I don't know how you spent your Tuesday evening, but personally I spent it in a bad part of town, drinking beer from a mason jar and listening to a bastard form of country music played by a group of old-timers and crazies. Were there hipsters pathetically misinformed of their own coolness shouting rebel yells at annoying intervals? Was there a washboard player? The answer to both is a hearty yes.
Sam Bond's Garage is one of my favorite spots in Eugene for music. They never get anything resembling big acts, but they're so unpretentious in their presentations that it's actually quite refreshing to spend a few hours there. The decor is a subtle combination of neon beer lights, oil paintings of boxing matches and furniture made out of logs. The crowd is generally locals, which in this case includes everything from college students to aging intellectuals to old-fashioned drunkards to that one guy in the tie-dyed Oregon Country Fair tee shirt who is stumbling around and muttering to himself to a guy who I swear looked uncomfortably like Kurt Vonnegut.
The Bluegrass Jam happens every Tuesday night at 9:30. No cover, so it makes a cheap date if you happen to be twang-inclined. The band started off with five guys and quickly grew to seven. This included a mighty fine banjo player, two guitarists, two fiddlers, a mandolin player and the above-mentioned washboardist (standard for guys who play the washboard, he had an unkempt beard and a goofy demeanor. I latter found out he was the owner and operator of Eugene Jeans, one of the town's finer local vintage shops).
Bluegrass is one of those forms that I'm slowly growing fond of, thanks to a few solid tribute albums I've picked up ("Moody Bluegrass: A Nashville Tribute to the Moody Blues," best country album of 2004, check it out) and a slight obsession with Bill Monroe. This is the first time I've checked out the Sam Bond's jam. Might become a regular fixture for me. Not much else happening on a Tuesday night.