Monday, Aug. 11th, 2014

UPDATED: Preview the long awaited Bon Iver + Astronautalus + Ryan Olson collab

UPDATE 8/11/14: Pitchfork is steaming the album ( and has choice bits of the band's bizarro press release here.

A couple years ago there were rumors flying out of April Base – Justin Vernon's Fall Creek studio – about a collaboration between Vernon, Bon Iver bandmate S. Carey, and Minneapolis rapper Astronautalis, but nothing really came of it (besides a few kinda cool Instagrams). 

Until now. The Current has a short (and weird) teaser video and a couple more details. Former-Eau Clairian-turned-Minneapolis-superstar producer Ryan Olson has a hand in it (no surprise) and it's called Jason Feathers. Yes, Jason Feathers, everybody. That's what we've been waiting for.

Watch the teaser below and stay tuned for whatever comes next.

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Thursday, Aug. 7th, 2014

Volcano Choir gets you ready for some football

Volcano Choir
Volcano Choir

The NFL is upon us, folks. Preseason is kicking off, which leads to the regular season, which leads to the playoffs, which leads to THE PACKERS WINNING THEIR FIFTH SUPER BOWL. Or, just the Super Bowl.

The NFL has a new commercial featuring Eau Claire's own Volcano Choir, providing an epic soundtrack to fans talking about the upcoming season. Of course it features Rodgers and crew a couple times (the Packers QB1 and Volcano Choir frontman Justin Vernon are pretty much besties).

Check out the commerical here and start getting your brats ready for kickoff.

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Monday, Jun. 30th, 2014

Bon Iver pens new song for Zach Braff film

The future (or finality) of Bon Iver has been tossed around in interviews for years, but we know at least for now it still exists. NPR Music premiered a new song, "Heavenly Father," by Vernon that was recorded for the soundtrack of upcoming feature film Wish I Was Here – a Zach Braff joint.

Braff is known for hand selecting music for his films – the soundtrack to his first film Garden State (you know, the one you used to show your crush how edgy and quirky you were) has sold nearly a million and a half copies. This new film features Coldplay, Cat Power, Paul Simon, and – of course – The Shins. Bon Iver's 2011 hit "Holocene" also makes an appearance.

Wish I Was Here hits theaters July 18. Here's a bit more of a backstory from NPR Music:

Wish I Was Here is a follow-up in spirit to Garden State. As the music supervisor, Mary Ramos helped choose the music for the new film. She flew to Wisconsin to screen a rough-cut of the film for Justin Vernon and his brother Nate late one night in their living room. She told us via email, "They were enjoying it and laughing, but at a certain point, they just got quiet. When it was over, Justin started humming. We talked afterwards about the relationship between Zach's character and his brother [Josh Gad], and Justin and Nate talked a little about their father — all the while Justin kept distractedly humming. Eventually, he sang out the words 'heavenly father.' Before I even left their house, Justin was recording the first version of the song in his downstairs studio. His inspiration was that immediate." This song is one of two tunes Bon Iver has on the soundtrack. The other is "Holocene" from the band's self-titled 2011 album.

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Tuesday, May. 27th, 2014

Rollin' on the Rivers

Eau Claire natives Rivers will soon emerge with their debut album “Of Dusk,” thanks to the support of a successful Kickstarter campaign completed in late February.

After several years of patient writing, frontman Dexter Wolfe’s collection of pensive, dreamy songs have solidified in the form of a 10-track record set to release June 11, with a release show on June 12 at The Grand Theater.

Accompanied by percussionist Colin Carey, upright bassist Pat Kuehn and a cast of other artists, the trio’s accomplished sound echos the late, great Elliot Smith in tandem with their distinctive Eau Claire roots.

Tide yourself over until the “Of Dusk” release with a listen to Rivers’ pair of singles, “America” and “Deluge” via their Bandcamp.

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Monday, May. 19th, 2014

Megafaun's Joe Westerlund is releasing ... something ...

Eau Claire native Joe Westerlund – known around these parts for his time in DeYarmond Edison and more recently in Megafaun – has played his fair share of eclectic music, but this might take the cake.

The new album by moniker Grandma Sparrow and His Piddletractor Orchestra comes out tomorrow on Spacebomb records. The album plays with the idea of collage in a collection of weird, freak folk. Spacebomb describes the album as a "children's song-cycle for adults" and Village Voice called it some "trippy, deep sh**."

That it is.

But the songs have a certain playfulness under the bizarre that feed into what seems will be a pretty unique and fun record. Check out the equally, um, unique teaser video and some tracks over at Spacebomb.

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