Arts & Culture

Furthur Rides Again

May 13, 2014

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters’ voyage across the U.S.—one of the most famous bus trips ever. Zane Kesey and a new crew of pranksters will celebrate in July, with a new trip. Eric Alan has the story, including an interview with Zane Kesey and original Acid Test recordings.

Misty River on KLCC

May 10, 2014

  In 1997, a mother and daughter, with another friend and one of the mother's guitar students, took the stage at an open mic in Portland.  Seventeen years, five CDs and a DVD later, Misty River gets back together to celebrate Mother's Day and music with a tour that includes The Saturday Cafe.

Bohemian Dub Ball

May 9, 2014

A look at the Bohemian Dub Ball, an ambitious and multidisciplinary event at the Hult Center on Saturday, May 10th. It will feature electronic artists paired with a thirty-piece concert orchestra, dance, visual artists and more. Our guests are Calyn Kelly from the Community Center for the Performing Arts, JoJo Ferreira from Medium Troy, and Jeremy Schropp from Harmonic Laboratory.

Photo by Eric Alan

Early music vocal ensemble Vox Resonat presents "Springtime in Paris," bringing French songs from the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance periods--all celebrating spring, nature and love--to the Central Lutheran Church in Eugene on Saturday, May 10th. Vox Resonat joined Eric Alan in the SELCO Performance Hall of the KLCC studios, including founder and director Eric Mentzel, vocalists Heather Holmquest, Emily Hopkins, and Ryan Dixon, and instrumentalists David Rogers on lute, Laura Zaerr on medieval harp, and Adam Dunson on percussion.

Photo by Eric Alan

Texas native Sarah Jarosz has built a remarkable music career, after signing with Sugar Hill Records at age sixteen. Seven years later, she has three albums to her credit, including the latest, Build Me Up from Bones, which was nominated for a Grammy Award this year for Best Folk Album. The title track also received a nomination for Best American Roots Song. The CD features her regular trio, including Corvallis native Alex Hargreaves on the violin, and Nathaniel Smith on the cello.

Tibetan refugee Lady Jangchup Palmo--also known as Amala, or Honored Mother--lived a meditative life in caves after Chinese invaders killed her family. She escaped and eventually moved to Cottage Grove, where she now faces cancer. She was instrumental in arranging the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Eugene last year. She will give a talk called “Transforming Adversity into Opportunity” on the LCC campus on Thursday evening.  She speaks to Eric Alan, with the assistance of her son and translator, Lama Jigme Rinpoche.

Carol Burnett stands as one of the all-time legends of comedy, and at 81 years old she’s still as vibrant as ever. Before her May 7th Hult Center show, she speaks with Eric Alan about her comedic career, including the time a Tarzan yell nearly got her killed, and what she would’ve done if she was Osama bin Laden for 24 hours.

Shook Twins Live at KLCC

May 2, 2014
Photo by Eric Alan

Identical twins Laurie and Katelyn Shook are celebrating the release of the new Shook Twins CD, What We Do, with a performance at the McDonald Theatre in Eugene on Friday, May 2nd. They dropped by the KLCC studios to perform a few songs, along with Anna Tivel on violin and Niko Dauossis on mandolin (on Niko's birthday). A good time was had by all, especially with the magnifying glass.

courtesy of

The Thing with Feathers,” released at the end of last month, is a new book by South Eugene graduate and self-described bird nerd, Noah Strycker.  The book’s been getting rave reviews from the birding community, but I think that sells it short.  While Strycker begins each chapter with bird watching anecdotes and fascinating facts, he never stops there.   

Photo by Eric Alan

Matt Andersen hails from the tiny Canadian village of Perth-Andover, and now spends much of his life touring with his acoustic blues music. His newest CD is Weightless, produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos. Before performing at Cozmic in Eugene on Wednesday, April 30th, he dropped by the KLCC studios to play a few soulful songs from Weightless and talk to Eric Alan about working with Steve Berlin, his collaborative songwriting process and a recent experience he had performing for prison inmates.

2 shows at the JSMA

Apr 30, 2014

Sandy and Terry talk about 2 big exhibits at the JSMA:  Contemporary Oregon Visions: Jo Hamilton and Irene Hardwicke Olivieri  and The Human Touch: Selections from the RBC Wealth Management Art Collection

Grammy-winning trumpeter Chris Botti returns to the Willamette Valley with a performance at the Hult Center in Eugene on May 1st, not far from where he grew up in Corvallis. He speaks with Eric Alan about collaborating with Mark Knopfler and Frank Sinatra, and how growing up in Corvallis helped him as a young player.

At a recent discussion with a Eugene audience, a playwright was asked what he found most difficult with respect to his work.  “Letting go,” he answered. Those who create performance pieces must leave them for others to interpret.  They must learn to “let go” of their play, song, opera or symphonic opus. Those who stage the piece may have a concept that differs from theirs.

Similarly, parents need to accept their children will one day pursue independent lives. They will go their own way, regardless of what their elders prefer.

Photo by Dean Rea

Author Bill Sullivan, best known for his definitive Oregon hiking guides, has a new book of short stories out about Oregon's most quirky places and people. It's called The Oregon Variations, and its literary structure parallels the musical structures of Bach's Goldberg Variations. He speaks with Eric Alan before bringing his related slide show Oregon for the Curious to Eugene, Bend and Sunriver. 

