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EW! A Blog.

November 25, 2013 12:57 PM

EW caught up with Del the Funky Homosapien a few minutes before he took the stage at Deltron 3030's  sold out show (Nov. 22) at WOW Hall.

Was Event II always part of the plan for Deltron 3030 or did it just sort of happen years down the road? And why such a long break between albums?
We kind of always intended on the new one but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through with it. With the first one, the touring just wasn’t pleasant for me. I wasn’t able to study the lyrics so I basically free-styled every night the whole show. And the fans liked it but it was hella stressful for me. So that just left a bitter taste in my mouth. I kind of didn’t want to do it again. But I thought about it. And they were patient. They waited for years, you know what I’m sayin’? They gave me the music hella long ago, like years ago. And I kind of just nibbled at it. Ultimately the fans are what made me want to do it because they were raving about it [Deltron 3030]. It really affected a lot of people. So yeah, that’s why I decided to do it and to do it the way I did it. It’s hard though so that’s why it took so long. I had to research to write the shit basically. Then I had to figure out how to fit all that into a 3-minute/4-minute song format. It’s not like writing a novel. It’s a different type of writing. So I just had to figure out how to make it all work. I was checking out other rock operas and shit, you know? See how the classics were done, how they made it work. This isn’t as loose because they’re a lot of lyrics flying by. I think we did a good job.

Could you tell us about your inspirations for writing to this album?
George Orwell and 1984 is probably the main reference point for me for this project and for the rest of the shit that I do too. Pretty much all my artistic output references 1984 just because he and I have the same mindstate about shit. I mean, I read that book in high school but it just stuck with me. 

Has this touring experience been better than the last?
Yeah. Hell yeah! I mean, I’m enjoying this shit. But we have it set up to where I can do the lyrics and not be fucking up. So it’s cool. Automator has a different set up. Everybody in the band is hella cool. I get along with everybody really well. They’re all great musicians. The vibe is better. The music … I personally like the music better. I like the lyrics better. I’m starting to get into the songs more as I perform them. Sometimes when you do songs you’re not even thinking about it but with performing these new ones I’m starting to realize myself what the fuck I’m saying. 

Do the performances evolve at each show?
It evolves as far as how involved I am with the performance part of it. Because like I said, I’m learning the lyrics more and more every show. At this point I damn near know it all by heart. As far as that goes, the shows are getting better every night. And the band is feeding off me. They’re getting better, knowing the material better. So that allows them to flex a little bit, style a little bit. It’s just a better overall performance. I can tell from the audiences’ reaction. People always was thought it was tight. But motherfuckers was following me from a few of the other shows. I was skating home and folks was following me. And I was like, “Damn?! It’s that great?” Not that I hella mind. I’m just peeping that the vibe is stronger because the shows are getting better.

Well no doubt you are revered by fans and viewed as an influential underground MC? Does that have any affect on you or feel like pressure when you are writing?
I take it all with a grain of salt. I mean, it’s cool. I understand. But I’m not trying to get a super dome or whatever and let it affect me like it really means something. This shit is entertainment. It’s not no big-ass deal. But I understand why people get so fanatical. When you get into something, you’re fanatical about it. Like, I’m kind of that way with skating right now. Every fucking town we go to I get another board. You know what I’m sayin’? I got hella boards now. 

I don’t know if you saw the construction but we have a really big skate park underway over between Washington and Jefferson. Just a few blocks from here, really.
That’s tight man. I got a little skate park where I stay at. It’s inside of another park. Kind of far away but when I get tired of riding on gravel and shit or if I really want to practice, I go up there. 

What got you into skating? 
’Cause I be around skaters all the time and just finally decided to. I was riding a scooter for years as a means of transportation. Then, I got a caster board. That’s what started me skating. I liked the caster board because it just looked hella fresh. It looked like an anime jousting stick or some shit. You know what I’m sayin’? It just looked hella sick. So I bought the shit and learned how to ride that, which was hella hard. But it looked so fresh and futuristic that I learned how to ride it anyway. And skaters that I was around was kind of clowning me like, “Why you riding that?” I’m like “What’s wrong with it?” They wouldn’t say but just said, “Man, ride a skateboard. Ride something real.” So eventually I said fuck it. And then I found that when I got on a skateboard, it was hella easy after learning the caster board. You know? ’Cause with that you only got two wheels and it spins 360 degrees around … which I thought was tight. So when I hopped on a skateboard it wasn’t shit. But before I was scared to get on a skateboard because I fell down when I was hella young. I was trying to go down a big hill or some stupid shit that I had no business doing even if I knew how to skate. Now it’s not a big deal. The hard part for me is learning how to ollie. That shit is hella hard. I almost got it now but I spend a lot of time practicing. You got to.
But yeah, that’s pretty much how I got into it. It’s just the culture that I’ve been around ever since I was younger. Counter-culture type dudes. After a while I just wanted to try it. It’s hella fun. I take it wherever I go. But I use it mainly as a means of transportation.

Any other Del projects in the works?
Yeah, I’m working on a project with Ladybug Mecca from Digable Planets. It’s called Beat Intellectual Project or Beat Intel Pro for short. That’s pretty much done and the next one out. I’m just trying to get some guest appearances. I think Dan said he wanted to do some production too. Koala wants to do something with it because he liked it when he heard it. That’s the main thing that I’m working on now. So look out for that in 2014.

