Tuesday, Mar. 10th, 2015

Aero Flynn Releases Self-Titled Debut

More than a decade ago, Josh Scott and Amateur Love were a vital part of the Eau Claire music scene. Aero Flynn marks his official return, and those who have waited for more of Scott's songwriting will not be disappointed. The nine song album was produced by Justin Vernon, a host of local musicians contributed to the recording process, and the live band features Mike Noyce (Bon Iver), Ben Lester (Field Report), and Dave Power (Meridene) among others. Aero Flynn is available on CD  and LP.

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Monday, Mar. 9th, 2015

Nickelback, Avenged Sevenfold to headline Rock Fest 2015

Every July, right in our backyard, Rock Fest brings some serious heat to the area with the biggest names in rock 'n' roll, hardcore, and classic rock. In 2015, the Fest aims to melt faces with the likes of Nickelback, Avenged Sevenfold, Judas Priest, Shinedown, and Breaking Benjamin.

Tickets for the huge four-day maelstrom of rock – which runs July 16-19 (the same weekend as the brand new Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival) – are on sale now with over 7,000 campsites available on site at the festival grounds. The presale has already sold out, but four-day general admission passes become available at 8am Tuesday, March 10, at $155. However, keep in mind the price jumps to $165 on April 22, to $175 on June 3, and they're $210 at the gate. Fans who are extra serious about moshing can also snatch the opportunity to get "Pit Passes" for each show, getting them as close as they can to their favorite bands. (You don't necessarily need to have the arm strength to support potential crowd-surfers, but it might help.)

The annual rock haven in rural Cadott has some new things in store for 2015, like payment plans, RFID wristbands, and the option to go cashless at the event for the first time. This year, they've even added a "Tribute Stage," with tribute acts Dust 'N Bones (Guns 'N Rose), TNT (AC/DC), Accilatem (Metallica), and Madman's Diary (Ozzy Osbourne). And, as always, festgoers can expect a little extra: Last year, two rock fans got the chance to skydive with the Red Bull Air Force, so something similarly awesome should be afoot this year.

Rock Fest is partnering with Lou Brutus, a legend of rock radio and host of the nationally-syndicated programs hardDrive and hardDriveXL. Brutus was recently named Best Nationally Syndicated DJ in America at the Radio Contraband Awards in Las Vegas for the second year in a row.

“I love Rock Fest," Brutus said. "The music is insane and the fans are awesome. It's a kick-ass rock 'n' roll summer camp.”

For the full lineup and ticket info for the four-day rock 'n' roll party, check out rock-fest.com.

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Sunday, Mar. 8th, 2015

Sunday Event Picks (Mar. 8)

Pop pop! Check out Mary Poppins today at The State Theatre. Details below.
Pop pop! Check out Mary Poppins today at The State Theatre. Details below.

From early in the morning and into the night – a lot of fine quality events occurring on Sunday. Wanna know what they are? Of course you do. Our picks are below. Check out the rest of Sunday here.

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Saturday, Mar. 7th, 2015

Saturday Event Picks (Mar. 7)

Tonight's your last chance for some Decadent Cabaret 2015 action. Details below!
Tonight's your last chance for some Decadent Cabaret 2015 action. Details below!

From early in the morning and into the night – a lot of fine quality events occurring on Saturday. Wanna know what they are? Of course you do. Our picks are below. Check out the rest of Saturday here.

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Friday, Mar. 6th, 2015

Beautiful and Treacherous

The pedestrian footbridge connecting Water Street to the UWEC campus made headlines early in its history when students, not realizing the danger of jumping off into the water, lost their lives doing so. “Every four to five years, we have an almost complete turnover of students … so students wouldn’t know how dangerous jumping from the bridge was,” Robin Leary, Assistant Secretary for the UW-Eau Claire Foundation stated.

Not to bring you down or anything.

So in the late '80s, a plaque was hung on the bridge railing, just outside the Haas Fine Arts Center. This dull piece of metal has endured all kinds of weather, as well as the eyes of locals and visitors alike. But its message is not in its aesthetics. The first thing to be read is “The Chippewa River is both beautiful and treacherous,” a poetic, if chilling remembrance of students past and a warning to future generations. The plaque goes on to say the river is deceiving – and worthy of our respect.

We've always loved the phrase "beautiful and treacherous" – seemingly extreme adjectives to describe something in little ol' Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  And as all this snow is melting and racing into the river, they are good reminders of how much power the natural world contains – flowing right through the middle of our city.

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Wednesday, Mar. 4th, 2015

Music Quick Hits | Mar. 4, 2015

North House
North House

Electronic producer North House  (aka Alex Tronson) just released a brand new pop single “Dirt Nap” with a promise of a forthcoming EP. The song chirps with a pitched Lana Del Rey sample and throbs with sunny synths unearthed by intricate drum programming. The EC-via-Minneapolis beatmaker has not only his own EP on the way in the coming weeks, but a four-day statewide tour DJing and performing with Eau Claire rapper Sayth in mid-March dubbed “The Get Lit Quick Tour.” Smart logic says the EP – Tronson’s proper debut – will drop sometime before or around the tour.  

