Cozmic Pizza

The Northwest Gets It’s First Cigar Box Guitar Festival


Come join us for the very first Cigar Box Guitar Fest Northwest where you can mingle with the area’s Cigar box guitar enthusiasts and builders of the fast growing Cigar Box Guitar phenomenon.

Cigar box guitars are one of the original roots instruments dating back to the 1890’s. Many early blues players made cigar box guitars from a broom handle and a cigar box.  They took the wire that held the broom together and used it for string.

We will be showcasing some of the Northwest’s finest cigar box players featuring a multitude of musical styles. Featured artists: Ben Rice from Portland, Jerry Zybach from Eugene, Stephen Cohen from Portland, Cigar Box Joe and Downtown Vinnie from Eugene, and Ice Bob from Florida.


The purpose of this festival is to create awareness for a wonderful, versatile instrument that is easy to play and just as easy to build.  Downtown Vinnie traded his Les Paul two years ago for two cigar boxes and a lap steel.  He now has thirty cigar box guitars.  To say it’s an addiction is an understatement.

Cigar box guitar players come from every country in the world. It is a fast growing trend. Cigar box guitars come in all shapes and sizes; from one to six strings. The musical styles encompass everything from Blues to Bluegrass, to Rock.

Paul Simon with a Cigar Box Guitar
Paul Simon with a Cigar Box Guitar

There will be cigar box guitars for sale at the event.  We will also be having a raffle for a Swamp Witch cigar box guitar.  There will be door prizes throughout the day.

The Cigar Box Guitar Fest Northwest is June 26, 2014

Saturday July 19, 2014
Cozmic Pizza 199 W. 8th Ave Eugene, OR 97401
1-10 pm $5.00 at the door

For more details:

Event Coordinator, Mark Alaniz
2655 Moon Mt. Dr.
Eugene, OR 97403
[email protected]

Samantha Fish lights up Cozmic Pizza tonight

The crayon sketched sign that hangs on the door of the blues club that reads “boys only” has just been set ablaze. The arsonist is a 24-year-old singer/guitar player from Kansas City, Missouri who taught herself how to play the guitar when she was just finishing her teenage years.

Samantha Fish has been building a buzz throughout the blues music scene since her 2011 debut, Runaway. The record was met with heat and praise and in 2012 she won the Blues Music Award for “Best New Artist Debut.” Known for her slick guitar riffs and sweet howling vocals, Fish is all set for a night of thundering blues at Cozmic Pizza.

Fish’s journey into the music scene started with humble beginnings. While growing up in Kansas City, she would often sneak into local clubs to hear passing musicians and take notes on their style. She would sit in with any musician willing to lend her a spot and she soon became a fixture at the Knucklehead’s Saloon. Her self-released live album Fresh Bait was released in 2010 and after earning some praise and gaining recommendations, it made its way to Ruf Records who offered Fish a contract.

Her first recording was a collaborative effort with two other blues guitarists, Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde, and was aptly titled Girls with Guitars. The three female blue guitarists passed around guitar licks and broke down any gender barriers associated with the blues genre. After the release of Runaway, Fish toured non-stop and continued to write and perfect her next batch of songs. Her most recent string of shows are in support of her upcoming sophomore album, Black Wind Holwlin’, which is set for release in October.

This new record has Fish maintaining her riff-heavy guitar work and the singer’s vocals continue to find that spot between amplified and clear. She almost sounds like an alternate universe Amy Winehouse who gave up drugs for a 4/4 blues standard. Her lyrical content is firm and tough with female tenacity. On the track “Lay it Down,” she growls, “He’s got the ace up his sleeve / I got a pistol on my side / and if he pulls first I’m gonna give it to him right.”

Samantha Fish has had to deal with all the skepticism and doubt caused by her youth and gender. Though none of these factors have caused any setbacks; they’ve only acted as timber.

Cozmic Pizza is located at 199 W. Eighth Ave. Admission is $17 for the all-ages event.

Friday Night on the Town


The holiday has officially started and we enter into the time of more family gatherings than is healthy for some of us.  None the less, there is no time like the day after the national turkey feast to get out and find some anonymous comfort in a dimly lit club filled with mind bending music.  Personally I’m going to head down to the Axe and Fiddle in Cottage Grove to help celebrate their fifth anniversary.  There’s a smattering of local delights this evening for those who can’t find a designated driver.  No excuses people, let’s find the party.

There’s a young man, Cliff Hines, making a surprise appearance at Cozmic Pizza tonight.  It’s an early show, 5:00 pm, so I’m thinking a great place to start.  Cliff comes from New Orleans where he and other band members studied music at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA).  With a pedigree like that, this could be a rare treat for modern jazz enthusiasts.  The sound is fresh, full of unexpected syncopation overlaid with oh so smooth guitar work by Cliff Hines that reminds me of one of his influences, Pat Metheny .  Sasha Masakowski provides ethereal vocals that dance around in the music, amazing.  I would hope that we in Eugene could give this talented quartet a warm welcome; there’s no cover, no excuses.

