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February 11, 2016

Badi Assad comes from a distinguished Brazilian musical family, but she’s blazed new trails, not just as a guitarist (like her brothers Sergio and Odair) but also as a vocalist and body-and-vocal percussionist. Her musical vision broadened to embrace jazz, pop and world music, including collaborations with jazz giants John Abercrombie and Larry Coryell, as well as covers of U2, Bjork, Tori Amos and more. 

February 10, 2016

STRFKR frontman Josh Hodges thinks a good bit about living without a home — an intentional, rent-free kind of unhoused lifestyle: van dwellers, guys living out of old school buses. 

“There’s some baseball player who lives in his van,” Hodges explains. “It’s not even about a money thing; it just fits his lifestyle.” 

February 4, 2016

What is the sound of Northwest rock? Some might answer Bikini Kill, Nirvana, The Wipers or even The Kingsmen. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I posit it’s Boise’s Built to Spill

The evidence? The music of Built to Spill is like a day that’s ended up rainy when you expected sun. Doug Martsch’s nasally tenor sounds like damp basements, guitars, drums and bass intertwined in a woozy haze, fueled equally by beer, weed and disappointment. 

Also the band’s longevity: Built to Spill have been at it since ’92, and in that time they’ve remained remarkably consistent. 

February 4, 2016

The Annual Freshman Class Cypher put out by XXL Magazine is something like a rap world debutante ball — a chance for the genre’s most promising hopefuls to prove their mettle in rap’s oldest battle tradition. 

When the little-known Logic made XXL’s class of 2013, the response was mostly indignation. Who the hell is this guy? And why did he make the cut over, say, Chief Keef? 

January 28, 2016

Jessica Lea Mayfield is a chameleon. From her first folk-country release With Blasphemy, So Heartfelt (produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys) through her grunge-alternative record Make My Head Sing, Mayfield’s rural music, tinged with a Liz Phair sound, is ever changing — like a pink-haired glittery punk rocker with the heart of a country singer. 

January 28, 2016

I saw classical music’s future and its name is … Roomful of Teeth? That takeoff on Jon Landau’s famous 1974 encomium to a young Bruce Springsteen might be a little over the top.

But then again, with nearly 30 million Americans singing in choirs and a cappella music a genuine populist phenomenon, an ensemble that combines the universal human instrument — voices — with contemporary artistic ambition might well be a key to bringing new listeners, as well as new singers, to 21st-century classical composers, and vice versa.

January 28, 2016

PWR BTTM is a self-identified queer-core duo from upstate New York that now resides in Brooklyn. 

Last year the band gained massive critical buzz with the release of its debut LP Ugly Cherries, a collection of punk and power-pop tunes subverting heteronormative guitar rock reminiscent of Weezer.

The track “Serving Goffman” draws comparisons among personal identity, dressing in drag and the costumes worn in corporate America — after all, aren’t we all just roleplaying? 

January 28, 2016

Last year, Ohio’s Saintseneca released Such Things, one of the freshest, and yet familiar, indie-rock records of 2015. 

Saintseneca’s guitar-based music is sweetly earnest, exhibiting the infectious melodies and charmingly snotty lo-fi sensibilities of Pavement. In other words, Saintseneca are quintessential college rock. 

January 28, 2016

Yes, technically speaking, Shabazz Palaces is a rap group. But that sort of classification is about as accurate as calling Bitches Brew a jazz record or Captain Beefheart a rock star. Sure, it gets you in the right galaxy, but it does nothing to describe the bizarre constellation of fractured beats, warped vocals and occult imagery the group has formed during their six years together. 

January 21, 2016

Like much of the Willamette Valley, the month of January can be tough in Eugene. Most evenings, the wet-cold combo draws one to the comforts of home instead of out on the town to shows. 

But buck up, Eugeneans — throw on your polar fleece, put on your Wellies and get thee to some live music. There are loads of great concerts coming up this week.

January 14, 2016

Most people think of the University of Oregon’s contribution to our community’s creativity as primarily educational. But many of its faculty members perform, and this Thursday, Jan. 14, at 7:30 pm, a passel of them will be strutting their onstage skills at the school’s Beall Concert Hall for MASSIVE: A UO Megarecital.

January 14, 2016

Songwriter Vanessa Carlton’s 2015 release Liberman is partially inspired by her grandfather. “He was a painter,” Carlton tells EW. Carlton’s family changed its surname from Liberman to Lee after World War II “because of anti-Semitism,” she says.

Carlton hangs her grandfather’s work near the piano where she writes her music. “The swirling, beautiful, crazy colors ended up being the inspiration for the type of music I was writing. I wanted to honor his work as a painter,” she recalls.

