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Music

February 26, 2015

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. 

“It’s Dave’s project,” Doherty says. “He writes about a lot of small things,” adding that Future Historians started as a “folk-rock thing but morphed into something more eclectic.” 

February 26, 2015

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

February 26, 2015

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. 

Aimée shares a resume on par with Edith Piaf. As a child, she was enchanted with gypsy jazz, going on to perform on the streets of Europe. She was an undiscovered diamond in the rough until appearing on Star Academy, the French equivalent of American Idol.  

February 19, 2015

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. 

February 19, 2015

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.

In a recent story on indie music blog Pigeons and Planes (run by Complex Magazine), Yin was named one of the “14 Rising Bay Area Artists You Should Know.” 

February 19, 2015

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. 

“It’s the most important time in music,” Morby tells EW, “but also just the coolest.”

Morby says that the song “Miles, Miles, Miles” from his solo debut, Harlem River, captures the sound of his influences most clearly. 

February 19, 2015

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.

February 12, 2015

Whether you celebrate Happy Singles Awareness Day or are sitting on a cloud of paper hearts and cupids with your boo, there’s lots of good music to embrace, or embrace to, Saturday, Feb. 14. Spread the love at the all-ages Valentine’s Day dance and karaoke fundraiser for KindTree Autism Rocks 1 to 3:30 pm at Cozmic.

February 12, 2015

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. 

“I’m a huge Elliott Smith fan,” Shauf tells EW

The sway of Smith can be heard on “You’re Out Wasting,” a song bearing more than a passing resemblance to Smith’s classic “Needle In The Hay.” 

February 12, 2015

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. While PJF, which starts next week, is indeed featuring one of today’s most inventive jazz masters, pianist Vijay Iyer, he will also bring his DownBeat-award-winning trio with drummer Marcus Gilmore and bassist Stephan Crump to The Shedd 7:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 19.

February 12, 2015

“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

But just because he plays in an Americana band, Masterson doesn’t feel like he has a grasp on what Americana means. “Johnny Cash? Coca Cola?” he posits, continuing, “One of the beautiful things about it is how open it is. What we do is just as informed by Ray Davies as it is Ray Price.” 

February 5, 2015

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. 

February 5, 2015

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. We kept the idea of a melodic bass line but the subject matter is different most times.

February 5, 2015

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. 

Initially, however, Holtzman says he and bandmate and brother Ethan Holtzman came together over a shared love of Cambodia’s much-anthologized ’60s garage-rock era.

January 29, 2015

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. 

Bass Drum of Death’s eponymous 2013 album was chockfull of tasty lo-fi licks. Every song had the same basic tone: howling six-strings. swampy bass lines and a snare drum that just wouldn’t quit. 

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.