Puppet Masters

Portland’s Tears of Joy Theatre elevates the art of puppetry with The Jungle Book

What was the last puppet show you saw? An after-school special maybe? Or perhaps a storybook hour staged by librarians with their hands stuck up some glorified socks? Portland’s Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre wants you to throw out that imagery entirely.  “There are so many puppet shows out there that I’ve seen that might be great for kids,” says Emily Alexander, Tears of Joy’s executive director, “but the parents are, how shall I put this — not enjoying it. For anyone whose idea of puppets is either Muppets or socks with googly eyes, we’re out to change that.” Continue reading 

Potty Mouth Punks

Do you think the band’s founders went through other options before settling on the name Dayglo Abortions back in 1979? Given the Canadian punk trio’s penchant for offensive juvenilia, it would probably be an incredible list. Continue reading 

Get Heavy

Heaviness is a fickle descriptive when it comes to music. Is it gauged by the power riffs of a Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin? The hyper-speed assault of a Slayer or Napalm Death? Maybe the slow, brutal chug of a Swans or Neurosis? Some even look to the dark undercurrent of early bluesmen like Blind Willie Johnson or Leadbelly (the name certainly checks out) as the true masters of heaviness. Continue reading 

Folk It Up

Eugene Concert Choir packs a full day of Latin American Folk into the Hult

Gaspar Colón

After opening its season pulling from classic Christmas fare (A Christmas Story) and pop-oriented crowd pleasers (the Burt Bacharach songbook), the Eugene Concert Choir will step out of the box a bit with two performances this Saturday, April 30: Latin American Folk For Kids at 11 am and Cantata Criolla at 8 pm, both held in the Hult Center’s Silva Concert Hall.  Each show takes advantage of the considerable talents of visiting vocalists Idwer Alvarez and Gaspar Colón, renowned operatic singers in their native Venezuela and, increasingly, around the world.  Continue reading 

Thread the Kneedelus

Instrumental jazz-rock outfit Kneebody and electronic producer and muttonchops enthusiast Daedelus


L.A.-based instrumental jazz-rock outfit Kneebody and electronic producer and muttonchops enthusiast Daedelus are the kind of musicians who blow apart any form of genre classification.  “For better or worse, we refuse to be pigeonholed in one sound,” explains Kneebody bassist Kaveh Rastegar of his band’s eclectic tendencies. “You’ll hear music that pulls from elements of EDM, jazz, indie rock and re-contextualizes everything with improvisation.”  Continue reading 

Nerd Rap At Its Finest

The little-known Logic


The Annual Freshman Class Cypher put out by XXL Magazine is something like a rap world debutante ball — a chance for the genre’s most promising hopefuls to prove their mettle in rap’s oldest battle tradition.  When the little-known Logic made XXL’s class of 2013, the response was mostly indignation. Who the hell is this guy? And why did he make the cut over, say, Chief Keef?  Continue reading 

Beyond the Pale

Pale Hands

For the past four years, the husband-and-wife team of singer and guitarist Jen Johnson and drummer Mike Latulippe have fronted Velah, a rather excellent Boston-area indie-rock outfit. Johnson went on record saying that Pale Hands, the duo’s barely year-old electronic band, came about after they wrote a bunch of songs that just couldn’t work for Velah. It’s the sort of thing you’re supposed to say when launching an electronic side project (see: Broken Bells, Postal Service), even if it’s not altogether true.  Continue reading