Issue #284 July 8, 2015

Building Sound

before music can be made, someone has to make the instruments, and three local craftsmen are well known for their work

by Rob Reid

Few musicians make their own instruments and equipment. Even fewer make them for other musicians. The Chippewa Valley is home to three businesses whose owners, all musicians themselves, craft fine products for musicians throughout the world ...

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Issue #284 July 8, 2015

Old Songs in Our Hearts

musical threads are woven deep into the valley's history

by Frank Smoot

When he was but a lad, my friend Noah Taylor asked the adults assembled, Wouldn’t your life be better if you had your own personal soundtrack? Why yes, Noah, yes it would. Fortunately for Eau Claire, its people have always had songs in their hearts, and I’m not talking about the downtown ...

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Issue #284 July 8, 2015

Hearing Our History

from the Joynt to Fournier's, our ears are ringing with the memories of these classic local venues

by Barbara Arnold

“You had to be there to understand what it was like,” shares a former Eau Claire hourly high tech worker, who requested not to be identified, describing the live music scene in Eau Claire in the 1970s and early ’80s. “I’d leave my job at the end of my shift (midnight) and head straight to Water Street ...

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Issue #284 July 8, 2015

It's Only 90 Miles

many twin cities musicians have Eau Claire roots, but the road goes both ways

by Thom Fountain

Alot of musicians have driven the stretch of Interstate 94 between Eau Claire and Minneapolis, sometimes on tour, but other times to move their lives and try their luck and their craft in a new locale with a new crowd. That’s what brought Drew Christopherson and Mel Gibson and the Pants to the Twin Cities in 2001 ...

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Issue #284 July 8, 2015

Uprooted

musicians who find success elsewhere still keep their hearts here

by Ken Szymanski

When musicians leave the Chippewa Valley, we wish them the best. Really, we do. But if they achieve success by leaving this place, what does that say about those left behind? That you can’t make it in Eau Claire? Justin Vernon’s success proved that this place is not a dead end. You don’t need to escape to a coast or a metropolis ...

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Issue #284 July 8, 2015

Flugelhorns & Fishnets

the valley's musical traditions range from brass bands to rock 'n' roll decadence

by Scott Morfitt

The music tradition is built into the DNA of the Chippewa Valley. This is not meant to be a flip comment or an easy intro sentence to keep you reading through the next few paragraphs; it’s simply the truth. The more you dig into our music landscape and try to decipher what is a “little t” tradition ...

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Issue #284 July 8, 2015

Tilt Your Ear to the Valley

a non-musical regular Joe finds his niche in the scene

by BJ Hollars

There comes a time in every teacher’s life when one’s commonalities with one’s students becomes the wedge. When one learns that a line like, “You guys hear the new Phil Collins jam?” no longer holds the cultural cachet it once did ...

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Issue #284 July 8, 2015

Underground Sound

D.I.Y. house shows play a significant underground role in the development of new artists – and they're all ages

by Eric Christenson

J ust a few blocks off the beaten path, Eau Claire’s house show scene is quietly making a ruckus. House venues and DIY spaces have long been a critical part of Eau Claire’s indie and hardcore scenes. For the past decade or more all over our city, driven and brave souls have opened up their living quarters ...

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Issue #284 July 8, 2015

Setting the Stages

different venues cover Eau Claire's musical moments

by Eric Christenson

The ground from which our music scene grows can be sticky with spilled drinks, or carpeted underfoot. The walls can be adorned with ornate columns and patterns just as often as rock ’n’ roll paraphernalia. Our venues are more than a setting and a sound system; they’re the liaison between music ...

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Issue #284 July 8, 2015

Supporting Acts

from vinyl shops to screen printers, businesses and individuals are crucial to musical success

by Laura Lash

We are all familiar with the philosophical posturing/party joke, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Many a musician will create music for the pure love of it and the need to express themselves in this language. More often, however, musicians are eager ...

