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Calendar Feature

February 11, 2016

Like house odds in Vegas, dating is mostly a losing proposition — a squirmy, unforgiving game generously sprinkled with moments of regret and discomfort, all played on an uncertain field where skyrocketing expectations and plummeting standards are in constant collision. In other words, the perfect setting for comedy. Every year, right around Valentine’s Day, the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon host a night of bad-date stories, and this year’s fundraiser promises to be another doozy.

February 10, 2016

Imagine a dragon with its shimmering green scales casting a blinding glare, its nostrils threatening fire and its lethal claws clutching … a tea cup? That’s Mortimer, a darling, poetry-writing, extra-large reptile who longs for friends in the Rose Children’s Theatre production of The Reluctant Dragon. Now imagine a culture so soaked in fear and anger that any whiff of dragon activity sends the villagers crying for blood and St. George, no matter how adorable that dragon may be.

February 4, 2016

As a bone-marrow transplant nurse, Eugene artist Robert Charles Le Moon, now retired, spent nearly 30 years witnessing and, in his words, being responsible for thousands of deaths. “Our treatments killed our patients rather than their disease,” says Le Moon, whose experiences lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, an affliction that eventually sparked his artistic and spiritual side.

February 3, 2016

The marriage of Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck is akin to the joining of two royal Houses of Banjo: Here the ancient soulful sounds of House Clawhammer (Washburn) merge with the futuristic technical virtuosity of House Three-Finger (Fleck). Innovators with accolades galore, these two banjo ambassadors have given much to the world of banjo, performing the instrument everywhere from Tanzania to Tibet — the couple’s Sparrow Quartet was the first American band to tour the latter.

January 28, 2016

According to the U.S. Department of Arts & Culture (not a real department of the federal government), democracy is not a monologue. You can’t trust the president or his high-profile detractors to speak honestly and in plain terms about how things really are. In order to get a clearer picture of the so-called “state of the union,” the American people first have to step up to the plate and speak for themselves. That’s why an artist collective, calling itself the U.S. Department of Arts & Culture, launched the People’s State of the Union last year.

January 28, 2016

Barely old enough to drink a beer, Ventura rapper Super Duper Kyle (né Kyle Harvey) released his second album, Smyle, late last year. And the songs on it spring gleefully around like a wild herd of toddlers snorting Pixy Stix and mainlining Sunny D. Super Duper Kyle's buoyant optimism draws lots of attention for subverting rap music expectations. Swagger and trash talk have long been genre mainstays, and Super Duper Kyle speaks both languages fluently. But he buffs them till they shine like new with a joyously deviant glow.

January 21, 2016

Most kids come home from college to catch up on laundry and enjoy home-cooked meals. But poor Hamlet returns to Elsinore to find that his father’s been offed and his mom’s taken up with the murderer, as Simon Luedtke, 17, a senior at South Eugene High School, plays the title role in the school’s new production of the Bard’s most tragic tale. “Hamlet is unique, in terms of character growth,” Luedtke says.

January 21, 2016

Shortly after being freed from prison in 1990, Nelson Mandela called South Africa’s a capella super group Ladysmith Black Mambazo the nation’s “cultural ambassadors to the world.” Joseph Shabalala formed the chorus in the early ’60s after hearing isicathamiya music, a style of singing that originated in South African mining communities, for the first time. Shabalala says isicathamiya haunted his dreams until he decided to try mixing it with traditional harmonies of mbube singing.

January 14, 2016

They sleep in cells, monitored by prison guards. Some are serving life sentences. But, while working with Curt Tofteland, the founding producing director of Shakespeare Behind Bars, they are actors. On Tuesday, Tofteland, who started the prison theater program in Luther Luckett Correctional Facility in Kentucky in 1995, speaks at the University of Oregon about his experience guiding prison inmates to perform Shakespeare.

January 14, 2016

Truffles, those delicious umami-flavored fungi that make the average french fry into something truly special, are the reason for the season when it comes to the annual Oregon Truffle Festival. And you can’t have a good truffle without a good dog. No, seriously, the best way to find a tasty Oregon truffle is by using your trusty hound to sniff it out.

January 14, 2016

Scrawny and hoarse, hardcore troika Show Me the Body rips open a psychic wormhole through which the appalling smoky, pissy odor of cold New York City Subway stations freely wafts. Their screeching/rumbling 2014 release, Yellow Kidney, lends the impression that it’s always 3am and you’re stuck underground staring into dark, humming tunnels waiting to see the headlamps of an early train that never appear. Kidney starts easy, with "One Train," a song that casts harsh fluorescent light on New York's cruddy, assaultive mug.

January 6, 2016

As if we needed another reason to despise Los Angeles: Last week, UO’s tough-as-nails women's basketball team left Eugene undefeated after 11 games. They flew to L.A. and came home Monday downcast after two losses, first at the hands of UCLA and then to USC. The Ducks lead powerhouse UCLA Bruins into the second half, when Bruins forwards Nirra Fields and Kari Korver began sinking three-pointers like they’d suddenly grown bored with scoring only two points at a time. The USC game followed a similar arcing trajectory. But, the past is the past.

