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Music

March 26, 2015

No one has a voice quite like Iris DeMent — an aching, soulful twang reminiscent of a bygone era. “She’s the best singer I’ve ever heard,” Merle Haggard has said of the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter. DeMent has done timeless duets with John Prine and Emmylou Harris, and her songs have graced both the silver and small screens (2010’s True Grit and Northern Exposure). Via email, EW caught up with DeMent, who plays March 29 at Cozmic, to chat about music collaborations,  her music roots and her latest project.

March 26, 2015

String quartets might be the most common classical music chamber ensemble, but it’s hard to find a quartet that performs regularly hereabouts and thereby develops the kind of chemistry that can really make the music sing. That hole in Eugene’s musical tapestry will be repaired at 7:30 pm Tuesday, April 7, at United Lutheran Church (2230 Washington), when the new Eugene-based Delgani String Quartet takes it opening bow.

March 26, 2015

Would you like a gin and tonic with that guitar riff? How about a rum and Coke with that rhyme?

“In Eugene, you’ll see a bartender onstage everywhere you go. We all play music,” says Casey Lynch, Level Up Arcade manager and bartender.

Lynch is a prime example. Known to most as KI Design (emcee and ringleader of local hip-hop crew, The Architex), he has played countless shows, including a weekly residency — “Private Stock” at Luckey’s Club — going on four years now. 

March 26, 2015

Geographer exists somewhere between the emotive synth pop arias of Depeche Mode and the earnest coffeehouse-meets-arena-rock of fellow Bay Area acts Train and Counting Crows. 

With echoes of The Killers, Geographer’s latest release, Ghost Modern (out now on Roll Call Records) tries to sound big — U2 big, the kind of watershed record that burns up the charts while soundtracking a generation.

March 19, 2015

Nihilism and depression have long been compatriots. Dwelling together in the darkness, they lay entangled, drawing from one another, separate, yet not inseparable. 

March 19, 2015

“University cities are the best places to play,” says Jay Bentley, bassist for legendary Southern California punk band Bad Religion. “They’re full of students,” he continues, “and students are the best people.”

Bad Religion has been busting establishment chops since 1979. The band returns to Eugene in support of 2013’s studio record True North. Bentley says in addition to touring, Bad Religion has started writing a new record.

March 19, 2015

In the fog-ridden murkiness of Cascadia, one can easily forget that not all metal is black metal. Shattering our illusions of “all-grim everything” comes the brilliantly crisp technical metal of Archspire from Vancouver, B.C. Sharing the brutal gospel of last year’s The Lucid Collective (released on the Season Of Mist label), the tech-death powerhouse has been tearing up stages aside the likes of Fallujah, Origin and Fleshgod Apocalypse, all the while winning over new converts. 

March 19, 2015

One easy way to keep rap lovers happy is to introduce them to an emerging emcee with fast flow and a sharp, cutting vocabulary.  

Futuristic, born in Illinois and based in Arizona, is just that. His “Watch Yo Mouth” tour hits dozens of stops along the West Coast, and then extends east as far as New York. While he has gigs scheduled with musicians like Action Bronson and Shwayze, the 22-year-old rapper says he enjoys performing for audiences similar to what he expects to see in Eugene. 

March 12, 2015

Coming on the tail (feather) end of Rio de Janeiro’s world-famous Carnival, Eugene Arte Latino and Students Helping Street Kids International (SHKSI) host the Carnaval Brasil! 7 pm Saturday, March 14, at Cozmic; $12, kids 12 and under get in free. Costumes are encouraged, so break out your glitter, feathers, sequins and, of course, rhythm: Samba dance lessons start at 9:15 pm.

March 12, 2015

New York rapper Michael Quattlebaum Jr., aka Mykki Blanco, is as much a performance artist as a musician. 

