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Emerald Recommends: The most disappointing releases of 2017

Every year features both great and disappointing art, so Emerald arts writers decided to kick off the best of season with releases that fell flat. These aren’t the worst releases of 2017, but instead, the things that we were excited for that didn’t live up to expectations or didn’t even …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Review: Pixies end sold-out residency in Portland with blistering show

On the last of its sold-out three-night residency at the Roseland Theatre in Portland, the Pixies played straight and fast. Clad in all black, the band whipped through 90 minutes of material. Despite playing consecutive shows starting Wednesday, they created a solid wall of sound. The Boston band, known for …

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Arts & CultureMusic

‘Thriller’ at 35: A retrospective look at the highest selling album of all time

Michael Jackson’s legacy is deeply engraved in popular culture, but no piece of work turned in by the pop legend matches the momentous impact of his 1982 album, “Thriller,” which turns 35 years old on Nov. 30. Released when Jackson was only 24 years old, “Thriller” would revolutionize the music …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Review: The National bring intense live show to sold-out Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The National is, in some ways, a family band, but all comparisons to the Jackson 5 stop there. The band comprises vocalist Matt Berninger, actual brothers Bryce (guitar) and Aaron Dessner (guitar, keyboards) along with twins Scott (bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). Members are consistently involved in other projects, but …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Review: Björk finds bliss in the otherworldly ‘Utopia’

“Utopia,” Björk’s latest album, can be seen as a companion to 2015’s “Vulnicura,” as it explores many similar subjects. “Vulnicura” functioned as a way for the Icelandic singer to process a breakup with her long-term partner, American artist Matthew Barney. Naturally, the album took on a somber tone; however, on …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Emerald Recommends: Songs for the Civil War

Whether watching at Autzen Stadium or at home rooting for the Ducks with family, Ducks fans sure know how to rock game day. Find songs to listen to as the Ducks play the Oregon State University Beavers in the 121st Civil War below. ‘Fuck You’ — CeeLo Green No song …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Emerald Recommends: Songs to listen to while flying

Many University of Oregon students will be taking flights home to spend time with their families on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Though it will be nice for students to take a breather from schoolwork and visit with family, the travel it takes for students to reach their destinations aren’t always easy. …

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MusicNews

Documents cite sexism and sexual harassment as reasons for firing Oregon Bach Festival artistic director Matthew Halls

Documents obtained by Eugene Weekly shed more light on September’s secretive firing of Oregon Bach Festival Artistic Director Matthew Halls. Halls, who received a $90,000 settlement from the University of Oregon, was accused by four women of unequal treatment on the grounds of gender. One of the complaints against Halls …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Review: Taylor Swift makes room for vulnerability and mistakes on ‘Reputation’

Taylor Swift drinks and (kind of) raps now, according to her new album, “Reputation.” But the album, with its increased autotune and expansive production value, isn’t just about the death of “Old Taylor,” or her feud with Kanye West or the media’s perceptions of her life. Nor is it a …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Which of hip-hop’s biggest acts will drop an album before the end of the year?

It seems like a new rap/hip-hop album drops every week. Albums now have a shelf life of a few days and new singles are nearly forgotten by the next weekend. The timeline for a rapper to release new music has been shorted by so much that fans become antsy after …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Review: Daniel Johnston gives an emotional performance in Portland during final tour

Cult singer-songwriter and outsider artist Daniel Johnston is currently finishing a limited string of live performances that have been billed as his “final tour.” On Wednesday, the artist made a stop in Portland at Revolution Hall for an intimate, and heartfelt sold-out show. The night began in a slightly unorthodox …

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Arts & CultureMusicScene Guide

Beyond Mat Kearny: Musical references to Eugene show more than just Oregon pride

This lively, green city often lies near the back end of the public zeitgeist’s list of favorite American towns — Eugene is rarely discussed on a larger scale outside of University of Oregon relations. But though the town is generally absent from pop culture, the name “Eugene” (in reference to …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Review: Pinegrove finds meaning among simple shapes and words in ‘Intrepid’

Evan Stephens Hall, the songwriter and lead vocalist for the Montclair, New Jersey band, Pinegrove, has a few unusual songwriting idiosyncrasies. Hall likes to sing about geometry and literature, using those subjects as a way to talk about interpersonal connections. Sometimes Hall even challenges his band’s Twitter followers to find …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Discography Dive: British band Blur perfects the pop album

Emerald writers love a deep dive. In the Discography Dive series, Emerald A&C staffers write in-depth about their favorite groups. This week, music writer Nic Castillon looks into the British band Blur’s lengthy history. “Leisure” (1991) and “Modern Life is Rubbish” (1993) Blur signed to Food Records in 1990 and …

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Arts & CultureMusicNightlife

