Author: Salem Weekly

Two in Salem: The Holy and the Vital -The Salem Pimpernel

Enter the Dream A fever dream. An obsession. A Zen meditation. Willamette University’s double-bill of The Feathered Mantle and The Weaver & the Dress, directed by Jubilith Moore, is all of these things and more. The first is an English translation of the Japanese Noh play, Hagoromo; the second is a modern poem about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera performed in the Noh style. The combination is absolutely unique to Salem, and if you have any curiosity in theatre at all, you should see it. Noh is the oldest of the traditional Japanese forms, dating from the 14th century. A Noh play combines Buddhist stories with ritualized movement, chanting, drums, flute, and masks into an hour-long performance. That is a description of Noh. But experiencing Noh is like… eating a chocolate so rich you can only have one a year: delicious, exquisite, ephemeral, with a taste that lingers. Willamette has brought in another highly talented guest director to helm this project, Jubilith Moore, formerly of the Theatre of Yugen in San Francisco, one of only two active Noh companies in the United States. Moore translated the first piece into English and trained Willamette’s actors from scratch in just five weeks. (Traditional Noh performers practice for a lifetime, passing their secrets down family lines.) What is the play about? Both Moore and the pre-show lecturer describe Noh as a dream:...

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Eat, Drink, Thrive: Taproot Reinvents Salem’s Food Culture

by J.M. Murdoch You can’t miss him. Well over six feet in height, black-brown dreadlocks tied back with a kerchief and hanging to his waist, and that contagious, bright smile which makes you feel like his oldest and most trusted friend. Christopher Holland spies me coming in the door to his new establishment, Taproot Lounge and Café, for our scheduled interview. “Buddy!” he yells, makes his way to me in two long strides and wraps me up in the best hug ever. (I learned that he calls everyone “Buddy,” but I guarantee it doesn’t make you feel any less...

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Finding the Quiet Space

by Judith Walden Despite being a working artist and teacher for 20 years, Julie Jeanseau didn’t always see herself as an artistic person. Encouragement from her parents prompted her to take some painting classes at Chemeketa and through them she found her “artistic self.”  Jeanseau is passionate about art, describing it as “a fundamental language our brains need to communicate in.” She is especially committed to helping children develop this form of expression, which is one of the reasons she enjoys teaching. Jeanseau states that she primarily considers herself to be a painter. “Painting,” she says, “takes discipline and...

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Horse Cult, Solace and Aerial Ruin, Detour, Wire Monkey Mama, Captain Wail & The Harpoons, and Coot & Codger

Saturday, April 30th – 9pm at Christo’s Pizzeria & Lounge: Horse Cult, Solace and Aerial Ruin – Celtic/Beguiling Dark Folk. Sooo many reasons to highlight this show. Really, one very good reason: Asia Kindred. She has given so much to Salem and continues to be an active member of the music scene. Remember the Wisp House? That beyond incredible house venue that was closed down for no apparent reason? That was Asia’s house. Solace is her solo stuff, “an ambient weaving of harp and ethereal effects and vocals.” Asia has recently joined Portland’s Horse Cult which brings lively dark...

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The secret’s out: Salem Is actually a progressive City

Unlike Portland and Eugene, Salem is frequently regarded as a conservative city in a blue state.  Oregon has a Democratic governor and legislature, but few of Salem’s city councilors are progressive.  Most are conservative. Is Salem actually a Republican town? It turns out – no. “People think the Republicans won in 2014. But that’s not true in Salem.  In Salem, Jeff Merkley, who is one of the most progressive US senators – won Salem by 16%,” says Salem’s Tina Calos, who has followed electoral trends for the last ten years, “and that’s a landslide.” Merkley even won in Salem’s...

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