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July 13, 2017

By 1829, nearly 80 years after his death, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach had fallen out of fashion. Think of what we were listening to 80 years ago: Bing Crosby, Count Basie and Benny Goodman. (And yes, someday your music will feel tired to your children’s children. Deal with it. It’s entropy. You’re programmed for irrelevance.)

July 6, 2017

Crowds, dust and scorching temperatures aren’t for everyone. So if you’re like me and want to avoid gaggles of people at the Oregon Country Fair, use the empty streets of Eugene as your catbird seat.

Eugene Weekly gets hundreds of event submissions every week, and Fair weekend is no exception, so make sure to check out our What’s Happening calendar to start. 

July 6, 2017

I’m going to take a sec and highjack this piece on 2017’s OCF music lineup to complain that Lane County — and Eugene specifically — needs, nay deserves, a true music festival: a Pickathon, a Bumbershoot, a Treefort or, at the very least, a resurrected Eugene Celebration that settles its identity crisis, putting it at odds with itself as a community street fair versus an event focused on music worthy of drawing an audience. 

July 6, 2017

It’s that time of year again: the smell of fresh cut grass in the breeze, children flying kites and playing in the park for summer break, and thousands of hippies descending on a well-loved property near Veneta. It’s summer in Eugene, and that means the Oregon Country Fair is back. This year, we’re looking forward to ogling the usual fun array of circus acts, dancing to great music like Chris Robinson Brotherhood and High Step Society, and reflecting on how the Fair comes together each year, bringing the community together with it. OCF not your thing?

July 6, 2017

Imagine a ghost town. The skeletons of buildings, stripped of their roofs and siding, are overgrown with trees and vines. Light shining through the rafters allows grass to grow and wildflowers to bloom in the shells of the structures.  

It seems as if a hurricane passed through, if only hurricanes neatly stacked the boards of the buildings they tore apart.

July 6, 2017

Everyone loves a circus. Acrobats, contortionists, clowns — the whole shebang. And now that the folks at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus have taken their final bow, the demand for a clever circus act is on the rise. 

Fortunately, there is no better place to see Big Top-type acts than this year’s Oregon Country Fair, and unlike Ringling, the acts at the Fair don’t exploit animals.

June 29, 2017

If, like me, you happen to find yourself on some clear summer night seated just about dead center of the orchestra level at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s tremendous outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre, and it happens to be late into the second act of The Odyssey, with the sun fallen and the gloaming past, darkness pushing down on the ghostly radiance of the lights, the actors strutting and fretting their moment on stage, the whole wide world in abeyance, its awful tempest and clangoring tumult silenced, just you and your itty-bitty mortal consciousness beholding the enactment of

June 22, 2017

It’s like something out of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 — firefighters set trees ablaze and fan flames across the grassland. This is the cutting edge in wildfire management and forest ecology: prescribing fires as medicine for sick forests. 

Fire was a political tool in Bradbury’s novel — a means of destroying literature and controlling the population. Today, wildfire and prescribed fire are politicized as well. What once was a force of nature is now beaten back, choked out and stamped by the great paws of Smokey Bear.

June 15, 2017

It was at Anice Thigpen’s lowest emotional point that the protagonist in her new opera The Woman of Salt came to her. 

“I was walking in the woods. And she took the wind out of the firs and made that the voice for the first song,” she says. 

The Woman of Salt — Thigpen’s first opera — was born from deep trauma.

June 8, 2017

It was 50 years ago today — well, more or less — that my generation found itself. 

Rock ’n’ roll turned grand and pretentious that year, 1967, when Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play with a real live symphony orchestra. Here in Eugene, KLCC went on the air for the first time, and the Oregon Country Fair was two years away from being born.

Across the ocean, Vietnam was purring along like a macabre lawnmower.

That was the year of the Summer of Love.

June 1, 2017

Right Here

Events in & around this town of ours.

 

June

 

Thursday, 6/1

Wonderful Ones Storytime for 1-year-olds with their caregivers, Thursdays, 10:15am & 11am, Downtown library, 541-682-8316. FREE.

Fundraiser for Makindu Children’s Program, 15% of all purchases benefit orphaned & vulnerable children of Makindu, Kenya, 11:30am-10pm, Hot Mama’s Wings, 420 W. 13th. FREE.

June 1, 2017

You can almost listen to the entirety of Taylor Swift’s album 1989 on the way to Oakridge. If you’re the parent of a 7- or 8-year-old — and particularly a girl — you know what this means. For the rest of you, in case you weren’t aware, Oakridge is about 45 minutes southeast of Eugene, past Pleasant Hill and Dexter Reservoir on the way to the mountains.

