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July 23, 2014

With all the middle-of-the-road county fair and casino appearances Pat Benatar makes, it’s hard to remember just how edgy this four-time Grammy winner once was. 

In the days of leg warmers and smoke machines, Benatar jazzercised her way through a string of early MTV mega-anthems including “Love is a Battlefield,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “We Belong” and “Invincible.” 

July 23, 2014

If you’re pestered by indecision — vanilla or chocolate, Beatles or Rolling Stones — rest assured that when it comes to Rod Stewart and Carlos Santana, you won’t have to choose. Stewart, “The Voice,” and Santana, “The Guitar,” reunite in an exclusive North American tour that hits Matthew Knight Arena July 31.

July 16, 2014

Vince Staples, who recently signed to Def Jam Records, released Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 in March 2014 —the fourth mixtape he’s dropped since 2011. 

July 16, 2014

Looking at lineups for some of the major local venues this summer, it appears that audiences and/or bookers want one prolonged and mostly vanilla sausage fest. For Cuthbert’s 2014 season, of the nearly 40 acts scheduled to grace the amphitheater stage, seven include women (counting the Eugene Symphony’s free concert July 19). The Lane County Fair does not fare better: Of the eight acts to hit the main stage, there will be one musician who’s a woman — Pat Benatar (July 26 with Neil Giraldo).

July 16, 2014

Like something from your grandma’s collection of 45s, “10-gallon funnyman” Sourdough Slim harkens back to the days of the singin’, yodelin’, joke-tellin’ cowboy. You might be asking yourself: Is the world really waiting for a revival of the Burl Ives, Will Rogers and Gene Autry sound? The answer is: Probably not. But like a dusty little gem found in a secondhand shop, Slim (né Rick Crowder) shows that you didn’t know what you were missing the first time around. “My true calling as a cowboy was not on the range but, rather, on the stage,” Slim says on his website.

July 16, 2014

Time changes things, and Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac knows this as well as anyone. After all, before he and Johnny Rzeznik became one of the more notable pop rock acts of the last two decades, they preferred to be noisy rather than pop savvy. But they got the chance to evolve artistically through early albums, get out their inner punk and heavy metal aggressions and figure out who they wanted to be as a band. Takac knows how lucky they are.

July 16, 2014

If all you know of Soul Asylum is a touching little torch song called “Runaway Train,” listen up: Long before that unexpected hit was released in 1992, Soul Asylum had achieved a rare kind of cult status among fans of guitar-heavy alt-rock — a status founded largely on the soulful songwriting and indubitable white-boy groove of frontman Dave Pirner. 

July 9, 2014

Unlike previous efforts, Mike Last feels The Stagger and Sway’s latest release, Fun and Games, is a rock ‘n’ roll record — a sound the quartet has moved toward since adding Brian Schierenbeck on lead guitar. 

“Brian played our last CD-release show,” says Last, Stagger and Sway’s vocalist, rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter. “But he wasn’t on the record.” Last says Fun and Games has “a little more grit to it — a little more teeth. It’s more of a band record.” 

July 9, 2014

“We love Eugene,” says Ashley Edwards, vocalist and songwriter for Durango, Colorado-based Hello Dollface. “The vibrancy, the grit, the consciousness, the food.”

The band’s bass player, Jesse Ogle, attended the UO, Edwards says, and this time ’round through Eugene, Hello Dollface’s “heart-quenching desert vagabond soul” will be backed up onstage by some local players: Ben Scharf, Matt Calkins and Brad Erichsen of local jazz-funk group Eleven Eyes.

July 3, 2014

This time each year, Eugene respectfully steps back and offers the stage to the Oregon Bach Festival. And no wonder: The 44-year-old classical music institution abounds with so many attractive performances, workshops, lectures and other events that we couldn’t even begin to cover them all in last week’s issue. Here’s a rundown of some remaining top recommendations.

 

Jonathan Manson, Cello

July 3, 2014

The last bro standing from the ’90s jam band/groove-rock scene (Sublime, Dave Matthews, Blues Traveler et al.), Garrett Dutton, better known as G. Love of G. Love & Special Sauce, is way too chill to care much about superstardom. Instead, G. Love & Special Sauce continues to bring danceable, reggae- and hip-hop-inflected blues rock to the masses. G. Love’s latest, 2014’s Sugar, is more of the same. 

July 3, 2014

On record, San Francisco’s Geographer is somewhat blunted by an ambition to sound thoroughly “now,” to fit into whatever mold successful modern rock bands are expected to fit into in these wild and wooly days of making music. 

