Back Beat

It’s been six months since Seattle hip-hop outfit Macklemore and Ryan Lewis played their sold-out show at the McDonald (pictured above) and they’re already back, headlining at Matthew Knight Arena on May 4. Is the thrifty (“Thrift Shop”) duo aware of the campus controversy this booking ignited after the ASUO originally allocated over 100G to Mallard Madness (a student-run concert series) to nab the show? Many students are up in arms that the show was paid for with student fees, yet students still have to pay for tickets ($15-$20 students, $28-$33 general admission).

EW’s Next Big Thing, the annual contest to find the best local, original hit single, starts with an early bird special: Musicians can submit their songs for free at through May 16 (after that, there will be a $20 fee per submission). Visit for more info.

Mood Area 52, local crackerjack of the concept album, has released its first CD since 2009’s 1952 Philanski House. Company Town was recorded at guitarist Billy Barnett’s Gung-ho Studio, and the album art includes a board game that incorporates track titles like “Airship” and “Rajasthani Truck Race.” Winner gets to be “Philosopher King or Queen.” (Fingers-crossed this means someone will put out a Settlers of Catan album.) Company Town is available at live shows — don’t miss 52 playing The Shedd for Eugene Fashion Week 6 pm Friday, May 3.

What if a musician wants to be lit up like a golden god or sound like her voice is coming from light years away? Learn lighting tips and other useful concert production tools — sound, promotion, color theory  — with WOW Hall’s Concert Production Workshops that kick off May 4 and 5; $30 per weekend session or $100 for four weekends. Visit for more info.

Don’t miss: Steampunk Night at Luckey’s (10 pm Thursday, May 2); All Vinyl Dance Party deejayed by Dawn Baby and Miss Amelia Hart for First Friday Artwalk (9:30 pm) at The Barn Light; the poetic and rootsy Rebecca Pronsky at Sam Bond’s (a steal for $3 at 9 pm Wednesday, May 8.)