June 1, 2017

One of the things that makes Oregon so livable is our miles of unspoiled public beaches. More than a century ago, Oregon Gov. Oswald West engineered the first major protection of public access to the state’s beaches by convincing the 1913 Oregon Legislature to declare all the state’s tidelands to be a state highway. Wait, what? 

If you could teleport yourself to the local beach in 1899, you’d find wagons using the wide expanses of packed sand as the only public roads north and south.

West’s workaround held for more than 50 years. 

June 1, 2017

Shield your eyes, the great glowing orb (otherwise known as the sun) has returned to Pacific Northwest skies. And in August, that orb will be eclipsed, bringing hordes of tourists to town. Read about the eclipse, beaches, hikes, shows and everything in between in Eugene Weekly's annual guide to all that's summer!

 

June 1, 2017

The Cuthbert Amphitheater, 2300 Leo Harris Parkway, provides a chance to enjoy the sunny weather and live music simultaneously this summer. Here are three shows to look forward to at the venue along the river later this summer:

Young the Giant with Cold War Kids and Joywave (Aug. 20)

June 1, 2017

It’s the middle of the day, but the birds are roosting in the trees. Everything gets colder and darker, as if night has come early. Strangely shaped shadows and lights are cast across the earth. But it’s not the Apocalypse — it’s just the effects of the unearthly solar eclipse.

Scott Fisher, a professor of astronomy at University of Oregon, says the eclipse we’ll see in Oregon is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a fascinating phenomenon. 

May 25, 2017

Congressman Greg Walden is not a typical politician. Or maybe he is. 

The lone Republican in Oregon’s federal delegation, Walden has represented Oregon’s 2nd congressional district, a sprawling area east of the Cascades that starts near Idaho and ends at the California border, since 1998. 

Walden seems affable, quick with a quip. He has a tendency toward wonky answers that aren’t really answers. He’s hard to pin down, but real nice about it.

May 18, 2017

I’m in a church parking lot just north of 13th Avenue in Eugene, staring at my phone, circling around the lot, looking at a little dot on my screen and wondering why I can’t find what I’m looking for.

Two of my nephews, ages 6 and 9, are wondering if what we’re looking for might be the trash in the bushes. The 2-year-old has a can to play drums on and couldn’t care less.

May 18, 2017

Birding — also known as “birdwatching” and, across the Pond, “twitching” — began as a lethal contact sport. When John James Audubon traveled the countryside in the early 1800s to paint the 435 watercolors that would later turn up in The Birds of America, he didn’t sit his subjects down in a studio and ask them to pose.

He shot them.

May 18, 2017

Artesia Hubbard, a University of Oregon student from Colorado, has always been a steward of the land. “I was a river baby. I was always running around in the outdoors,” she says. When Hubbard arrived at UO for her freshman year, her older sister on campus told her to join the school’s Geology Club. 

What the music-major-turned-environmental-studies major found was not only a way for her to enjoy the outdoors, but also a community of like-minded people. Geology isn’t just a passion; it’s also a way for Hubbard to connect with her fellow students.

May 18, 2017

I once told my ex-fiancé that I was a vegetarian because I ate only what I could personally kill. He promptly bought me a shotgun and taught me how to shoot it. However, he was unable get me to kill anything more mobile than a poorly tossed clay target. He tried — unsuccessfully — to persuade me of the joys of shooting, killing and butchering my own meals, but the closest I got to deadly force was blowing up a bottle of Coke (and then carefully cleaning up the sugary-drink-covered remains, because leave-no-trace principles apply to recreational shooting, too).

May 18, 2017

If you’ve never battled your way through wet Oregon undergrowth for hours and hours, hoping to collect two to four ounces of mushrooms to take home, then this is the story for you. 

As someone who has successfully found chanterelles and porcini mushrooms on about four trips out of 30 in the past four years, you should take all of my advice. 

May 11, 2017

I have a confession to make: I’m a junky for Lane County Mugshots Uncensored — a massive, sprawling, closed-group Facebook page revolving around the spectacle of daily mugshot postings released to the public by Lane County law enforcement and other nearby jurisdictions.

I’m not proud. I have an addictive personality, and something about the site — its raw, adrenalized hit of unreconstructed civic collapse from the street level — makes me feel giddy and dirty and kind of sick at the same time.

May 4, 2017

She moved into River Grove Memory Care in Lane County in October of 2016, needing a little more rehabilitation and care before she could go home with her husband. This 62-year-old woman had vascular dementia, but her diabetes was under control and she was able to walk more than 100 feet without stopping, a feat after spinal surgery in August 2013. 

Her husband hoped that she would be out of the facility in 6 months with proper care.