• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Music

January 29, 2015

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

This Top 40 hit, however, is hundreds of years old.

“‘La Bamba’ is a traditional Son Jarocho song,” Leah Rose Gallegos explains. “It’s been remade by Ritchie Valens, Los Lobos and also us.”  

January 29, 2015

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

January 29, 2015

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. Awbrey’s been forced to make some changes since her days as frontwoman for Small Joys, a folk-rock group that enjoyed the winning slot at WOW Hall’s 2013 Bandest of the Bands competition. Her latest EP, New Wheels, is an intimate look at the changes she’s undergone.

January 29, 2015

All photos by Athena Delene

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. 

The RL Grime set was the kind of performance that made many sweat with more perspiration than they’d collected at the fancy new UO recreation center. If you wanted to party at WOW Hall this winter, this was your best chance. 

January 29, 2015

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

January 22, 2015

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.

During the day, the festival consists of clinics for student jazz musicians and concert performances from high schools. This year, students will have the opportunity to work with festival clinician Branford Marsalis, a music educator, Grammy-winning saxophonist and Tony-winning composer. Marsalis will also be performing in a concert presented by the Eugene Symphony 8 pm Thursday, Jan. 22, at the Hult Center. 

January 22, 2015

“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.

January 22, 2015

There’s no telling what she’ll spin, but it’s likely that Megan James’ goal is to make you dance. The singer for Canada’s ghostly electro-pop duo Purity Ring has dabbled in the DJ booth for a couple years now. As she told the Santa Barbara Independent, “I’m just looking for what makes me dance.”

January 22, 2015

Philly-based musician Jeremy Quentin is one of those guy-that’s-a-band/band-that’s-just-one-guy types. He performs under the name Small Houses. The album art for Small Houses’ 2013 release Exactly Where You Wanted to Be shows Quentin standing alone, suitcase in his hand, staring into the middle distance, mustachioed like your dad in 1978. He could be laid-over at a Greyhound station — on his way to somewhere he’s dreading. 

Much of the record sounds that way: lonely, lo-fi, heartbroken and introspective indie folk. 

January 15, 2015

Oliver Wood says you need to see his brother play the bass. “My brother is a world-class upright bass player,” he boasts. Wood, alongside his brother Chris Wood and drummer Jano Rixx, is one-third of hard-touring roots-Americana act, The Wood Brothers, who return to Eugene in support of 2013’s critically acclaimed record The Muse.

January 15, 2015

Of all the music events happening in Eugene this month, perhaps none is more valuable than the University of Oregon’s Music Today Festival. In contrast to most classical music institutions, which over the past century have turned into moldering antiquities, endlessly recycling well-known works by long dead Europeans, the Music Today Festival is devoted to incubating the creative work of Oregon’s next generation of composers.

January 15, 2015

Even via email, I got the sense musician Shawn Rosenblatt (aka Netherfriends) enjoys a good put-on. Listen to his music and hear a keen pop sensibility, a voracious musical sense of humor and stylistic attention-deficit disorder.

In 2010, Rosenblatt started the 50 Songs 50 States Project. “I started a year-long project where I played a show and recorded a new song in all 50 states,” Rosenblatt says. “For Oregon, I played a show and wrote a song in Portland.”

January 15, 2015

Whitey Morgan is no stranger. He’s played Eugene countless times. But no matter how well we think we know the man, he keeps coming up with new surprises. In late 2014 he released two records side by side, each of which offers its own clear window into Whitey’s soul.

January 8, 2015

Seattle musician Whitney Monge calls her sound “alternative soul,” but don’t expect Aretha Franklin or Al Green — not quite, anyway.

“Alternative soul means music coming from a place that we all have: our soul,” Monge says, admitting she’s influenced by heavyweights from soul music, but her sound is a mix of rock and blues. “It’s music that’s relatable. It’s music you can feel,” she says. 

January 8, 2015

Electronic dance music is hotter than ever, nowhere more so than in Eugene. “Eugene has been an incredibly supportive place for our band to really thrive and to develop our own unique sound,” says Nathan Asman, who alongside guitarist Keith Randel and drummer Travis Lien makes up the Eugene-based livetronica act Hamilton Beach

“The livetronic-EDM [electronic dance music] scene is very strong and nurturing here,” Asman says, “and there’s no way we would be where we are as a band without the music scene here.” 

January 8, 2015

Doesn’t that name sound familiar? This Patch of Sky got its name from a Lord Leebrick Theatre sign in 2010. Since then, the six-member band has carved a neat place for itself in the haunting, wordless world of symphonic post-rock. Despite having songs in World Cup promos, documentary trailers and upcoming blockbusters, the band members have stayed in Lane County, touring the coast every once in a while but mostly writing and laying down tracks. Their eponymous album (released in August) was featured on numerous Best-of-2014 lists, and they’re already working on a new LP. 

December 31, 2014

Originally out of Austin, Texas, the now The Dalles-based musician Ben Ballinger says if he had to pick another artist’s song to introduce himself it would be Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” The song’s words and melancholy tone, alongside a fierce determination, resonate with him, he says.

December 31, 2014

Don’t hate Alexander Cardinale because he has it dialed in. The songwriter, who also sometimes goes by Xander, is coming off a tour with Melissa Etheridge. Cardinale says the exposure afforded him by touring with an established artist like Etheridge was intoxicating. “It’s a performers dream to get to take over a huge stage and have use of full expression,” Cardinale tells EW. “Literally, your expressions get bigger; your performance in general gets bigger; thus your energy is higher, you’re jumping around; the audience is on their feet. I love that.” 

December 31, 2014

Coty Hogue grew up in a small Montana town of about 850 people with a music-loving family, but the notion of making a living performing for an audience wasn’t part of that experience. 

December 24, 2014

San Diego punk band Drug Control evokes the glory days of So Cal bands like Black Flag and Circle Jerks. “We take influences from older East and West coast bands and blend them into our style,” says vocalist Danny Lyerla. 

And Drug Control’s 2014 debut demo is quintessential American hardcore: short, pummeling, unrelentingly aggressive and athletically angry. With song titles like “Enough is Enough,” “Fried” and “About To Snap,” the record seeps with the revolutionary nihilism hardcore music is known for.  

December 24, 2014

You know how your head always starts bobbing and your toes start tapping whenever you hear that certain song? Maybe it’s a Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis or Chuck Berry tune. Whatever it is, it makes you want to move. Daddy Rabbit falls into this category. 

Songwriter Robert Jacobs also writes catchy, poppy love songs with local band Long Tall and Ugly and folky roots music for Crooked River, but Daddy Rabbit gets him to the source of his love for music.

December 24, 2014

In 1929, surrealist painter René Magritte scrawled under his painting of a pipe, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (“This is not a pipe”), in his famously enigmatic painting The Treachery of Images.

December 18, 2014

The concept behind 2013’s The Clear Blue Pearl from Portland band Morning Ritual sounds more like a sci-fi-fantasy movie than a pop record, complete with a devastating drought, an epic journey and a mysterious “blue pearl.” 

December 18, 2014

There are a lot of captivating things about Kathryn Claire. She’s a classically trained violinist (picking it up at age 7), a self-taught guitarist, and she teaches songwriting to kids. But most captivating and surprising is when she opens her mouth to share her deep, emotive voice. A trained vocalist since age 14, Claire (pictured) is no stranger to the emotional range a female voice can hold — she lists Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls and Joni Mitchell as influences.