Back Beat

Will Johnson
Will Johnson

For further evidence that Tiny Tavern seriously shreds as a live venue, head down Friday, April 11, for Basque punk/nu-metal band Berri Txarrak (“Bad News”), a power trio from Spain that plays high-octane alt-rock, meshing the anthemic assault of Judas Priest with the angsty crunch of early grunge. Founded in 1994, this outfit has recorded with Steve Albini and toured with Rise Against, and they sing in their native tongue. Long live Basque metal!

Across the street from Tiny Tavern Friday, April 11, at Sam Bond’s, Eugene’s premier power-pop trio, Ferns, will celebrate the release of their new 7-inch vinyl single, “Ghost Procession,” a dirgy anthem that dips and floats on the glory of pounding beats and squelchy guitar leads, as singer/guitarist Jacob Pavlak provides the melodic thread with his ethereal vocals. A great live band, Ferns bounce between limber pop numbers and swelling, guitar-driven songs that recall early Built to Spill. Good stuff.

The eve of April 11 has more music to offer: Head to the south hills for an intimate living room show with indie singer-songwriter Will Johnson presented by Undertow, a music collective that books these cozy events nationwide. Grab a pillow and a spot on the floor as Johnson, lead singer for alt-country band Centro-matic and drummer for indie supergroup Monsters of Folk, serenades you with his sweet folky originals. Johnson plays 8 pm; $15. For tickets and more information, visit

Don’t miss: local music talents Lady Paw and Paul Quillen and Portland’s famed lap steel guitar player Marisa Anderson (whose music NPR says “exposes and hides the mysteries of American music”) at Wandering Goat 8 pm April 10; Eugene’s electro-acoustic Hamilton Beach with sizzling alt-funk band Otis Heat (think a funkier Alt-J) 9 pm April 11 at Axe & Fiddle and 10 pm April 12 at Sam Bond’s; new wave folk singer-songwriter and musicologist Peter Case, who has worked with the likes of T-Bone Burnett and Roger McGuinn, at Tsunami Books 7:30 pm April 13.

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