You could hang around Cozmic for Total Hip and a little so called boom rock, but I’m thinking the night is ready for some more action and a change of scenery.  Surprisingly, I’m not seeing anything in the metal department so we have to go for good old rock and roll.  A  Eugene favorite for a couple of decades, The Valley Boys, is kicking it up at Mac’s.  Yeah, they are a rock cover band, but probably the best in the area.  I think this is a good venue for them and it will be a great dance party, well worth the $6 cover

The hidden treasure lies waiting at Luckey’s with Poor Miner’s Union.  Billed as Jam Funk, I’d say they tend to cross genres at times with an overall funky electronic jazz sound. With tunes like “Spyro” ,  cuddle up with a brew, a few friends and let all the mental clutter drift away.   Show starts at 10:00, $5 cover.

Now, about that drive to Cottage Grove.  I’ll be going because I love the Axe & Fiddle as a music venue and hey, they are celebrating 5 years.  It doesn’t hurt that my good buddy Mike Last is playing with the Stagger and Sway along with a terrific line up of Americana and Indie musicians.  Lloyd Mitchell Canyon is on the bill, driving down from Portland to throw down a little country rock.  Female lead vocalist J Crow has a smokey smooth voice that makes me want to sneak a kiss.  Along with the Huckleberrys and Brandon Decker, this will be an awesome celebration for a surprising little club tucked away to the south.  Show starts at 7:30, but I’m going to get there early for a good spot and to have a bowl of their homemade salmon bisque.  Yummy.  $5 cover.

Axe & Fiddle

 LA Thompson, EDN

Night on the Town sponsored by:

Original Music

Black Delany, B-Line, Security In Numbers, and Kylan Johnson : Rock : Black Forest – 10:00pm
142nd Annual Mustache Rally, Eager Beavers : Fun : John Henry’s – 9:00pm
$5 – The Stagger & Sway : Americana : Axe & Fiddle – 7:30pm
$5 – Poor Miners Union, Dorado : Jam, Funk : Luckey’s – 10:00pm

Cover & Tribute Bands

The M80’s : Rock : Mohawk Tavern – 9:00pm
Satellite Jack : Rock : Village Green – 9:00pm
The Survivors : Rock : Yukon Jack’s – 9:00pm
Cheap Truck : Rock : Goodfellas – 9:00pm
$6 – The Valley Boys : Rock : Mac’s – 9:00pm

Blues, Jazz & Country

Cliff Hines : Jazz : Cozmic Pizza – 5pm
Molly Nord : Piano improv : Hidden Valley – 6:00pm
Aftermath, Greg Nathan, Mike Denny : Jazz : Hilton Hotel – 7:00pm
Jim Liberato : Acoustic : The Loft – 8:00pm
Skip Jones, Paul Biondi, Hank Shreve : Blues : Sam’s Place – 8:00pm
$5 – Total Hip : Boom rock : Cozmic Pizza – 8:00pm
$10 – Timothy Patrick : Acoustic humor : Saginaw Vineyards – 6:00pm
$5 – Green Mountain Bluegrass : Bluegrass : Sam Bond’s – 9:30pm

Dance, DJ, Hip Hop, Other

Freek-Nite Dance Party w/Audio Schizophrenic : DJ : Cowfish – 9:00pm
Michael Friedman, Social Alchemist : Electronica : Granary – 9:00pm
Rock-n-Roll : Jam : Quackers – 9:00pm

Night on the Town


FRIDAY Night on the Town

Break out the sunglasses and the tank tops!  It’s looking like summer, while extremely tardy, has finally arrived!  Thank goodness!

Last Saturday I wrote about seeing Portland’s Tony Furtado in Cottage Grove.  I was all psyched to see him actually given the caliber of this talented musician.  Fortunately for Tony, earlier in the day he received a phone call  to open for Charlie Daniels in Medford at The Britt Pavillion at 7pm. Hmmm… I’m thinking, he’s opening for a national act, it was better money, a larger crowd than the Axe & Fiddle all which makes perfect sense.  Unless you’re sitting at the Axe & Fiddle wondering why there is no music!  Thankfully, Tony did put a post on his Facebook page alerting his tried and true followers.  I feel sorry for the Facebook-less people in the world.

Kicking off this long weekend is music, sunshine and lots of drink specials which all seem to start early for some reason?

