• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Music

March 23, 2017

Thaddeus Moore, owner and operator of Eugene’s long-running Sprout City Studios, jokes that he hates battles of the bands.

Nevertheless, to celebrate Sprout City’s 20th year in business, Moore is launching a battle of the bands series. Moore says he wants to give bands a real critique and not offer just a popularity contest. “I want this to be a good thing for the musicians,” he says.

March 23, 2017

K. Flay’s music is an old fashioned that’s been spiked with a mystery upper: It has an edge you can’t quite put your finger on, but you can’t get enough of it either. This alternative hip-hop artist is casually strolling to the top of the scene with her refreshing twist on a crowded genre.

 Born Kristine Flaherty, K. Flay has been pumping out songs since the early 2000s. She recently released “Blood in the Cut,” a stellar single that quickly landed a spot on Billboard’s Top 10 Emerging Artists chart.

March 23, 2017

There are songs, and then there are “art songs.” I hate the latter term, mostly applied to vocal works written by 19th-century classical composers, because it implicitly suggests that all those other songs — y’know, the ones everyone actually listens to on their computers and phones and radios all day — are somehow not capital-A ART.

In fact, I’d put the artistic intelligence that goes into crafting a good pop song, hip hop lyric, etc., up against anything contrived by long-dead Germans. As the late Chuck Berry sang, “Roll over, Beethoven.”

March 16, 2017

Old school California punk band Social Distortion, together since the late-`70s, has, over time, and not unlike The Clash, adopted the patina of classic rock from their era. But stopping at terms “punk” or “classic rock” sells Social D a little short, ignoring classic albums like White Light, White Heat, White Trash or hits like “Ball and Chain,” albums and songs that blend John Steinbeck’s tone of California class struggle along with Johnny Cash’s outlaw-country mythology. In fact, one of Social Distortion’s best-known tunes is a cover of Cash’s classic “Ring of Fire.”

March 16, 2017

Isaiah Rashad has honed the flows across hip hop’s many eras and has put a contemporary twist on his craft. The established yet fresh face has collaborated with some of the genre’s mainstream innovative names like Kendrick Lamar and SZA; his sound, however, rests in a league of its own.

March 9, 2017

My, my, the country seems to be in a conservative mood. Our con-mander-in-thief wants to take us “back” to an imagined time, somewhere after we won that Good War and before uppity Americans like women and black people finally started to receive something approaching the equal protection the Constitution offered them.

 This month’s live musical mood seems pretty retro, too, with many of the most recommendable shows gazing resolutely backward instead of forward into a 21st century that seems pretty daunting at the moment. 

March 9, 2017

Music press has roundly called Nosebleed Weekend, the latest release from The Coathangers, a step toward maturity for the Atlanta punk act. So it’s somewhat ironic that one of the album’s best tracks, “Squeeki Tiki,” features a child’s squeaky toy. 

“We had a lot more time to work on it, practice all the songs. We recorded demos, which we never got to do before,” Coathanger’s bassist and vocalist Meredith Franco tells EW. “We’re older. We were more mature.” 

March 1, 2017

Haven’t heard Ty Segall’s last few records? Don’t worry, he’ll release a few more next week. That’s how it seems with the California singer and guitarist’s wildly prolific output. Segall’s stuff is mischievously tossed-off, with a reckless genius despite Segall’s intentions. Like Ryan Adams — if Adams could give up on his Austin City Limits tendencies. 

March 1, 2017

Audiences perhaps best know Eugene musician and guitarist Gerry Rempel as resident composer with local ballet company, Ballet Fantastique. Now Rempel, along with his group Gerry Rempel Jazz Syndicate, is celebrating his third release: Sketches from the Underground, a collection of all-original jazz compositions. 

February 23, 2017

I first heard of Seattle band Tacocat (read it backwards!) from friends up north. They said seeing the pop-punk group live was like sighting a mythical animal: a unicorn, or a cat actually made from tacos. 

Since releasing their debut Lost Time on Sub Pop subsidiary label Hardly Art, Tacocat’s profile has been steadily on the rise in the Northwest and beyond. And most talk surrounding the band still involves their live shows. 

February 23, 2017

Popular Eugene hip hop-soul-reggae act Sol Seed is prepped to release its new studio record Spark. Vocalist, keyboardist and didgeridoo player Sky Guasco says the self-produced album is full of his band’s trademark, feel-good Rasta grooves, funk flourishes and elements of world music.

But Guasco says Spark also has some newer, stronger sounds.

February 23, 2017

Imagine a single concert that featured the public premieres of these classical masterpieces: Beethoven’s mighty Fifth (da da da DAH) and Sixth symphonies, fourth Piano Concerto and Choral Fantasy.

