Feb. 18: Damien Lillard's Rap Career, RAC's Grammy Win, 1939 Ensemble & More

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This week on "State of Wonder," the Blazer talks about his side-gig as a rapper, Portland's indie remix pioneer brings home the win, Portland Community Media gets an update and more. Eugene Opera Hits the Pause Button - 1:25 This week the Eugene Opera faced the music with a public meeting about its finances. Taking into account staff and office costs, the Eugene Opera needs $230,000 to stay alive through the end of the fiscal year this summer and has suspended the rest of its season. Trail Blazer Damian Lillard on Rapping and Starting a Record Label - 6:57 You may know Damian Lillard for his buzzer beating shots on the basketball court: He was the NBA Rookie of the Year in his first season with the Trail Blazers in 2012, and he just extended a 5 year contract to stay on in Rip City. But you may not know that Lillard is also a musician. Last year, he released his debut album, “The Letter O,” under the moniker Dame DOLLA and launched his own record label called Front Page Music. Portland's Remix Pioneer, RAC, Wins Grammy - 12:27 Portlander Andre Allen Anjos just brought home the city’s only Grammy this year for his remix of Bob Moses’ “Tearing Me Up.” Working under the name RAC, Anjos first found success with his remix of The Shins’ “Sleeping Lessons,” which was featured on Pitchfork then released as a B-side by the band themselves. He quickly became the go-to guy for indie groups, working with everyone from Death Cab for Cutie to The Yeah Yeah Yeahs — to say nothing of the mega stars like U2, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. Anjos invited us into his studio to take apart how he remixed Odesza's "Say My Name," which was nominated for a Grammy last year. Making Public Access TV Cool For a New Generation - 22:27 From "Wayne's World" to "UHF," public access television doesn't exactly have a sterling reputation. But that's about to change at Portland's station. Formerly known as Portland Community Media, the organization is renovating the building and rebranding itself as Open Signal, a media arts center where you can learn not only TV, but also storytelling, podcasting, coding, mixed reality, and other forms of digital media. A Vintage Airstream Trailer Transforms into a Podcast Studio - 30:30 Curled up in the corner of Open Signal’s parking lot is a beautifully restored, vintage Airstream trailer that doubles as a mobile podcast studio. StreamPDX is an outgrowth of the late, lamented DIY makerspace, the XOXO Outpost. In this unconventional space, aspiring journalists and audiophiles have the opportunity to record and produce their own podcast. The Dark, Lovely Sounds of the 1939 Ensemble - 37:23 Portland-based 1939 Ensemble is not just a jazz group. Their atypical beats slowly build momentum, creating an ominous wave of sound that is both unsettling and delightful, sounding like a bunch of jazz musicians were tasked to write a post-rock soundtrack for an edgy cop show. With vibraphone. New Documentary Explores Narrowly Averted Nuclear Disasters, With a Personal Twist - 44:07 In 1964, the air force pilot Thomas Waldo McCormick got a mission to fly a B-52 carrying two 9-megaton thermonuclear bombs from Massachusetts to Georgia. It hit bad weather about halfway through its flight, and crashed in snowy woods outside of Washington, D.C, nearly averting nuclear disaster. McCormick's grandson, Portland filmmaker Matt McCormick, made a film about the crash entitled “Buzz One Four.”