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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Thursday, Apr. 3rd, 2014

Six Degrees of Justin Vernon

Well, the Confluence Project votes are over, so you know what that means … we can get back to 24/7 Justin Vernon coverage.

Bon Iver member, S. Carey released his new record, Range of Light, on April 1, which prompted Stereogum to put together a musical "family tree" for Justin Vernon. The diagram first links Vernon to his own bands and collaborators (they even mention the Eau Claire Memorial High School Jazz Band), and then links those acts to their own collaborators. For example, David Byrne is connected to Vernon because they have both collaborated with Colin Stetson.

"His sheer number of connections is baffling, and if you start to factor in all the connections to his connections, Kevin Bacon style, you're going to need a map," states Stereogum writer Chris DeVille.

This family tree is the perfect resource for boning up on your knowledge of Justin Vernon's musical lineage. Oh, and don't worry, I figured it out so you don't have to: Vernon has collaborated with Colin Stetson, who has collaborated with Tom Waits, who appeared in the 1991 film Queens Logic starring Kevin Bacon. ​

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Monday, Feb. 3rd, 2014

S. Carey is bringing it home

S. Carey might be known by many as a Bon Iver off-shoot, but that’s dismissing a lot of what this local singer / songwriter / composer / all-around-great-guy brings to the table. His first album was a gorgeously organic, jazz-inspired record that showed Carey’s musicianship and his ability to surround himself with the best in the business (most of whom happen to live right here in the area).

S. Carey’s second full-length, Range Of Light, is released Tuesday, April 1 on Jagjaguwar and luckily this hometown hero is celebrating right in Eau Claire. On April 2, he’ll be sitting down for a live interview and listening session here at the Volume One Gallery, 205 N. Dewey St., at 7pm. Then, on the backswing of his national tour he’ll stop at UW-Eau Claire on April 26 for a full-on blowout local performance, with label mates White Hinterland opening. You can pick up tickets for that on campus, online, or at the Volume One Gallery during the Conversations event. More details below.

You can pick up Range Of Light on April 1 locally at The Local Store, 205 N. Dewey St., or Revival Records (in their new location), 128 S. Barstow. Or pre-order the album at Jagjaguwar.


WHEN: Wednesday, April 2 at 7pm
The Volume One Gallery, 205 N. Dewey St.
A chat with S. Carey about his record, with a listening session.


WHEN: Saturday, April 26 at 8pm
Schofield Auditorium, UW-Eau Claire
A homecoming show with S. Carey coming off his national tour
On sale now at the Davies Student Center, UW-Eau Claire or at the Conversations event at the Volume One Gallery, or online here.
$10 advance, $12 door, no limit

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