No wonder the other work on that famous program of premieres was overshadowed. On Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Hult Center, you can hear that relative Beethoven rarity, his underrated Mass in C, when Eugene Concert Choir sings it along with one of the 20th century’s most popular choral masterworks: Leonard Bernstein’s joyous Chichester Psalms

February 16, 2017

On the opening track “Appropriation,” from DC punk band Priests excellent 2017 release Nothing Feels Normal, vocalist Katie Alice Greer snarls like a toothy Debbie Harry: “It feels good to buy something you can’t afford.” Beneath her, the song propels over a jittery, anxious groove, falling somewhere between surf rock and early B-52s.

February 16, 2017

Riff raff (/rifraf/): disreputable or undesirable people…

Riff Raff, the hip hop artist, takes his craft to the truest lengths of that definition. If you haven’t checked out his stash of both satirical (I think?) and serious music videos, you’re missing out on comedic gold. But who is this guy? Mix together some blatant appropriation of black hip-hop culture with a white trash millionaire aesthetic, and you’ve got Riff Raff.

February 16, 2017

In the midst of its 40th anniversary season, Eugene Opera announced in January that a $165,000 financial deficit would force cancelation of its spring shows — West Side Story and La Tragédie de Carmen — leaving the future of the company in doubt.

That bad news hasn’t slowed down some of the opera’s youngest supporters — the teenage members of the Eugene Opera Academy.

February 9, 2017

Audiences will have the opportunity to experience an intimate evening of contemporary music when three composers show off their opera chops at Tsunami Books at 7 pm Friday, Feb. 10.

The Woman of Salt: An Interactive Project in Opera features original compositions by Daniel Daly and Jason Heald and a scene from The Woman of Salt, composed by Eugene’s Anice Thigpen and performed by soprano Laura Wayte, pianist Nathalie Fortin and cellist Kathryn Brunhaver. 

February 9, 2017

After a decade in Portland, Berg Radin, guitarist with indie pop group And And And, has returned to the Eugene/Springfield area, in order to be closer to family and raise a kid.

Since his return, Radin has also launched a new project, fronting the spacey, lo-fi Surfsdrugs. The band also features members of popular local acts Le Rev and VCR. Radin says both bands have recording projects slated for release in 2017, and that he can’t remember a time when Eugene’s indie music scene has been more vital. 

February 9, 2017

Who doesn’t want to get the heck out of Eugene in February? Clearly it’s time for another virtual musical tour!

First stop: New Orleans, through the magic of the Emerald City Jazz Kings’ shows this Thursday night, Feb. 9, (cabaret seating) and Sunday, Feb. 12, afternoon (concert seating) with early clarinet-fueled music by Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and other Big Easy jazz masters, along with similar hot jazz from non-Nawlins types like Bix Beiderbecke and the Dorsey Brothers.

February 9, 2017

These days, resistance is on people’s minds. And Memphis, Tenn., art-punk, self-described “nuevo no wavo” band Nots make an exhilaratingly painful noise that, like the band name itself, stamps a bold, red NO across the face of all the soul-crushing yes-men and sniveling company shills of the world. After all, what else is punk for? But Nots’ 2016 release Cosmetic isn’t exactly protest music, or even protest punk. Nevertheless, songs like “Rat King,” “New Structures” and “No Novelty” draw hard lines in the sand for our new era of punk rock rebellion.

February 2, 2017

Ever since summer 1983, less than a year after Eugene’s Hult Center for the Performing Arts opened for business the previous fall, the Oregon Bach Festival has held its opening concert each year in the Hult’s Silva Concert Hall. Opening night featured festivities in the Hult lobby — often a performance by a children’s choir — followed by a major choral performance in the 2,450-seat Silva.

February 2, 2017

Every band dreams of touring the world, but even when given the opportunity, the question remains for the artists: “What if, on the other side of the planet, nobody shows up to our show?”

Brazilian rock band Boogarins, touring in support of their 2015 release Manual, say regardless of crowd turnout, they’re just grateful for the chance to travel and play music to a live audience. 

February 2, 2017

Alt-pop band TV Girl brings summer vibes to The Boreal

TV Girl is a musical collage of West Coast pop sounds. From upbeat melodies to laid back beachy beats, this band could be a soundtrack to any hipster’s summer road trip — just don’t forget your vintage shades and wanderlust.

January 26, 2017

From the opening moments of High Step Society’s eponymous debut LP, the listener is dropped down a dust-cloaked chute and spit into a netherworld of speakeasy freedom. The astoundingly visual 10-track album depicts a fever dream of futurist phantasmagoria — robotics at war with compressed air and brass.

January 26, 2017

Any scholar of South African music can tell you Ladysmith Black Mambazo — who perform at the WOW Hall Friday, Jan. 27 — are a force to be reckoned with. 

When Mambazo formed in the early ’60s, they were so good that they were banned from entering singing competitions. Their obscure-sounding name is actually a bit of eloquent braggadocio: “Ladysmith” is founder Joseph Shabalala’s hometown, and “mambazo” means “axe” (they chop down the competition, you see).