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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Friday, Jan. 3rd, 2014

Dust of Men finds NoiseTrade love

On December 6, The Dust of Men played in front of hundreds at Valleybrook Church, celebrating the release of their debut album, "What the Morning Shows." Now, it would appear, they may have the chance to be heard by as many as a million more – as a three-song sampler of theirs is being featured in the "New & Notable" section on the NoiseTrade homepage.

NoiseTrade is a site that allows artists to give away some of their music in order to be heard by a broader audience. The site gets about 4.5 million visits per month and has featured artists such as Polica, Josh Garrels, Trampled by Turtles, Sufjan Stevens, The Civil Wars, and Lord Huron. All music on the site is available for free download, with an option to leave a "tip" for the artist.

The band's frontman, Grant Schultz, uploaded one song onto the site a short time ago in order to gain more exposure for the band. The next day, a NoiseTrade agent contacted him and asked about putting more songs on the site and adding a bio so that Dust of Men could be featured in this way and in an upcoming newsletter.

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Wednesday, Dec. 4th, 2013

Help make the new Kalispell album

Shane Leonard has been a staple in the Chippewa Valley arts community for some time, his presence even felt over the last year that he's relocated to Chicago. Leonard played jazz around town, plays drums and banjo in Field Report, taught and performed improv comedy and was host to a pop-up outdoor music venue last summer.

His main project though is Kalispell, a sprawling folk and bluegrass endeavor that released its debut full-length Westbound in 2012. Leonard is hoping to jump off that starting point and put out a follow-up in 2014, but he's asking for a little help.

Kalispell just launched a Kickstarter, seeking $15,000 in funding to get this ambitious record off the ground. For starters, Leonard is hoping to record here in Fall Creek at Justin Vernon's April Base studios. He also has pegged Bon Iver producer Brian Joseph to engineer the record and has a number of guest musicians lined up from Field Report, Nickel Creek and Andrew Bird.

As Kickstarter works, your contributions aren't just donations. Kalispell is offering recorded music, live music, books of writing and even in one case the clothing off Leonard's own head. 

The Kickstarter wraps up Sunday, Dec. 22 and is plugging along to its goal, so get in there while the gettings still good.

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Wednesday, Oct. 2nd, 2013

Symphony on the Brain

Sound installations are a relatively new idea for the Eau Claire area, but “Symphony on the Brain” could be the first of many from local musician/composer/ideas man Davy Sumner. “I hope to challenge people’s perspective of a piece they’re familiar with, as well as introduce them to the concept of a sound installation,” he says.

Sumner is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for his sound installation which will be installed at Banbury Place this month and is over halfway to his goal, but needs just a few hundred more dollars before Thursday.

The sound installation takes on a popular melody – "Ode To Joy" – and creates a 'sculpture' where visitors can create their own experience depending on where they're standing in the room. Here's some more about it:

The melody from “Ode to Joy” is easily recognizable; even if the title escapes you, you’ve heard it in television commercials, slap-stick comedy montages, or as the main motif in the final movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Sumner knew that this melody was familiar to most people, but postulated that many musicians couldn’t readily play it from memory. To test his hypothesis, he asked twelve musicians to individually play “Ode to Joy” on the spot - without any preparation time - while he recorded them. Mistakes were permissible and even encouraged; Sumner just wanted them to get through the melody. He gave the musicians time to rehearse the melody before recording them a second time, and then asked them to play it a third and final time in whatever key signature or style they desired. This is where the project gets interesting.

After collecting all of the different recordings from the various musicians, Sumner set about chopping them up into smaller samples, which were interspersed with performers asking him questions while the melody was being recorded. He then fed each musician through one of twelve speakers that are set up in a building on the Banbury property. “It’s huge, probably about the size of a basketball court,” Sumner says about the location for his sound installation. “Each speaker is positioned to face directly down, so the listener can stand underneath it or off to the side in order to experience the project cohesively.” Any number of speakers could be playing at any given time; two speakers emitting sound could change to eight in a split second, all to create what Sumner describes as a “dovetail effect.” 

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