November 22, 2013 03:03 PM

Bassist David Friesen will play at the Jazz Station at 8 pm tonight (Nov. 22) with the Circle Three Trio. $10/$8. 124 W. Broadway.

November 21, 2013 11:57 AM

Sen. Jeff Merkley just sent this message to his supporters:

Minutes ago, the U.S. Senate voted to change the rules and end the practice of filibusters on presidential nominations to the executive branch and to the courts (except the Supreme Court).

This is historic. And you made it happen.

When I arrived in the Senate, I found a place that was dysfunctional — that didn't work the way it did when I was a young man, the way it had worked since the dawn of the Republic. I don't need to remind you: The Senate has been unable to act on too many critical issues.

But, together, we organized an historic grassroots campaign. Hundreds of thousands of Americans signed petitions, wrote letters, supported candidates who committed to filibuster reform. All told, millions of Americans spoke out.

And my fellow Democrats in the Senate heard you loud and clear. 

Today, we have taken an important step toward fixing the filibuster — and making the Senate work for ordinary Americans again.

The President will be able to fill executive positions critical to creating middle-class jobs, fixing the housing crisis, cleaning our air and water, holding big corporations accountable, and so much more. We'll also start making progress on ending the empty-bench crisis in our judiciary, filling critical judicial positions and ensuring that justice is no longer delayed and denied.

You made this happen. And with your support, we'll continue to lead the way and get America back on track.

November 15, 2013 05:21 PM

Comedian and columnist Steve Hofstetter will be at Diablo's at 7 pm tonight (Friday, Nov. 15). $20. Here's a video from 2008.

November 14, 2013 01:12 PM

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has a stunning video out by Scott McKinley showcasing the scenery and diverse wildlife of the Rockies. This short video won Best of Show at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula and was shot on location in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park and at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

November 14, 2013 02:28 PM

Tim Mueller, Nel Applegate, TR Kelly and Randy Hamme of Steel Wool have a new video featuring the song "Here in the Middle." The band will be playing at 3 pm Saturday, Dec. 7, at Holidy Market at the Fairgrounds, and again at 7 pm Dec. 21 at the Deadwood Community Center.

November 11, 2013 01:16 PM

Amy Goodman introduces Dr. Steffie Woolhandler and John McDonough of Harvard who talk about our nation's crisis in health care and whether Obamacare will meet the needs of low-income people.

November 8, 2013 03:35 PM

Here's a press release from Merkley's office today regarding the ENDA:

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley visited the University of Oregon today to celebrate the Senate’s historic passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and to call on the House of Representatives to vote on this legislation. Senator Merkley also took the opportunity to invite Speaker Boehner out to Oregon to see how well Oregon’s anti-discrimination law is working and how eliminating discrimination is good for business.
 
“This week the Senate made a huge stride forward in equality and freedom and it’s time for the House of Representative to step up to the plate,” said Merkley. “In fact, since Speaker Boehner seems to be confused about how equality impacts workplaces, I invite him to Oregon to see firsthand how well our anti-discrimination law works. The bottom line is that no one should be fired or denied work because of who they are.”
 
Currently, there are no laws in 29 states that protect LGBT Americans from being fired simply for who they are. ENDA would change that by creating a federal anti-discrimination law similar to those that already exist on the basis of sex, religion and national origin. Senator Merkley led the fight to pass a state-level version of ENDA when he was the Speaker of the House in Oregon.
 
The Senate voted 64-32 on Thursday to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This is the first time the Senate has passed this legislation since it was first introduced in 1994.

November 6, 2013 06:03 PM

There's more than enough covers of Lorde's "Royals" out there, but YouTube musicians Pomplemoose win for incorporating Beck ("I'm a Loser") and for the video effects:

Puddles the sad clown freaks me out. But he can sing.

And the Welsh Beef Seeds take bluegrass to whole new places.

November 5, 2013 10:50 AM

I wonder if LTD has thought about finding another 17-year-old kid to sing an annoyingly catchy song, this time to promote the EmX? Earworm warning, this will stick in your head. 

This bus commercial is from about 2002 (correct me if I'm wrong, those of you who are avid TV watchers and local advertisement fans. The young singer. Madeline Puckette, went on to a make more music and now is the founder of Seattle-based Wine Folly.

November 4, 2013 06:32 PM

Local high school student Isabel Cordova helped Judith Castro produce this new LTD video about what riders can look forward to with West Eugene Emx.

November 4, 2013 04:25 PM

Want to learn more about wolf recovery in Oregon? Drop by Cozmic tonight at 7 pm and catch the Western Environmental Law Center's screening of Wild Things, a documentary that delves into the relationship between ranchers, reintroduced wolves and the people trying to strike a balance. Unleash your inner wild thing and stick around for the panel discussion afterwards, with filmmaker Daniel Hinerfeld, Oregon State University professor Robert Beschta and Western Environmental Law Center attorney John Mellgren. 

November 1, 2013 03:46 PM

Oregonians don't need fucking swimming pools, right?

November 1, 2013 12:23 PM

The city of Eugene has approved a new homeless camp at a parcel of city land off Chambers at the intersection with the Northwest Expressway. Train tracks border the site. Here is a video posted on the Homeless Action listserv Oct. 31.