December 31, 2015

It’s almost too stupid. The Rocky Horror Picture Show — the ’70s glam rock musical comedy horror flick sex romp cult classic — follows newly engaged squares, Brad and Janet, who wash up rain-soaked at Dr. Frank N. Furter’s castle after car trouble leaves them stranded roadside in Transylvania. The sexed-up Dr. Furter (Tim Curry’s best role to date) brings to life a muscular Aryan sex doll named Rocky Horror before chasing, molesting and seducing his unexpected guests.

December 31, 2015

What’s heavy and light at the same time? Bainbridge Island stoner metal trio WEEED blends hard-gnashing doom metal guitar riffs and molar-rattling bass tones together with the quicksandy hypnotic rumble of Tuvan-style throat singing. The quarter-hour epic “Dogma Dissolver,” which opens their 2015 record Our Guru Brings Us to the Black Master Sabbath on an unapologetic note, is heavier than a lead hippo chewing a set of dumbbells. “Caravan Spliff,” on the other hand, is a goofy lark with chirpy strings and upbeat trilling sax shit.

December 24, 2015

Chances are, you’ve heard bits and pieces of Gaetano Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor all your life without realizing it. A blue space alien sings portions of Lucia in Luc Besson’s 1997 sci-fi action movie The Fifth Element. In 1946, Disney released a cartoon in which a sperm whale sings snippets of Donizetti’s famous sextet on stage at the Met. Selections from his 1835 opera have made their way into classic Warner Bros. Bugs Bunny cartoons, as well as an episode of NBC’s Law & Order.

December 24, 2015

Because they know what’s up, gray whales winter in the tropics. As the whales migrate south from Alaskan waters to their favorite breeding grounds off the coast of Mexico, a 6,000-mile swim, Oregonians race to the beaches hoping to catch glimpses of real-life, bus-sized sea monsters. Whale Watch Week begins Sunday, which means cetaphiles with the Whale Watch Spoken Here program have lined the Oregon coast with 24 volunteer-run whale watch stations to help visitors descry passing flukes and spouts.

December 17, 2015

Kesey Square is in danger. It’s been more than two months since news came down that Eugene City Council is considering selling the de facto heart of the city to private developers who want to erect a six-story mixed-use apartment building in its place (don’t even get us started on the ten-year tax exemption — MUPTE — for which the developers intend to apply). Whether or not Eugeneans can sway the city to protect Kesey Square remains to be seen. Regardless, the square needs some love. For years, city leaders have neglected the open space.

December 16, 2015

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the neighboring Many Nations Longhouse celebrate the shortest day of the year a few days early. Friday evening, MCNH and MNL join forces to host Northern Lights, a winter solstice festival honoring the museum’s Jensen Arctic Collection, which first opened at Western Oregon University in 1985 and features more than 5,000 objects from eight Arctic countries. Northwest Inupiaq Dancers will perform at 5pm and 7:15pm.

December 16, 2015

Every bit as real as Santa, only less popular; Krampus is the horned, goatish Norse Christmas fiend who chain-whips naughty little boys and girls with rusty shackles, beats them savagely with birch sticks and stuffs them into a wicker basket before dragging them off to hell. Though I don’t want Krampus’ job, I’m glad someone’s doing it. And apparently I’m not alone because the savage brute is finally starting to get the credit he’s due, despite organizations like the Catholic Church working hard to suppress his special day, Krampusnacht.

December 10, 2015

Slow Magic is a one-man-band electronic project spearheaded by an artist who prefers to remain anonymous. “It’s just me,” Slow Magic tells EW. “I play electronic music with live drums.” Slow Magic’s 2014 release How To Run Away is notable in its use of synthetic sounds mixed with a primal, organic energy — placing the music squarely in the center of the current dance and electronic music explosion.

December 10, 2015

The Anglican leanings of C.S. Lewis are famously on display in his beloved septet of Narnia novels, and especially in the series’ first volume, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which a hirsute pacifist-mystic with a penchant for gnostic platitudes gets persecuted and crucified (or, rather, shaven and stabbed) before he is resurrected as the lion-hearted (literally) savior of beleaguered humanity.

December 3, 2015

It’s time to get into the holiday spirit. And we don’t just mean shopping, we mean giving back to community. The new Oregon-centric book State of Giving: Stories of Oregon Volunteers, Donors and Nonprofits (OSU Press 2015) documents Oregon’s givers and is a call to action to do more. Sen.

November 25, 2015

Surprising victories over the USC Trojans and Stanford mean the smart money’s behind the Ducks this Friday when they host OSU’s Beavers at Autzen Stadium for 2015’s Civil War game. It's strange to think a season that began with embarrassing losses and blown opportunities has given way to a five-game winning streak that has Ducks fans walking on air again. Certainly, the Ducks appear more competent today than they did two months ago, when the Utes gutted them in front of their friends and families at home.

November 25, 2015

If developers get their way, Kesey Square will soon be demolished. And in its place will stand a six-story mixed-use apartment complex. To be sure, Kesey Square is controversial turf and many Eugeneans see no use for it, but maybe that's because city officials haven't considered its potential. See our cover story from Nov.