Eugene Weekly : Arts Shorts : 2.28.08

Rage Against the Machine

Catzie Vilayphonh and Michelle Myers

You know those stereotypes of Asian women? Not gonna repeat them here (who needs to reinscribe that bullshit?), but there are plenty of them out there related to speech, looks, sexual behavior and more. Yellow Rage isn’t about to let you leave those dark corners of your brain untouched. With cleansing humor, anger and trenchant spoken-word performances, the spoken word duo of Michelle Myers and Catzie Vilayphonh have been wowing, sometimes scaring the shit out of and inspiring audiences since they debuted at the Def Poetry Jam in Philly in 2000. They can talk fetishes, cultural appropriation and more — Myers teaches at a community college in Philadelphia and helps her students compete in poetry slams; Vilayphonh writes for magazine, covering fashion and literature and much more. Myers is also a member of the group Asians Misbehavin’, and she writes columns for Anti-Racist Parent (

The duo recently released their second spoken word CD, Handle With Care, Vol. 2 (and the first CD, Black Hair, Brown Eyes, Yellow Rage, Vol. 1 is still available). Yellow Rage is sponsored by the UO’s Asian Pacific American Student Union and performs at 7 pm Saturday, March 1, in Gerlinger Lounge on the UO campus. — Suzi Steffen


Collaborative Spirit

What’s the trickiest part of launching a dance show, post college or conservatory? All the snicky details that go along with producing: Secure the theater, write the PR, run the tech, manage the production — not to mention cultivate the audience to enjoy the show. It’s a daunting prospect for any artist. But LCC’s dance department has a zippy solution: Invite the community onstage, throw them some admin support and invite everyone to share in the fun. Enjoy the results when the Eugene Youth Ballet, Sally Gibson, Eileen King’s Kings Krew, Sarah Nemecek, the Lane Dance Company, Margo Van Ummersen and others perform in the annual Collaborations Dance Concert on Feb. 29 and Mar. 1 at 8 pm in LCC’s Performance Hall. Tix available at the door.— Rachael Carnes

Beware the Shopocalypse

Think Christmas has become too commercialized? Hate the fact your credit card debt outweighs the cash you have in the bank? Maybe seeing a screening of What Would Jesus Buy? and watching a performance of Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir will inspire a change of habit good for your soul — and wallet.

What Would Jesus Buy? (reviewed in EW 12/13/07) follows Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir on a cross-country tour to save Americans from the Shopocalypse, which is the end of humankind by consumerism, over-consumption and the fires of eternal debt. Rev. Billy performs chilling exorcisms at Wal-Mart headquarters and retail interventions at the Mall of America and even stops at the “Happiest Place on Earth” to preach consumerism’s destruction on America.

Bill Talen created the part televangelist, part street preacher character known as Rev. Billy as an actor in San Francisco in the early ’90s. Talen insists Reverend Billy isn’t a parody of a preacher, but an actual one (unlike his fake peroxide blond mop of hair). The live performance by the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir (part of Talen’s Church of Stop Shopping) may be right up your alley if you dream of an ideal local economy without big-box stores. However, if you believe Jesus would likely want to help as many people as possible by stretching his buck at Wal-Mart, this may not be for you. Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir stop in Eugene at 9 pm Thursday, March 6, at Cozmic Pizza. $10. — Anne Pick


CORRECTION In a 2/14 arts short about a new theater company, EW inadvertently called it by the wrong name. The Roving Park Players (not Roving Theatre Company) is the new company founded by Lisa Shea-Blanchard and Vicki Harckovitch; the pair produced one free play Valentine’s Day weekend and have two free plays in the parks planned for the summer season. Look ’em up online ( for more info.