 release Swift about as far away from the big city as possible: Cottage Grove. 

Classical music doesn’t have to be boring — usually that’s just the way it’s played

Mike Doherty, bassist for Portland indie-rock outfit Future Historians, says what initially brought the band together was the songwriting of leader and primary songwriter Dave Shur. 

Considering the sterling reputation of J. Cole, it’s incredible that his new tour kicks off here at the McDonald Theatre.

It’s a shame Franco-American jazz singer Cyrille Aimée didn’t come through Eugene a little closer to Valentine’s Day, because her romantic brand of adorable and sugary jazz would be a perfect gift for that special someone. 

At a glance Gothic Tropic may appear to be another chic Los Angeles retro-rock act, hiding behind delay pedals like dark sunglasses. Having just two brief EPs under their belt since their 2011 conception, the indie-poppers might have flown just below the radar of readers, which would have been a shame. 

Giraffage, the moniker of beatmaker Charlie Yin, just wrapped up a tour with one of the most popular names in electronic music: Porter Robinson. On his current tour, however, he is the headliner.

Music has led Kevin Morby from Kansas City to New York and now Los Angeles: center, east and west. However, if Morby’s influenced by any one place over another, it’s New York — particularly the era when the Big Apple’s folk scene began to morph into early punk rock; the city of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Patti Smith and Television. 

The Garden is not really a band, but more like genre-rejecting performance art by bass-and-drums duo — the 21-year-old twins Wyatt and Fletcher Shears.

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley

The Bearer of Bad News, the latest release of Canadian songwriter Andy Shauf, is now out on Portland taste-making record label Tender Loving Empire. Working with a Portland label is appropriate for a songwriter who lists legendary Portland songwriter Elliott Smith as an influence. 

There was a time when Eugeneans had to venture up I-5 if we wanted to catch the top touring classical and jazz pianists at, say, Portland Jazz Festival, Portland Piano International and other events. No more.

“We sound like Brit Pop with Americana trappings,” says Chris Masterson of Austin-based husband-and-wife duo The Mastersons, who are touring in support of their latest LP, Good Luck Charm

Eugeneans — if you think driving 20 minutes to Cottage Grove to see a band play is too long, consider how long Self Decay traveled just to play there. “We are four-piece from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,” says Self Decay bassist Pedro Gibson. In 2012 the band lived in L.A. for six months before returning to Brazil, but didn’t have the chance to tour the states until now. 

If you thought Jamaican reggae was laidback, Wayne Enos is here to tell you that Hawaiian reggae is even more chill. Enos, guitarist and vocalist with Hawaiian reggae band Natural Vibrations, or Natty Vibes, says: “Hawaiian reggae is definitely inspired by Jamaican reggae.

The music of Los Angeles’ Dengue Fever sounds like the soundtrack to an unmade James Bond film set in Cambodia. Guitarist Zac Holtzman tells EW his group is inspired by the rich and complex horn arrangements of Ethiopian jazz, as well as plain old American surf rock. 

As far as band names go, Bass Drum Of Death is in my top five. In recent years, acts such as Ty Segall, Wavves and King Tuff have spearheaded a gorgeous, fuzzy garage revival, leaving footprints in the ashes for other bands to follow. 

For many Americans, the first introduction to the infectiously happy ditty “La Bamba” was either circa 1958 from the crooning Chicano rocker Ritchie Valens or circa 1987 from a pompadour-ed Lou Diamond Phillips playing the crooning Chicano rocker in the biopic La Bamba

It begins with playful handclaps, then charming indie-rock vocals. It builds to a West African-influenced polyrhythmic bedrock and bright, chiming, highlife-style guitar work. This is “Science Camp,” the de facto lead single off Some Friends Feel Like Family, the 2015 release from Santa Barbara’s Ghost Tiger

Folk songstress Olivia Awbrey has a love affair with writing. Like any relationship, there are good times and bad times, times when moving seems easier than staying, and growing together is a key to success.

If I learned one thing at the RL Grime DJ set at WOW Hall Jan. 25, it’s that Eugene doesn’t need Sunday to be an end to the weekend — for many, it could have be their highlight. 

For all the talk about classical music being your grandparents’ music, there sure seem to be plenty of young musicians heading in that direction.

Escape the winter doldrums with two nights of hot jazz for the 11th Annual Oregon Jazz Festival Jan. 23 and 24 at University of Oregon and Lane Community College.

“We’ve been gravitating toward a New Orleans jazz kind of sound,” says Mad Caddies founding member Sascha Lazor, “while still keeping the reggae, ska and rock aspect to the band.” The Mad Caddies are returning to Eugene in support of their 2014 Fat Wreck Chords release Dirty Rice, perhaps the band’s most nuanced and varied record to date.