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Wetlands experiments with a new mix of musical acts.

Byline: Serena Markstrom The Register-Guard

There have been some changes to the Wetlands in West Eugene, but these are unlikely to rouse the environmental activists - unless they like live music.

You may have already noticed a difference in the Wetlands' music lineup. The expansive club formerly hosted live punk, heavy metal and conscious hip-hop on weekends but has shifted to more diverse acts in hopes of appealing to its regular customers and attracting new ones, says general manager Collin O'Coyne.

"It wasn't the type of music that our regular clientele was into," O'Coyne says. "The music before was attracting a different crowd, which was great. ... We definitely made a name for ourself."

But as far as employees of the bar could tell, those weekend crowds didn't return to buy food, play pool, watch sports or do anything else during the rest of the week, he says. O'Coyne hired Cindy Ingram, who runs Cindy Ingram Booking Promotions, to take over booking when Evin Marshall decided to move on.

Ingram sent out a news release announcing the changes, and sat down to talk about the ideas she has for bringing more variety to the venue, which she has learned can hold 360 people, plus capacity in the smoking area.

She says the old format at the Wetlands was consistent and predictable. Some of the bands that performed there before will be welcomed back, but the shake-up has meant a few lost regular gigs.

Her predecessor, Marshall, is "a god of the punk, heavy metal, party scene," she says in an e-mail.

"He definitely knows what he's doing. But, where's the opportunities for other kinds of music?"

So far, that diversity has included salsa band Caliente, jam band Jupiter Hollow, psychedelic rock group CoStar and local musician Skip Jones.

This week, Americana artist Dan Neal will open the show at 10 p.m. Silas, one of the bands Ingram manages, will go second and headline the show. Because the Wetlands' live music starts late, the band with the strongest local draw will have the middle slot, she says of her Saturday shows in general. Sid & Fancy, a bluegrass punk band, will close the show down.

"I'm trying something a bit different than what's already going on in Eugene," Ingram says, noting the similar skills it takes to book and promote bands and do her day job as a nonprofit community organi- zer.

So far, Ingram has booked most of the summer acts, which include funk, indie, alternative country, soul, rock and reggae bands from Portland, Ashland, Corvallis and, of course, this area.

O'Coyne, who's been on the job for eight months but has been bartending in Eugene for eight years, says he sees this transition as a trial period to figure out what type of music customers want.

"Right now we are exploring," he says. "It's been working out well. The shows we've done have been excellent. We're getting really great feedback about the music we are doing. ... We're creating an identity now that's different than before."


Silas, Dan Neal and Sid & Fancy

What: Bluegrass punk and Americana roots rock

When: 10 p.m. Saturday

Where: Wetlands Sports Bar and Brew Pub, 922 Garfield St.

Tickets: $3 cover

Information: Call 345-3606
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Title Annotation:Entertainment
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 28, 2006
Previous Article:Musicians answer WOW Hall's call.
Next Article:Rouse returns to Eugene and calls for 'a gathering'.

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