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This time around, Delmhorst will be singing her own poems.

Byline: Serena Markstrom The Register-Guard

The last time Boston-based Kris Delmhorst visited Eugene, co-headlining in November at the WOW Hall with Erin Mc-Keown, it was to promote the first of the two releases she had recorded at the same time: "Strange Conversation" and "Shotgun Singer."

Pop Notes

"Strange Conversation" is a concept album of songs Delmhorst culled from the work of such well-known poets as Robert Browning and James Weldon Johnson.

"Shotgun Singer" doesn't come out until the end of April, and Delmhorst hasn't done a lot of national press on it in advance of her headlining show today at the WOW Hall. But during an "All Things Considered" interview on National Public Radio about "Strange Conversation," she said some things that could help us understand the new CD.

Delmhorst said the inspiration for the album came after reading Browning's "A Toccata of Galuppi's," a poem about a piece of music from Venice in its heyday. Browning's poem is gloomy and about death, but Delmhorst decided to reimagine the Venice scene from a more cheerful perspective.

She told NPR's Melissa Block that she decided the verse is not about death but about the "odd little immortality that art gives people." Delmhorst went on to pen 12 songs inspired by poems, and most of the album has a chipper tone to it.

The reason Delmhorst's quote about "odd immortality" might be a key to her new batch of songs is that Delmhorst might have come closer to carving out her own immortality by using her own words, instead of those of long-dead poets.

"Shotgun Singer" is full of sparse poetry that relies on nature's imagery to convey ideas, but which masters tone to convey emotion. Both of Delmhorst's new works are worth owning if you are a fan of acoustic music, but "Shotgun Singer," with its lo-fi mystery, is the better of the two.

Delmhorst is married to Jeff Foucault, who played Luna about a year ago. Foucault has a delivery that relies on country and blues, quite a contrast to Delmhorst's contemporary and stylish musings.

Her intimate songs, with judicious use of snare drum and strings, evoke a smoky sensuality that puts her closer to artists such as Iron & Wine or Feist than other East Coast folk artists, such as Dar Williams or McKeown.

Foucault also is a lot more straightforward lyrically than his wife. On "Shotgun Singer," Delmhorst has many secrets people will enjoy interpreting and analyzing long after she turns into silver ashes.

See Delmhorst tonight at the WOW Hall, with the Winterpills opening and serving as her backing band.

The Winterpills are a Massachusetts-based chamber folk group that, like Delmhorst, records on the Signature Sounds label. Hear samples from the Winterpills and both Delmhorst albums on the Ticket Files blog:

The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $12 at the door. The WOW Hall is at 291 W. Eighth Ave.

Vermillion Lies

Saturday, Agate Hall

Vermillion Lies is an adorable, modern cabaret act in which sisters Zoe and Kim Boekbinder make up in charm what they lack in technical prowess on their conventional instruments.

The Boekbinders play such nontraditional items as a barbecue grill, toy piano and typewriter, so there's no way to gauge technical ability for most of what they do. You just know it works.

They have a new recording, "What's in the Box?" They are celebrating at 8 p.m. Saturday with a CD release party at Agate Hall, 1795 Agate St.


uring a July show at Sam Bond's Garage, the sisters commanded the crowd, often chastising people for not listening and ultimately winning over even those who were not there to see the show.

The show is $8 for students and $10 for everyone else.

Musekiwa Chingodza,?Fools in Paradise

Saturday, Luna

Luna has scaled its concert schedule way back in preparation for the nightclub becoming a Moroccan restaurant. So it's only appropriate that some African music enliven the venue, which has been sad and empty these past couple of months.

The show features mbira virtuoso Musekiwa Chingodza, whom a news release says hails direct from Zimbabwe. He will play the "deep and rhythmically complex music of his ancestors," a news release says.

Portland-based Fools in Paradise, a six-person group, will perform a variety of music on African and other instruments, the release says.

Luna is at 30 E. Broadway, and the Saturday show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door.

Jim Page

Saturday, Tsunami Books

Scott Landfield, owner of Tsunami Books, is beside himself with excitement that folk singer Jim Page is playing his venue Saturday.

Jim Page, "folk singer extraordinaire, will once again inform our hearts with his timely, intelligent lyrics and well-seasoned guitar licks," Landfield writes in an e-mail."He's a longtime prince of the (Oregon) Country Fair."

Landfield says Page's material ranges from tear--jerking, radical and political tunes to get-together, street-marching songs.

He's "an institution in the Northwest world of folk," the news release says.

The show starts at 8 p.m. at Tsunami Books. Admission is $5.

SelfEsteem BoatWillie

Saturday, Diablo's/Downtown Lounge

SelfEsteem BoatWillie started out his days on the Eugene music scene in 2005 as one of three members of the hip-hop group the AntiDope. The group sold approximately 125 copies of two recordings, "Attack of the Wak" and "Dirty White and Dumb," both of which are out of print, according to a news release.

Now, SelfEsteem Boat-Willie is ready for a solo release Saturday with "Patrick Makes Perfect," which represents his struggles living as a common modern man, a news bio says.

"With lyrics driven by ... frustration for a rapidly growing neoconservative, right-wing, faith-based movement, SelfEsteem BoatWillie's songs can be troublesome yet heartfelt," a news release says. He blends his love for punk bands such as NOFX with an affection for hip-hop groups, including OutKast.

The song "Eye for an Eye" is featured on the trailer for "Depraved," an upcoming film by local movie maker Hank Weintraub of 531 Productions.

The show starts at 9 p.m. at 959 Pearl St. for a $6 cover.

The Drew Emmitt Band

Thursday, WOW Hall

Drew Emmitt plays mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitars, harmonica and flute, but the former member of Leftover Salmon is still bringing a band to play for you live on Thursday.

After a decade swimming with the Salmon, Emmitt is best known for his mandolin playing.He has released "Freedom Ride" and "Across the Bridge" as solo efforts.

Tickets are $14 in advance and $16 at the door. The show starts at 9 p.m.
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Title Annotation:Ticket
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Mar 7, 2008
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