Live, Geographer is as raw as twiddling knobs on computer equipment can be, but vocalist Michael Deni adds interest by switching between guitar and loops, while Nathan Blaz supplies keyboards and electric cello and drummer Brian Ostreicher provides a needed punch and danceable energy.

July 3, 2014

It takes the right combination of craziness and courage to walk away from the fame game at its peak. But in 2007, Jurassic 5 did exactly that.

Feedback (2006) reached No. 6 in Billboard’s U.S. rap record sales, securing Jurassic 5’s status as pioneers of alternative hip hop. Seven years later, the same cats known for jazz sampling, scatting, multiple live MCs and even the occasional kazoo solo are once again ready to take you “back to the concrete streets,” as they rap in their 1999 self-titled LP.

June 26, 2014

Around the 35-second mark on “It Ain’t Easy,” track 14 on Sassparilla’s recently released impressive double album Pasajero/Hullabaloo, something begins to sound very similar to a song cemented on classic rock’s Mt. Rushmore. 

June 26, 2014

Zimbabwe’s “afrocoustic” Bongo Love returns to Eugene June 27 at Cozmic. Since the last time the band brought the “Zim sound” to town, Bongo Love released a self-titled album and added a trap set drummer and a female vocalist to the sonic smorgasbord of djembe, mbira, marimba and “southern African guitar licks.”

 

June 26, 2014

What were you doing at age 17? Well, 17-year-old Clementine Creevy of the L.A.-based band Cherry Glazerr is busy fostering an up-and-coming indie “it” girl reputation — but not before getting her homework done. The cherub-faced trio’s 2013 release Trick or Treat Dancefloor, out on Burger Records, recalls the early work of fellow female-fronted Southern California band Best Coast; think three chords soaked in reverb and rudimentary melodies alongside loose and stony percussion.

June 26, 2014

Though the final entry in the beloved Harry Potter series hit bookshelves seven years ago, and the last film arrived three years ago, The Boy Who Lived continues to live on thanks to the cheeky musical genre known as Wizard Rock, a musical phenomenon which I wrote about in 2007 for EW (“Raise Your Wands: Wizard rock arrives at the library”) just before the final Potter book was released. Wizard Rock combines Potter fans’ love of music and books, so listeners are treated to songs that are based on events from the series.

June 19, 2014

The road to recovery — and prom: Eugene saxophonist and origami artist Tomo Tsurumi is slowly recovering after a bicycle accident in early May that caused severe injuries to his face, mouth and hands. 

June 19, 2014

Sometimes opposites attract, and sometimes they create havoc. This could be considered the theme for 2014’s Debutantes & Dealers, the debut full-length album from Seattle folk-rockers Vaudeville Etiquette.

June 19, 2014

Emily Saliers was only 12 when Joan Baez’s Diamonds & Rust was released in 1975. And Saliers, half of the Indigo Girls folk-rock duo, listened to it nonstop. “I listened to the record over and over again until I could learn it,” Saliers tells EW over the phone from Canada. But her interest in Baez wasn’t just song-deep. 

 “I was very admiring of her politics and her journeys and the peace that she stood for,” she says.

June 19, 2014

Canadian songwriter and visual artist Chad VanGaalen has built a comprehensive little universe with his work, over which he rules supreme, whether through his spacey indie-folk songs or his R. Crumb-esque surrealist comic book-style illustrations. 

June 19, 2014

People consuming illegal substances produced by locals in the boonies, cops storming in to bust it up, tempestuous affairs … Breaking Bad? Weeds? No, it’s the Gershwins’ bubbly 1926 musical comedy Oh, Kay!, which those indefatigable musical revivalists at The Shedd are staging June 20-29. 

June 12, 2014

New bands play lots of strange places: bedrooms, basements and bars (empty or, preferably, full). On June 12, Seattle’s fledgling post-punk quartet Gibraltar plays Eugene’s Tiny Tavern, a venue that is, well … pretty tiny. 

But it’s immediately apparent from their latest record, The New Century, that Gibraltar (featuring current and former members of Afghan Whigs, Visqueen, Exohxo and Spanish for 100) have arena-sized ambitions. 

June 12, 2014

If EW’s annual Best of Eugene contest included the category “Most likely to perform at Austin City Limits,” local singer-songwriters Tyler Fortier and Beth Wood would surely tie for first. Wood, a native Texan, says she’d jump at the opportunity to play the famous Austin, Texas-based music festival; Fortier admits he might prefer to appear online in an installment of NPR’s intimate Tiny Desk Concerts.