Ungar/Mason Family Band on KLCC

Apr 27, 2014

Jay Ungar, his wife Molly Mason, daughter Ruthy and son-in-law Mike Merenda are continuing a great folk music tradition: the traveling family band. With two small children and any number of musical instruments in the mini-van, the Ungar/Mason Family Band bring good times and music to the Shedd in Eugene.  Awaiting their arrival: a double bass and a babysitter...  

Photo by Isabel A. Zacharias

Ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro stopped by the KLCC studios for a live performance and interview before his appearance at the McDonald Theatre in Eugene on Friday, April 25th. He played songs ranging from traditional Hawaiian and Japanese music, to his signature cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." He talked about adapting music to the ukulele, and the odd experience of being the subject of the documentary film Life on Four Strings.

Spring Awakening

Apr 25, 2014

University Theatre presents the musical Spring Awakening, a modern rock adaptation of a controversial play from 1891, regarding adolescent sexuality and coming of age. Eric Alan speaks to director John Schmor about the play’s raw edge, the unusual music, and what we haven’t learned about coming of age in the past century.

The Cinema Pacific Film Festival brings films and new media from countries which border the Pacific Ocean. It includes the annual Adrenaline Film Project, in which films are created and then shown in a 72-hour frenzy. A conversation with Cinema Pacific director Richard Herskowitz, and Leigh  Kilton-Smith, a mentor for the Adrenaline Film Project who has served as an acting coach for Jennifer Aniston and many others.

Steve Landes has been portraying an eight-year portion of John Lennon’s life for sixteen years, as part of the multi-media Beatles tribute called Rain. Before Rain’s performance at the Hult Center, he speaks with Eric Alan about the oddity and excitement of the role, what it takes to recreate the Beatles, and what he’ll do when he no longer looks like John Lennon.

Noah Strycker is the author of The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human. He’s also associate editor of Birding magazine, and he’ll be the guest speaker at this month’s Lane County Audubon Society meeting on Tuesday evening, April 22nd. He speaks with Eric Alan about birds’ surprising intelligence, including aspects of altruism, art and dance.

Angela Kellner

William Shakespeare is said to have been born on     April 23rd 450 years ago.  Eugene is home to a family named "Shakespear" -- and they're related to the Bard!  Intrigued by their name,  KLCC's Claude Offenbacher spoke with two family members:  Roosevelt Middle School 8th grader Zac, and his mother,  Christy.

The University of Oregon English Department and the Collins Fund present Asian American Voices, A Collins Literary Forum, bringing four authors to the UO campus in spring. The first will be Gish Jen, author of four celebrated novels, a collection of short stories and her most recent book, Tiger Writing: Art, Culture and the Interdependent Self. That book is drawn from her lectures at Harvard University in 2012. She’ll appear in the Knight Library Browsing Room on the UO campus on Monday, April 21st at 8 p.m.

Claudia Schmidt on the Saturday Cafe

Apr 20, 2014

Claudia Schmidt has been a touring professional musician for over four decades, with nineteen albums of mostly original songs, exploring folk, blues, and jazz and spoken word. Her spring tour brought her to Salem and Eugene with her new Red House release, New Whirled Order.

Marx(ist) Brothers on the Saturday Cafe

Apr 20, 2014

Live music should always be so lively!  Andy Cohen, Chico Schwall and Mark Ross begin their first Northwest tour as the Marx(ist) Brothers with a rousing send-off on the Saturday Cafe.


Eugene Celebrates A Windy Earth Day

Apr 19, 2014
Desmond O'Boyle

Despite rainy and windy conditions, hundreds of people celebrated Earth Day Saturday in the Eugene Water and Electric Board's downtown parking lot. The wind seemed to be more of a factor than the rain. Elizabeth Brown is with the organization "Our Children's Trust" who operated a booth at Earth Day. She says they tied their booth next to two adjacent ones.

Photo by Eric Alan

David Jacobs-Strain merges the blues with his own musical vision, including in acoustic duo shows with Philadelphia harmonica master Bob Beach. He’s also recently been recording in southern California with some stellar players, including bassist Viktor Krauss (of Lyle Lovett's Large Band), Greg Leisz and legendary drummer Jim Keltner.

Lincoln Gallery

Apr 16, 2014

Terry Way and Sandy Jenson visit Lincoln Gallery in Eugene. It's sponsored by Oregon Assisted Living Program.

Guest conductor Grant Llewellyn, a native of Wales, will join the Eugene Symphony for their April performances in Eugene and Florence. He also is participating in extensive artist residency programs this week as well. He speaks with Eric Alan about the experience.

Tom Spanbauer is the author of five acclaimed novels, and the founder of the teaching form called Dangerous Writing. His latest novel I Loved You More looks at the workings of a very complicated love triangle. Before giving a reading on the UO campus on Tuesday evening, April 15th, he speaks with Eric Alan about the muse of the secret sore place.

Photo by Eric Alan

Portland songwriter Anne Weiss has merged folk with the blues and other influences, while Texas native  Beth Wood has brought her own songs to Eugene in recent years. Together, they joined Eric Alan in the KLCC studios on the last day of KLCC's spring fund drive, before also performing together at Tsunami Books in Eugene, on Friday April 11th.