Who among you musicians out there wouldn't want this fantasy to come true? Well, I'm here to tell you that it can. UO campus radio station KWVA (88.1 FM), now features a locals only music showcase. Every Monday night from 11 pm to midnight "David Does Eugene" airs all local music. If you want your music to reach a wider audience, and of course you do, this is the place to turn. Or, if you want to know what that mystery local band sounds like before you go see them live, listen up. Local musicians can bring tapes, CDs, vinyl or DATs to Suite M112 of the EMU. Ah, sweet stardom!
More local news: If anyone out there hears the rumor that Eugene's beloved Daddie's might be hanging up their horns for good, look no further than these pages to be assured that the nasty rumor is just that, a rumor. Not only can I report that they're not breaking up, I can even help fill out your holiday social schedule by giving you enough notice to find a date for their Christmas day show at the Wild Duck and their New Year's Eve show at Roseland in Portland. While they may not have a major tour planned, they're still keeping busy.
Check out Danny Barnes of The Bad Livers on Thursday, Dec. 14 at Sam Bond's.
The next night helps maintain Eugene's tradition of providing quality neonatal midwifery with a benefit performance called Keep Midwifery Alive at the WOW. All proceeds from this event will benefit midwifery programs throughout the state. Performing will be Eugene's Lo Nuestro, reggae band People's Choice and headliner Norma Fraser. After having taken an extensive leave from the music business, reggae legend Fraser is back in the groove. Her career has its roots in the beginnings of reggae at the famous Studio One, recording with the likes of Bob Marley, The Skatalites, and Delroy Wilson just to name a few.
Saturday is a great night to go to Sam Bond's, for Mood Area 52 and Tryptic. You'll love what MA52's lively and romantic continental mood music has done for the tango.
On Tuesday, celebrate the season of love and giving with locals YOB, appearing at John Henry's. Hey YOB guys, can I get a copy of your CD, please? If you're into sludge metal, Sabbath, Electric Wizard and other heavy stoner rock bands with an overall doom feel, give YOB a check out. Also appearing are locals H.C. Minds and San Francisco's SFB. H.C. Minds says "Some or all of the members used to be in a death metal band and there are still traces of their past swirling around in the band's sound, from the growled vocals to the crushingly heavy riffs." Also at Sam Bond's on Wednesday, Jerry Joseph gives a solo performance.
Eugene has a brand new beach-themed bar in town, called Gilligan's Tiki Lounge, featuring a large dance floor and different live Djs nightly. The hard bar features infusion shots and wacky drink specials. Also, ladies drink free Wednesdays and Saturdays. Plans are in the works to feature live bands there on occasion, so watch this space for more details. Now what I want to know is who out there is adventurous enough to start a Martin Denny cover band?
Two enterprising Northwest musicians -- one specializing in improvised music, the other in contemporary classical -- have taken advantage of technological developments that make it easy to crank out CDs and formed record labels specializing in exploratory music by Oregon musicians. Some of their recent offerings would make great gifts for friends with adventurous ears.
Portland composer Jack Gabel created North Pacific Music (www.NorthPacificMusic.com) to provide a CD outlet for the region's contemporary classical and new music composers, including Tomas Svoboda, who's built a reputation as one of the country's leading composers in the European classical tradition.
On Piano Works, vol. 1, Svoboda plays a diverse recital of piano solos composed over the last 35 years. Often slipping from winsome reverie into bursts of energetic, irregular rhythms, the music's emotional range is as wide as it is deep. Songs range from the playfully pastoral "In a Forest" (think George Winston, with depth) to the contemplative "Autumn," a gorgeous work for koto that retains that instrument's solitary, melancholy feel.
Svoboda also takes to the ivories on Piano Trios, drawing upon his Czech childhood and heritage in listener-friendly yet still adventurous chamber works. "Trio," his powerful musical tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, mirrors the hallucinatory turbulence of the painter's life, while "Passacaglia and Fugue" meanders from contented reflection to passionate expression.
Svoboda and two other Portland State University faculty members comprise the ensemble Trio Spektrum. The sweet, nostalgic "Sonatine" and mood-swinging "Theme and Variations" highlight their Music from Bohemia, a collection of contemporary works by Czech composers, plus a charming trio by Mozart's friend Josef Myslivecek. Jaroslav Krcek's delightful, folk-inspired "Four Renaissance Miniatures" would have made Dvorak smile.
North Pacific Music's exciting new eponymous release by UO alum Joseph Waters offers wholly original, high-intensity music that draws on a startling spectrum of influences. It includes a dreamy work for koto and electronics; a piece for vocalists and wind sextet based on Australian aboriginal songs; and a moody elegy for string.
"Garden of Kali," performed last month at the UO's Festival of the Millennium, conjures an appropriately psychedelic impression of Hieronymous Bosch's celebrated painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights. His setting of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's "A Populist Manifesto," a poem urging artists to create from the heart, reflects his philosophy of pushing boundaries while still connecting with audiences.
The various musicians orbiting Corvallis drummer Dave Storrs have several decades of jazz performance under their fingers; they, therefore, succeed in the "spontaneously composed" pieces Storrs releases on his louie label. On Chunks of Zen, Storrs' Tone Sharks offer enough astral effects to please any avant-garde fan, yet avoid honk-and-squeal shrillness.
Page Hundemer's bass experiments, Tom Bergeron's usual alto saxellence, the daring percussion touches of Storrs and guitarist Steve Willis's vibrant guitar effects combine to create one of the most original albums of the year. Captivatingly atmospheric (if occasionally self-indulgent), this group could take its place near the forefront of what remains of progressive jazz.
On Beginnings and Endings, the Sharks's rhythm trio, "Boundary Issues," features Willis's guitar engaging in fruitful conversations with Hundemer's aerobatic basslines. Sometimes spacy, sometimes funky, the results are unpredictable but often surprisingly cohesive. On the weird What a Day, the trio backs guitarist Mark "L'il Big Boy" Bakalar on enigmatic numbers that sound like Captain Beefheart gone jazz.
Finally, in an intriguing exercise, Storrs recorded a baker's dozen keyboard and percussion grooves, each specifically tailored to a particular musical colleague, and invited each to improvise over them. Accordingly, each track on Waxin' the Slide features a different lead. Highlights include pairings with soprano saxist Mike Curtis, trumpeter Jim Knodle, bassist Hundemer, vocalist Valerie Brown, and keyboardist Dave Trenkel.
Occasionally the players stumble into longeurs that neither advance the argument nor enhance the mood, but these pros are never less than listenable. Most contemporary jazz sounds stale and conventional by comparison. You can witness their spontaneous combustion in action when the Tone Sharks play Theo's on Saturday, Jan. 6.
Barnes & Noble
Lavelle Wine Bar
Nite Owl (Ramada Inn)
The Old Pad
Sam Bond's Garage
Waterfront Bar & Grill