Review: Tyler, The Creator brings the colorful world of ‘Flower Boy’ to Eugene

Los Angeles-based rapper Tyler, the Creator brought the brash sounds and beautiful colors of his “Flower Boy” tour, along with Odd Future tag-alongs Taco and Jasper, to McDonald Theatre on Saturday night. Tyler released his highly successful album “Flower Boy” in July and started the tour in promotion of the …

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Arts & CultureMusicNightlifePhotoProfile

Never saying no: The Macks discuss opportunity, inspiration and location

The Macks have made a point of never saying never. Anything is on the table for the Portland, Oregon-based rock band composed of frontman Sam Fulwiler, guitarist Ben Windheim, drummer Joe Windheim and bassist Bailey Sauls. The Macks’ latest EP, “Happy Camper,” combines blues riffs and grunge style, creating a …

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Arts & CultureMusicPersonalitiesScene Guide

Eugene’s Captain Crook Records remains at the “heart of DIY” music

Before Eugene’s Slade Nevin began his own record label, “Captain Crook” was just the name of his disabled cat. “Its neck was broken to the left, its tail was broken to the right, so it walked sideways,” Nevin said. Crook passed away but lives on: his name is memorialized through …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Triumph through tragedy: How Said The Whale reinvented itself

It had been nearly four years since indie-rock group Said The Whale had recorded an album prior to its 2017 record “As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide.” During that time, the Vancouver, B.C.-based quintet parted ways with two of its members and went through many personal tragedies — all …

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Arts & CultureEventsMusic

Emerald Recommends: Halloween Songs

“Halloween V mix” — RL Grime While children will be parading in the streets on Oct. 31 in celebration of the largest candy giveaway of the year, EDM fans will be celebrating for a different reason: Los Angeles-based DJ and producer RL Grime will release his sixth annual Halloween mix. The …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Review: Bully’s sophomore LP ‘Losing’ is honest and energetic but suffers from invariability

Bully’s latest LP, “Losing,” is out on Sub Pop Records, which feels fitting. The Nashville band’s grunge-influenced sound is reminiscent of many artists the label helped popularize during the late ‘80s and ‘90s. Unfortunately, the strong energy Bully brings on this sophomore album does little to make up for its …

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Arts & CultureEventsMusicNightlife

Review: Iron & Wine gives unique intimate experience to sold-out McDonald Theatre

As rain poured on the streets of downtown Eugene, the crowd inside the sold-out McDonald Theatre remained dry, eagerly awaiting Iron & Wine’s calming acoustic sound beneath a dreamy sky of decorative clouds. Sam Beam, better known by his stage name, Iron & Wine, played with a unique supporting band …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Together PANGEA brings their rebellious sound to Portland

In the foggy Portland Analog theater and cafe, LA rock group Together PANGEA played to a modest crowd. Its provocative lyrics and grungy edge give the band a distinct punk influence. People were in thrifted jackets, colorful hair and beanies. This weekend, the four-man group is finishing out their American …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Review: King Krule immerses listeners with ‘The Ooz’

English musician King Krule’s last two records, “6 Feet Beneath The Moon” and “A New Place 2 Drown,” drew in listeners with his growing competence in immersive, versatile production and his enigmatic vocals. “The Ooz,” released last Friday, continues Krule’s progression towards becoming a world-class musician — and may have …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Discography Dive: Brooklyn’s Ratatat expands in sound

The Brooklyn duo, Ratatat, has an 11-year career in which the group has expanded in sound, expanded in instruments and consequently nurtured a hip-hop, electronic aesthetic to a perfect bloom. The Emerald takes a look at Evan Mast and Mike Stroud’s near-palpable progression from a humble band to fervent artists. …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Review: A. Savage offers mature songwriting on his first solo album ‘Thawing Dawn’

Andrew Savage has always been busy. In the late 2000s, he was a member of two different bands –– Teenage Cool Kids, and Fergus & Geronimo. More recently, he has found success as a singer and guitarist for the art-punk band Parquet Courts — currently one of the most acclaimed …

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Arts & CultureMusicPersonalities

The benefits of extra baggage, an interview with multi-instrumentalist EDM artist Gryffin

Electronic dance music (EDM) is as prominent in mainstream culture as any other genre of music. It influences the media, as well as other genres within the music industry, like hip-hop, country and rock. One particular musician influenced by EDM is Palo Alto native Dan Griffith, otherwise known as EDM …

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Arts & CultureMusicNightlifeScene Guide

P.O.S brings his smart raps to Eugene

Minneapolis’ P.O.S is currently riding the medium-sized wave formed by his latest release, “Chill, Dummy” —  a fast-paced and energetic hip-hop record. He just started the second leg of his tour in support of the album and will be making a stop at WOW Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 11. “Chill, …

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Arts & CultureMusic

Review: Boris makes the floor shake with an intense show at WOW Hall

Eugene was a little bit louder than usual on Friday night thanks to a performance from the legendary Japanese experimental group Boris. The band made a stop at WOW Hall during its 25th anniversary tour in support of its new album “Dear.” The night began with a beautiful and chaotic …

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