Half Shark Half Jesus
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Half Shark Half Jesus

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Half Shark Half Jesus @ The Muse Lounge

Eugene, Oregon, USA

Eugene, Oregon, USA

Half Shark Half Jesus @ Black Forest

Eugene, Oregon, USA

Eugene, Oregon, USA

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When Jenny Oberst talks about the formation of Half Shark Half Jesus a mere two years ago, it’s hard to believe her when she says she “wasn’t really much of a guitar player,” and that fellow guitarist Chris Lupton “hadn’t really written songs before.” Makes you wonder what her definition of “really” is. For a young band, and from people who “really didn’t have experience as musicians,” HSHJ isn’t just promisingly good; they already are good.

“Chris Lupton and myself had been friends for several years,” says Oberst, “and we would get together and listen to music and then complain at shows about how that should be us up there.” Now, it is them up there. The band recently headlined gigs at the WOW Hall (as part of the Eugene Chosen showcase) and at the Space in Salem (as part of the Cherry City Music Festival). HSHJ is celebrating the release of their second EP, Hair on Fire, with numerous shows planned throughout the Northwest during the summer.

Their name gives people pause. Lupton had kicked the name around in years previous, but never used it. When Lupton suggested Half Shark Half Jesus, Oberst agreed. “I thought it was so preposterous and somewhat offensive but also kind of like, ‘What?’” she says. “We’re kind of an oddball bunch.”

It’s a perfect name for them. Their songs have teeth and attitude. The guitars are producing a grungier sound than on their debut, Pink Pillows, but Oberst’s girlishly thin voice tempers it into power pop. Her voice soars over catchy guitar riffs and effortless melodies born from moments that evoke classic rock like Jefferson Airplane, even Jimi Hendrix.

Oberst says Hair on Fire is “really breakup music.” (There’s that really again.) I call it really good. Half Shark Half Jesus play at 3 pm Saturday, June 27, at CD World for a free in-store performance, and with Science Heroes at 10 pm Saturday, June 27, at Black Forest. 21+. Free. — Vanessa Salvia - Eugene Weekly 6-25-09


Pink Pillows EP, released September 2008. Hair on Fire EP, released June 2009



Chris and Jennifer came down from Castle Rock back in the spring of '07 with tablets in hand. They had a new directive. They would form a band. It would be named Half Shark Half Jesus. There would be rock. And so there was. Joined by Joe on drums, they have made plans to rock Eugene...and then rock the Pacific Northwest...and then rock Iceland...and then rock the world. And so it shall be.