January 14, 2016

San Francisco band The Shanghais have never been to Eugene. Lead vocalist Natalie Sweet is wondering if we have any good vegan food here.

“I’m always on the hunt,” Sweet tells EW via email. Based on that question alone, the quartet should feel right at home in our fair city with its verdant veggie foodie scene.

The Shanghais will release their latest EP, Fall in Love with the Shanghais, this spring on Philadelphia-based label Endless Daze Records. 

January 7, 2016

The Eugene-based Caitlin Jemma & The Goodness bring their brand of “mist-covered folk” (see EW’s “For Goodness’ Sake,” 8/13) to Hi-Fi Music Hall 10 pm Thursday, Jan. 7; FREE. Joining them will be Ellensburg, Washington’s folk-rock band Centaur Midwife.

December 31, 2015

Tsunami Books, a somewhat under-recognized gem of a live music venue, hosts finger-style guitar wizard Larry Pattis for an intimate acoustic concert 7:30 pm Saturday, Jan. 2 — an event that is part of The American Guitar Masters Touring Concert Series; $10. In his music, the Chicago native draws influence from classical, jazz, Celtic, blues and folk.

December 31, 2015

The New Year opens with a series of ace instrumentalists strutting their chops around town. At 4 pm Sunday, Jan. 3, First United Methodist Church (13th and Olive) brings a renowned instrumentalist, uilleann piper Eliot Grasso, to its annual handbell concert. That unusual ensemble is alone worth seeing, but this year’s show also features trumpeter Chris Peters and the church’s own organist, Julia Brown, an accomplished recording artist. Grasso is one of the acknowledged masters of the haunting Irish bagpipes and has performed all over the world. 

December 24, 2015

On New Year’s Eve, instead of singing the wrong lyrics of “Auld Lang Syne” to yourself, on the couch, in your sweatpants, with a flute of champagne propped on your newly rotund, post-holiday belly, venture into the night and spend the last few hours of 2016 with live, local music and entertainment. Here’s a roundup of events for Thursday, Dec. 31.

December 24, 2015

The year 2015 is when pure pop scored serious artistic cred: Ryan covered Taylor, Adele smashed all kinds of sales records and even Justin Bieber garnered some pretty decent critical notices.

December 17, 2015

For the past four years, the husband-and-wife team of singer and guitarist Jen Johnson and drummer Mike Latulippe have fronted Velah, a rather excellent Boston-area indie-rock outfit. Johnson went on record saying that Pale Hands, the duo’s barely year-old electronic band, came about after they wrote a bunch of songs that just couldn’t work for Velah. It’s the sort of thing you’re supposed to say when launching an electronic side project (see: Broken Bells, Postal Service), even if it’s not altogether true. 

December 17, 2015

“I met Sam Cooke and his wife Barbara, and he turned to her and said, ‘Why don’t you bring her to America with us? We like her,’” Norma Fraser recounts, bursting into laughter.  

Fraser has lived in Eugene for a decade and has a lifetime of stories like this, including recording with Bob Marley.

Fraser’s parents didn’t even know she could sing until they heard her song on the radio; they wanted her to be a doctor. She didn’t plan to be a singer, much less a reggae legend, not singing a note until she was 14. 

December 17, 2015

The last chance for Eugeneans to hear Patchy Sanders live in all its folksy glory will be this Saturday, Dec. 19. The popular and critically acclaimed indie troupe with Eugene roots is calling it quits after three years.

“Eugene is actually our second to last show ever,” says Sara Wilbur, violinist. The band’s final show will be Dec. 20 in Ashland. “The band has been trekking along pretty seriously for three years now,” Wilbur continues, adding, “We were just feeling ready to move on to new chapters.”

December 17, 2015

If it’s fiddles you fancy, this holiday season will be merry and bright, because we’re seeing a phalanx of fine fiddlers on Eugene stages to close out 2015. 

December 10, 2015

For all the fringe, Western flair and Loretta-Lynn inflection, Jenny Don’t — of Jenny Don’t and The Spurs — is a punk rocker at heart. 

“No matter how hard we try, we can’t disguise ourselves,” she tells EW over the phone from her Portland home. The same goes for her backing band The Spurs, comprised of Wipers drummer Sam Henry, Pierced Arrows bassist Kelly Halliburton and Adios Amigos guitarist JT Halmfilst. 

December 10, 2015

Friday at Hi-Fi Music Hall will showcase a fantastic fuzzy spectrum of garage rock, from the surf pop of Seattle’s Tacocat to the ever-evolving punk-rock soul of Portland’s Sallie Ford.

“We wanted to play a bunch of our news songs,” Tacocat’s Emily Nokes (vocals) tells EW on speakerphone from a van barreling toward Arizona. She’s referring to Tacocat joining Sallie Ford for this mini Western tour.