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Issue #284 July 8, 2015

Eau Claire's Buddy System

ultra-friendly music culture leans on collaboration

by Zack Katz

You’re in your childhood bedroom closet recording a new EP, rapping over your best friend’s beats – it’s on your own time, and that’s good because there’s not much money to throw around on studio fees anyway. That’s just how Sayth (Eric Wells), one of many local show hounds, has it in Eau Claire’s all for one ...

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Issue #284 July 8, 2015

Celebrating Summer

when the weather warms up in the Chippewa Valley, outdoor music series proliferate with thousands of fans

by Lindsey Quinnies

Life in the north isn’t for the faint of heart. We endure lengthy winters and our summer skies are short-lived. Our northern lifestyle looks like toughness, but it’s not just being tough. We believe hard work leads to good times. Perhaps that’s why when the weather is beautiful, it’s truly beautiful to us here …

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Issue #284 July 8, 2015

Less Tangible, More True

exploring what we mean when we call the Chippewa Valley "Music Capital of the North"

by Nick Meyer

Our theme issues are among the things we’re most proud of at Volume One. In recent years, these community-minded editions (in print and online) have included “Reinventing Our Streets” in 2010, “Rethinking Our Rivers” in 2012, and just last year, “Rebuilding Our Neighborhoods.” ...

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Issue #283 June 24, 2015

First Guitar

by Thomas Smith

My first guitar bore, as badge of its possibly dissipated former life, the ring a bottle might leave on a polished table top. At fourteen, I was sure it had been a beer bottle. Bought by my father for ten dollars from a musician buddy, it came strung backwards, left-handed, a practical ...

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Issue #283 June 24, 2015

Stars Align for Country Fest

Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Keith Urban are headlining

by Mike Seitz

Let’s face it; country music and winter just don’t mix. Luckily, we’re in the thick of summer and that means there will be plenty of gigantic country music concerts coming up. Can’t afford the gas to drive hours away for a concert? Well luckily, there is one is taking place right down the road in rural Cadott ...

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Issue #283 June 24, 2015

Breaking the Mold

Christian teen skit group tackles full-length musical

by Tom Giffey, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Put the words “church” and “theater troupe” in the same sentence and you generally conjure images of kids clad in old bathrobes portraying shepherds in the annual Christmas pageant. That’s not the vibe you’ll find with Eau Claire’s TAG Skit Group, a troupe of seventh- through 12th-graders who’ve been performing at churches, camps ...

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Issue #283 June 24, 2015

Now in Technicolor

Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild tackles classic tale

by Mike Seitz, photos by Andrea Paulseth

As I sat in the back staircase of the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild with Katie Schumacher, we talked about the upcoming production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, which she is directing. While we chatted, the sound of 60 cast members warming up their singing voices drifted through the staircase ...

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Issue #283 June 24, 2015

A Little Piece of Marlene

a whole life’s worth of art for her family and friends

by Eric Christenson, photos by Eric Christenson

‘The thing about art or painting is if you are at it long enough, it consumes you. I don’t think of anything when I paint except what I’m doing.” Marlene Reppert is an amateur painter. Her artwork isn’t hanging in galleries all over world or renowned by the snooty art elite. Rather, most of her paintings hang in the houses and spaces of those ...

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Issue #283 June 24, 2015

Ready to Go Nova

EC native’s sci-fi debut has national publisher

by Mike Seitz

In the midst of an intergalactic war, 500 POWs are being sent home as part of a cease-fire; among them is Lia Johansen. A young woman whose parents died in front of her eyes, Lia is just a scared refugee uncertain of who she is or what she will do next. Or is she? Shortly after reaching New Sol Space Station, Lia’s memories coming ...

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Issue #283 June 24, 2015

Into the Depths

Fathom strings together heart-heavy new mixtape

by Zack Katz, photos by Mariah Hamm

One of Eau Claire’s longest standing rappers seems bent on pushing characteristically anti-hip-hop material: the sort of push that traditionalists might shove back at. Cory Crowell, better identified by locals scanning show flyers as Fathom, isn’t bored with the conventional, he just knows himself better than to continue that route ...

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