Issue #301 March 9, 2016

Taking Another Crack at the Vase

indie film returns to Eau Claire’s Downtown Cinema with regional scenery and humor

by Amelia Kimball

Every time he comes back to Eau Claire, film director (and Memorial High School grad) Chris Herriges feels a wave of nostalgia wash over him. He is excited his film The Vase is coming back ...

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Issue #301 March 9, 2016

Ghosts & Gunpowder

artist’s new show uses explosive media

by Nikki Lanzer

Local artist Ashley Harrington is stepping outside the cookie-cutter canvas and saying goodbye to pencil and paint. When it comes to her creations, Harrington steers wide and clear ...

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Issue #301 March 9, 2016

Familiar Foliage

photographer adventures to capture local trees, landscapes

by Eric Christenson

After being in Los Angeles working as a graphic designer post-graduation, something about the daily grind left Christopher Bartlett feeling drained. The fast-paced blur – and probably the smog, too – made him crave the Midwest with its gushing rivers, dynamic seasons, and packs of trees. Somewhat directionless, the UW-Stout grad ...

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Issue #301 March 9, 2016

Getting Better With Age

a beloved teacher’s poems mark a midlife milestone

by Eric Rasmussen, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Let’s start with a quick exercise. Read the following description of a local writer and educator, and then try to guess how old he is. Mr. P (let’s call him Mr. P) is one of the Valley’s most beloved English teachers. Everywhere he goes, former students approach him to share cherished memories and excited updates on what they’ve been up to since high school ...

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Issue #301 March 9, 2016

Testing the Limits

from tornadoes to fatherhood, BJ Hollars’ new essay collection focuses on survival

by Rob Reid, photos by Michael Lundebrek

In April 2011, B.J. Hollars, his wife, Meredith, and their dog survived an EF-4 tornado by huddling together in a bathtub. To cope with the aftermath of the storm, Hollars wrote ...

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Issue #301 March 9, 2016

Curing the Blues With the Blues

blues vet’s 15th album tackles Lyme disease struggle

by Nikki Lanzer

One local musician refuses to sacrifice his passion for music – even in the face of a chronic illness. With the release of his latest album, Lyme’s Disease Warrior, Eau Claire blues artist Craig Barr ...

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Issue #301 March 9, 2016

Folk Song Catharsis

Len Voy starts healing on debut 10-track record

by Eric Christenson

You’re not supposed to write sad songs if you’ve never really had anything too sad happen to you. That’s rule No. 1. It’s just as true – if not even more so – in folk music as it is in any other genre. There’s just something about real life feelings of confusion, pain, and longing that makes a person want to pick up a guitar and start writing ...

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Issue #301 March 9, 2016

Symphonic Double-Header

adult and youth symphonies tackle Beethoven, Mozart, and more

by Tom Giffey

If you’re a devotee of classical music, it’s time to clear your calendar for a symphonic twofer. On Saturday, March 12, the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra will present its annual Youth Concert at 4:30pm at the State Theatre in downtown Eau Claire. The program, titled “A History of Music,” will feature teen violinist Julian Rhee ...

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Issue #301 March 9, 2016

Fanoffbirdsafe Video's Murderous Spongebob

by Eric Christenson

Eau Claire hard rock band FanOffBirdSafe released a new video for their song “RedMarkerBlackMarker,” where in the final closing frames of the blistering six-minute track, a Spongebob Squarepants stuffed animal “murders” the band with a gigantic knife. It’s great. And it’s intercut with other black and white footage ...

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Issue #301 March 9, 2016

Whale House Debuts Two Singles and Turntable CD

by Eric Christenson

Eau Claire-based rockers Whale House have a couple of new tracks up their collective sleeve, and they’re gearing up to share them with the world. The band dropped a pair of singles digitally, one called “Freeway” (an acoustic strummer with a distinct ’90s-alt-rock flavor) and the other called “Think Of Me” (a full-on rock song with chugging guitars ...

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Childhood Bridge

by Jan Carroll

Sometimes I still find myself in dreams / on the wobbly wooden walkway scaffolded / to the side of the old Sauk bridge, gripping / my mother’s hand. The abandon

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Issue #300 February 24, 2016

Are You Ready For Some V-Ball?

annual UWEC party/concert gears up for year 42

by Pan Thao, photos by Luong Huynh

Get ready to dance the night away at the 42nd annual Viennese Ball at UWEC. The fancy music fundraiser is the largest Viennese Ball presented outside of the actual city of Vienna and offers an opportunity for the community to experience the excellence of the university’s music program. The event was inspired by the historic ...

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Issue #300 February 24, 2016

Prolific Thrillers

Alexi Venice cranked out three installments of her series in under a year

by Katie Robertson

Like most writers, local author Alexi Venice loves books. She typically reads 20-30 books each year, perusing action/adventure books alongside novels from the romance genre. In her reading experience, she noticed that there seemed to be a gap between the writings of male and female authors. On the male end of the spectrum ...

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Issue #300 February 24, 2016

Going for Baroque

chamber orchestra, guest conductor take on 18th-century Italian works

by Barbara Arnold

Guest conductor Frank A. Watkins of UW-Eau Claire will pick up the baton for the “Masterpieces from the Italian Baroque” performance of the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, March 5, at 7:30pm at Grace Lutheran Church, 202 W. Grand Avenue. “The baroque style music will showcase what is unique about a chamber orchestra ...

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Issue #300 February 24, 2016

Saying It In 38 Tracks

an expansive LP by URF explores tons of different types of electronic music

by Eric Christenson

Most albums nowadays have 10 songs if you’re lucky, 12 or 13 if you want to splurge on a deluxe edition. For local electronic musician Keith Anderson, though, funneling his ideas down into a handful of songs is impossible. His head is bursting with beats and experimental electronic textures for his project URF, so when it came down to putting an album together, he couldn’t do it in less than 38 tracks ...

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Issue #300 February 24, 2016

Fast, Fuzzy Punk Tunes

The Yuuzhan Vong go big and loud on new effort

by Jordan Duroe

The Yuuzhan Vong – a new Eau Claire-based band comprised of Mitch Smuhl (lead vocals/guitar), Jon Buxton (vocals/bass), and Morgan McCandless (vocals/drums) – make music that does not fit cleanly into just one particular box. Their tunes are fast, fuzzy, raucous, and they exist somewhere in between the margins of traditional and easily definable genres ...

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Issue #300 February 24, 2016

Sleep Signals Debuting Sophomore Album, Tour(s)

by Eric Christenson

New tunes are on the way from Minneapolis-based rock outfit Sleep Signals (with members from the Eau Claire area) in the form of their sophomore LP Transitions. Known for their Midwestern brand of modern metal, their high-energy live shows, and their “how-do-they-do-that” relentless touring schedule, the dudes are ready to show their second work to the world ...

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Issue #300 February 24, 2016

Odds-On-Favorite

troupe stages beloved tale of gamblers and their dames

by Tom Giffey, photos by Timothy Mather

Like a craps game, taking on a beloved musical theater classic is a roll of the dice: You can win big or fall short of expectations. The Menomonie Theater Guild is gambling on the latter ...

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