A published poet and art school dropout, Quattlebaum’s alter ego Blanco is inspired by teenage girls and drag queens — mixing the right-now youth culture of Rihanna, the decadent gutter of the New York art world, queercore and Riot Grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna. 

March 12, 2015

Caroline Bauer releases her first full-length studio album, To Kneel and Kiss the Ground, Sunday, March 15, at her album release show at Sam Bond’s. Joining Bauer are Portland musicians Jeffrey Martin (who the Portland Mercury just declared “might be the best songwriter in Portland”) and Anna Tivel (formerly of Anna and the Underbelly), who also played violin on the album. EW caught up with Bauer this week for coffee and discussed raising money for the album, collaboration and her musical roots.

 

March 12, 2015

The visiting hip-hop scene has thrived this past year in Eugene, with rap revolutionaries — ranging from Sir Mix-A-Lot to J. Cole — stopping by on tour nearly every weekend.

March 12, 2015

Adia Victoria has only released two songs, but the Nashville-based singer is already on the rise as a Southern Gothic queen. Rolling Stone recently named her as one of “10 New Artists You Need To Know,” and Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Sleater-Kinney) is producing her debut with bandmates Ruby Rogers, Tiffany Minton and Mason Hickman. 

Although often categorized as country, Victoria is actually a Southern cynic. On her Facebook page, she describes her music genre as “back-porch-blues-swamp-cat-lady-howlin’-at-the-moon.”

March 12, 2015

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is one of the peaks of Stephen Sondheim’s stellar career as America’s greatest musical theater composer, which, after multiple Tonys, Grammys, a Pulitzer and other laurels, received another boost with 2014’s film version of his musical Into the Woods

March 12, 2015

Jeff Tweedy was an integral member of Uncle Tupelo and is now the frontman of Wilco — putting him at the forefront of two of the most acclaimed American rock bands of the past 25 years. 

In 2012, Tweedy produced the Mavis Staples record One True Vine. Tweedy asked his teenaged son Spencer to play drums in the studio, and from these recordings came the father-son project Tweedy

March 5, 2015

“I want to say that no artist has mentioned Eugene, Oregon, more in songs,” Eugene-born folk-rock artist Mat Kearney tells EW

For example, the lyrics to “One Black Sheep,” from his latest release, begin with a reference that only Eugene fans could appreciate: “I was born a love child of the seventies/ Touched down at Sacred Heart ... In the city of hippies and angel dust.” 

March 5, 2015

“You’re all a bunch of phonies” has long been one of punk rock’s favorite accusations. Providing a fresh and funny take on that old gripe are the firebrands from London, Ontario — Single Mothers

While first-gen punkers railed against flower power, Single Mothers take aim at the hipster, DIY and Etsy-crafter crowd, as well as any scene’s inevitable decline into self-parody. 

March 5, 2015

What does one do after breaking up a successful and influential band? If you’re Christopher Hall of The Dreaming, you start again, but this time as a supergroup. In the late ’90s, Hall’s previous project, Stabbing Westward, took modern-rock radio by storm with singles “Shame” and “Save Yourself” before calling it quits in 2002. Unwilling to remain idle, Hall and drummer Johnny Haro formed The Dreaming later that year. 

March 5, 2015

New York musician Marco Benevento recorded his 2014 release Swift about as far away from the big city as possible: Cottage Grove. 

Renowned producer and musician Richard Swift (The Shins, Foxygen) lives in Cottage Grove. Swift consistently supported Benevento’s shows at local venue the Axe & Fiddle. When Benevento heard Swift’s production work on Foxygen’s We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic (also recorded in Cottage Grove), he knew he wanted to work with him.

February 26, 2015

There’s nothing boring about ARCO-PDX, the Northwest classical music veterans who bring classical music into the 21st century by performing in venues where you can order a beer and not worry about clapping or chatting at the “wrong” moment. The group employs rock-show amplification and lighting effects, and the players memorize their repertoire — the better to connect with audiences instead of hiding behind music stands.

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.