Getting started at 11am today was Doc’s with their Long Islands specials of $4.00!  Happy 4th of July!  But if you can’t get started that early, waiting till the “magic bewitching hour” of 4pm will prove fruitful.  If you’re out Highway 99 way, The Blind Pig has $3.25 wells, $2 Domestics and Micros at $3.  While the gang at Goodtimes is touting $4 Vodka & Redbulls with $2 Coronas.

Getting a bit ‘cause‘ driven here, kicking off tonight’s events we’ll start at Cozmic Pizza where the Mythrill Benefit Concert for UCCEF (Uganda Children of Conflict Education Fund) is happening.  This event provides funds for former child soldiers who have been rescued or escaped captivity.  Per Wikkapedia, the word Mythrill is described as a fictional silvery metal stronger than steel but much lighter in weight.  This band is a reincarnation of the now disbanded band, Mithrandir, with Kathy Burleson, Jamie Smith and Kriss Crowley playing saxophone, flute, mandolins, guitars and violins. Per Burleson, their music is “island rock, a cross between Latin and Soul.” On drums is Evan Belize who is well known in the reggae world as “a hell of a drummer.”  In the band Mythrill a new ‘silver’ is born.  With a suggested donation of $5- $10, this show starts at 7:30pm.

Concrete Loveseat

Heading over to Territorial Wine, Concrete Loveseat is performing.  The soft, yet vigorous voice of Cynthia Heywood (who sings through a Sure Model 55HS microphone, think Elvis microphone here) effortless frosts this bands unique instrumentation, which includes a flute AND a tenor saxophone!  Rendering such standards as “Moondance” and “All of Me” this band puts their own unique stamp on all of their songs.  Besides Cynthia’s voice is intoxicating all by itself!

The Strangled Darlings

While we all know Steve Earle and the Dukes (and Dutchesses) are playing at the SHEDD tonight, I’m choosing to to see something a bit eclectic yet just as entertaining.  Stepping out of my normal comfort zone here, I’m going to make sure  I’m over at Sam Bond’s Garage to witness Portland’s own Strangled Darlings.  Promoting their February operetta-like release “The Devil in Outerspace” which ponders the many answers to the question ‘What would happen if God commandeered the Devil’s spaceship” is aptly answered in very memorable and unique riffs throughout each track.  Songs such as “Drowning” is an eerie mixture of the vocal acrobatics of lead singer George Veech blanketed in cellos and strings and the moans of saw blades.  Also on tonight’s bill are Aeon Now! and Dinosaur Feathers.  While I realize Mr. Earle will put on a killer show, I can’t wait to see the Strangled Darlings hauntingly unique and memorable show.  I’m so exited!

Geeze!  With this much nice weather, I best get out in it and enjoy it.  I will see you out there and be back tomorrow on things to see & hear O U T S I D E while soaking up the sun!



Eugene RAW


Eugene RAW
– The Club Scene

Saturday Night saw The Club Circuit at Cozmic Pizza for the June 2011 Eugene RAW show, featuring newcomer Justice Beagle and hosted by Strange Dichotomy.  I’d been to Cozmic Pizza before and always love the open, airy, and casual atmosphere of this venue.  With a nicely-appointed stage, and seating for those drinking alcohol separated from sections for folks under 21, this all-ages venue boasts a nice selection of beers and wines, with a (shall we say “cosmic”) menu of pizza, salads, and other yummy victuals.

But of course, the reason we were here was to meet and be astounded by the bands performing.  Eugene RAW is hosted by Strange Dichotomy, featuring local up-and-coming young musicians and/or bands, sharing the stage and entertaining the folks.  With a $3 door, the bands don’t get a lot of money for doing this, it is purely for the opportunity to play in a very different kind of venue from that available in most of Eugene’s club scene.

Opening the set was Justice Beagle, just 16 years old and stepdaughter to Eugene’s own Mitch Chamberlain of Gladhander, this promising young lady serenaded  her way into our hearts with covers of singles from Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Lady Gaga, amongst others.  Her opening of John Lennon’s “Imagine” was soulful, and the closing (shared with her cousin Jay) of “Lucky” were all very well received by the audience.  She has a great vocal range and potential.

I had a chance to chat with her after her set, where she told me that her primary focus (for now) is on finishing school.  She will be doing some shows with “Girls Rock” at the Axe & Fiddle, and has some youtube videos, including “Beauty In the Breakdown” which I highly recommend. We hope to see more of Justice in the future!

Hosting the show was, of course, by Strange Dichotomy.  These guys are truly a hidden jewel in Eugene’s band scene.  Comprised of Greg on acoustic guitar and vocals, Luke on bass and vocals, Kyle on electric guitar, and Jason on hand drums, this set caught us completely by surprise.