JE Sunde • Photo by Jesse Johnson
JE Sunde • Photo by Jesse Johnson

An array of different people and faces mouth the words to  JE Sunde’s “I’m Gonna Disappoint You” in the folk singer’s new video for the single off of 2014’s Shapes The Kiss The Lips Of God. The video for the single was directed by Josh Ford. You can catch JE Sunde pioneering the first-ever Music At The Minema night at the Flyway Minema in Pepin on March 7. Sunde will be joined by Minneapolis violinist LOTT (Leah Ottman), who currently performs with former locals, We Are The Willows.  

S. Carey’s Supermoon EP is available now via Jagjaguwar records. During the astronomical (and social media) phenomenon known as a Supermoon in August, S. Carey sat down to harness the moon’s power and record an EP. The result was stripped-down re-workings of two of Carey’s songs from his 2014 album Range Of Light, one brand new tune, and a Radiohead cover. Carey is currently living-room-touring the West Coast.

A new collective of bands including the  Mike Rambo Project,  Honeytree, and  513FREE  is putting together a collaborative concept album centered around the idea of “toxic charity,” or put simply: When helping hurts. Details are scarce on the fundraising album from the yet-to-be-named collective, but it is scheduled to release this fall.

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Tuesday, Mar. 3rd, 2015

Welcome to the (Wagner's Volleyball) Thunderdome

Some non-domed volleyball action at Wagner’s Lanes.
Some non-domed volleyball action at Wagner’s Lanes.

Wagner’s Lanes in Eau Claire will soon be able to operate its volleyball leagues year-round. On Monday, its owners got permission from the city Plan Commission to build an inflatable 35-foot-tall dome to shield the outdoor volleyball courts from the Wisconsin weather. The 18,000-square-foot dome would encompass two existing outdoor sand volleyball courts west of the bowling center as well as a yet-to-be-built third court. But the dome would also cover part of the adjacent parking lot, which could impact your life even if you never set your foot upon the volleyball sand. You see, the dome would block a popular traffic shortcut through Wagner’s parking lot. The shortcut, which connects Brackett Avenue on the north (between Papa Murphy’s and Kwik Trip) to Fairfax Street on the south, is used by so many cars that it’s easy to forget that it’s a route through a private parking lot, not a public thoroughfare. According to the Leader-Telegram, the city’s Community Development Department has determined that nearby streets should be able to handle the extra traffic if the shortcut is domed-off. Owner David Berg told the L-T that the dome will help Wagner’s accommodate booming volleyball leagues, which have expanded from 10 to 78 teams in just two years. Berg’s decision to go ahead with the project was contingent on Plan Commission approval, so now the dome could be coming in the near future.

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Monday, Mar. 2nd, 2015

5 awesome places to snowshoe before spring comes and ruins it

Some snowy fun at Beaver Creek Reserve.
Some snowy fun at Beaver Creek Reserve.

Winter is about to wind down, so the days are numbered for all you avid – and wannabe – snowshoers out there. Best get to it …

1. Beaver Creek Reserve

S1 County Highway K, Fall Creek • You can spend an entire afternoon in the quiet beauty of the hundreds of acres of woods here. Beaver Creek Reserve has a number of wooded, groomed trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Rental equipment is available, as are periodic guided snowshoe hikes and snowshoe-making classes.

2. Hoffman Hill State Recreation Area

740th Avenue, Menomonie • With 707 acres of preserved and restored wooded hills, wetlands, and prairie, Hoffman HIlls is a great place to hike. During the snowy season there are nine miles of groomed ski trails (which snowshoers should avoid) and several miles of snowshoe trails (which snowshoers should tackle). Stride through the snow while feasting your eyes on spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

3. Lowes Creek County Park

5238 S. Lowes Creek Rd., Eau Claire • Just minutes south of Eau Claire, experience 250 acres of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and pet-walking bliss. Trails for snowshoers and skiers are adjacent but separate, and they have many loops and shortcuts, offering a wide variety of routes. Trails twist up and down hills, through creek bottoms and white pine forests, and range from easy to difficult, so a trail map is a good idea. Vehicle passes required.

4. Tower Ridge Rec Area

955 S. 82nd Ave., Eau Claire • Tower Ridge is a great place to enjoy the snow and work out, offering snowshoe trails next to (but separated from) the lighted cross-country ski trails – creating the tantalizing possibility of a romantic night outing amid the glowing snow. There are hilly and flat trails for all ability levels, as well as a chalet. Winter vehicle entry passes are required.

5. Guettiner Woods & Wildlife Area

Sandberg Road off Hwy. 37, Eau Claire • This little-known Eau Claire County park has been called a “hidden gem.” You’ll find it about seven miles southwest of Eau Claire in the town of Brunswick. The 123 acres are open for snowshoeing, hiking, and wildlife watching, although there are no groomed trails.

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Kids Think Plaid Is Rad

Keep your li'l Wisconsinite warm and cozy this winter in this adorable red plaid hat and mitten set – complete with Northwoods pride. And tiny bear tracks. The super soft 100% polyester micro-fiber suede and faux shearling lining is ideal for a rough Wisconsin winter. $20

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Sunday, Mar. 1st, 2015

Sunday Event Picks (Mar. 1)

Go Into the Woods today at the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts. Details below!
Go Into the Woods today at the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts. Details below!

From early in the morning and into the night – a lot of fine quality events occurring on Sunday. Wanna know what they are? Of course you do. Our picks are below. Check out the rest of Sunday here.

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