Swag Soldier

Soulja Boy

Type “Soulja Boy” into YouTube, click the video for “Crank Dat” (with more than 158 million views, mind you) and dance along as you listen to the hip-hop song that took 2007 by storm. DeAndre “Soulja Boy” Way always knew he was going to be “the next big thing” in the rap game — and even said as much on the Wikipedia page that he created for himself when he was 15. He worked at Burger King in high school, but before he was 20 “Crank That” helped him earn a major record deal and a Grammy nomination.  But it doesn’t stop at the crank. Continue reading 

The New Jurassic Period

Jurassic 5

It takes the right combination of craziness and courage to walk away from the fame game at its peak. But in 2007, Jurassic 5 did exactly that. Feedback (2006) reached No. 6 in Billboard’s U.S. rap record sales, securing Jurassic 5’s status as pioneers of alternative hip hop. Seven years later, the same cats known for jazz sampling, scatting, multiple live MCs and even the occasional kazoo solo are once again ready to take you “back to the concrete streets,” as they rap in their 1999 self-titled LP. Continue reading 



I had my first beer at a Baths show in high school circa 2007. I was at my friend’s birthday party, and it was also the night Will Wiesenfeld made his debut as that now-famous moniker. Seven years later, the electronic musician is making his debut performance in Eugene. Since that 2007 house show, Baths has racked up gigs like Sasquatch Music Festival and has become a bit of a viral celebrity after receiving multiple “Best New Music” nods from Pitchfork.  Continue reading 

Post-Pop-Punk Madness

The Thermals

When the Thermals began in 2002, lead singer Hutch Harris never imagined that the band would tour more than a dozen countries in the subsequent decade. Harris, also the songwriter and lead guitarist for the band, founded the Thermals as a project when he began recording all instruments himself on a 4-track cassette recorder from his kitchen in Portland. Along with fellow bandmember Kathy Foster, Harris moved from Northern California to Portland in 1996, jamming to Northwest bands like Built to Spill and Nirvana along the way.  Continue reading 

Power Instrumental

Photo by Athena Delene | tinyurl.com/athenadelene

Human Ottoman is confident that their debut album Power Baby is going to melt your face off.  This chutzpah stems from the fact that, to their knowledge, they’re the only band in the world that uses this particular instrumentation, with Matthew Cartmill on cello, Susan Lucia on drums and Grayson Fiske on vibraphone (like a xylophone with a sustain pedal). “It’s shocking when you think you have an idea in your head about what cello sounds like and what vibraphone sounds like, and then what we do happens,” Fiske says.  Continue reading