In talking briefly with Greg before the set, I learned that he has actually been involved in the local Eugene music scene for some time, working previously with Hyde & Jekyll.  Eugene RAW really is his passion at this time, trying to give local bands the opportunity to play together in a unique “acoustic” venue.  In his own words, Greg says “[I] have always believed that playing unplugged is a testament to a band’s true ability… the bands we play with jam acoustically. Kinda make them play outside their comfort zone. It means every show should be unique and memorable.”  It was all that and more!

Strange Dichotomy

This is a group of formidable musicians, who all have their own unique strengths but are still able to blend this into an amazing single entity.  The group’s sound as a whole reminds me very much of one of my favorite all time bands, “Days Of The New” (when I mentioned this to Greg after the set he told me he has heard this often).  They have an interesting mix of blues-rock with a definite tribal feel.  Luke’s backup vocals blend perfectly with Greg’s lead vocals, and he plays some awesome bass runs (while dancing!) simultaneously.  Kyle’s electric guitar work simply shines, providing a sweet partner to Greg’s acoustic guitar.

The closing band that was scheduled to play did not show up (their loss!) – so we had a chance to get a couple extra songs from Greg and crew which was definitely a bonus.    I especially liked their closing cover of The Police’s “Walking On The Moon” – done completely reggae!  This band has an amazing stage presence and energy as well – we will definitely be back to catch these guys again!

Night on the Town – Friday


Night On The Town – Friday May 27

Day 2 of the Memorial Week End Mardi-Gras opens with a full plate of choices. Spirits unfazed by todays unpredictable downpours, we suspect this is a good night to make sure you’ve got a designated driver, cab, or party bus to shuttle you safely around Eugene’s distributed party.  By now you know that the big hype shows barely make it onto the radar, let alone the the picklist.  Fortunately there’s none of that to deal with tonight unless the idea of heading to Coos Bay to see Taylor Hicks resonates.  After perusing the EOTC Happy Hours list, we’ve picked where we’re starting the evening, find us and say hey and there’s a shirt in it for you.  In fact, catch us at one of tonights picks and say “I love EDN” and there’s a shirt in it for you.

Marshall Tuckers Progeny: Rose’s Pawn Shop – Axe & Fiddle (Cottage Grove), 9pm – $5.  Normally the enthusiasm for nuevo hillbilly requires a reason, or a hellacious sound and musicianship.  In this case the name started it, the website carried it, and the music sealed it.  This is next level rockin’ hillbilly/sorta country.  When Paul Givant starts singing your conversation is going to pause, your focus is going to shift, and you’ll be looking round for the Nashville bus that brought them in (there’s no bus and they’re from L.A.).  Ok, to let the cat all the way out of the bag, these guys have enjoyed many awards, were hand-picked by Jack White to open for the Raconteurs at the Henry Fonda…whoa…sound like a fan all of a sudden.  Go early, like right after happy hour.

Hip Loop Hoppin: Loop Whole – Sam Bonds, 9pm – $5.  They call themselves “Feel Good Fusion” with songs like The Limit that will put you musically in either the ‘A’ Team, or an unreleased TV episode of Shaft.  In other words feels good, ooohhh yeaaaah.  Unless you are a local zombie, you’ll dance, I think even the zombies would dance.   Sounds like “Rice Krispies after you add the milk.”

Special Mention: Eugene Raw – Cozmic Pizza, 8pm – $3.  If you haven’t caught one of the Eugene Raw Session you need to either turn in your insider card, or catch tonights show. One to watch is Strange Dichotomy.


The music is even better than the website.







Saturday – Night on the Town


Refreshed from the one day vacation, here is whats brewing tonight in our little town:

Represent: Japan Red Cross Benefit – Cozmic Pizza, 7:30 – $3. Hey, its a benefit, and there will be Bellydancing. How often will you set out into a Eugene/Springfield night and find Bellydancing featured? An art, a skill, a serious physical ability and entertaining to behold. The mess in Japan isn’t over and you may never find an easier benefit to attend.

To The Nines: Eugene Fashion Week Avant Garde Show – Oak Street Speakeasy, 9pm – $7.00. The theme of this night is the costume and avant-garde. This is a 21+ show featuring fashions from

The Jan Show: The Royal Send-Off Concert – Goodfellas, 7pm – FREE. This rockstravaganza has been put together by none other than Duke Kelly, local entrepreneur and co-owner of Ozone Music out in Springfield. This is a send off party for longtime Goodfellas owner Jan Bliss; she has sold the business after many years working to turn it into one of our great music venues. There are rumored to be 7 bands playing tonight promising more mayhem than your last party. You will want some protection for this one, no not a gat, ear protection, as there are several notoriously loud and entertaining bands on the bill: Hollowman, B-Line, Deadfall and Audiophobia to name a couple.