Sunday, Aug. 23rd, 2009

Weekly Shakedown: What You Might Have Missed

We heard there's a chance you didn't catch all of what's been going down in the Valley. We've compiled some of it here:

  • • Exercise your right to vote (Best of the Chippewa Valley poll)
    • Women of the world take over. Because if you don't the world will come to an end. And it will come soon (upcoming female-only music fests)
    • This is what being here in the office is actually like (The Big Week)
    • Axe about what we sawed last weekend (Chippewa Valley Outdoor Games photos)
    • Go ninjas, go ninjas, go! (Duncan Ninja photos)
    • Inexpensive cajoling (Cheap Antics photos)
    • Rawk (listen to Jaggernauts songs)
    • The buzz of a thousand and one twitch games (Four Second Firestorm online arcade game)
    • Captured! (the fate of the Brickhouse Music bandit)

Some days it rains dogs and some days it just rains. See you next week folks.


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Saturday, Aug. 22nd, 2009

Saturday: The Big Twang

Bluegrass is truly a delight; it's acessible to nearly any musical fancy because of it's jubilation and hearty folk mixture. This Saturday Aug. 22, come out to Lake Altoona County Park (directions) for a good ol' fashion romp and stomp featuring nine bands and a fiddle contest – It's the WHYS Bluegrass Festival (a fundraiser for WHYS radio). We've already been heralding the event for sometime, but in case you missed it, here's another notification. Read more about the festival in the extended article or calendar entry. The whole thing starts at 11am.

Also on Saturday: Hmong culture Hmoobfest, gamer gathering BlizzCon, yacht club's National Championship Regatta, musical Levis Fest, Infinitea's one year birthday bash (tea-cake, anyone?), AnnaLily Fair (part deux!), happy tummys Peanut Butter and Gypsy, and Eau Claire Blues All-Stars.

On Sunday: Davey J's One Man Acoustical Band, more Hmoob'n, Heyde Center Back to School Giveaway, classic rock act Cats Ass, and the watershow feat. Ski Sprites.

Art Shows: More blues with Art & the Blues, Art Hanging Roger Adams, August Artists Suzanne Schroeder and Peg Breitzman, more Roger Adams (folk art), landscape photography by Tim Burns and Scott Wuerch, Story Lines: Narrative and Sequential Images (various artists), Watercolors Plus by Tere Hering, and The Brotherhood of the Lens (Brown, Johnson & Johnson photography showcase).

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Friday, Aug. 21st, 2009

The Big Week, Episode 45:
Don't poke the $5,000 monkey!

In this episode: Wisconsin’s vice governor is gonna be steppin’ on up, and the mystery of the lost monkey of Chippewa Falls. Also, we give away $50 in Coffee Grounds coffee and 2 free movie tickets to Micon Cinemas. If you'd like to enter a contest, go here:

And hey! We had to cut the following clip from Episode 45 because it was too long. It's about local non-stop bicycling wonder Larry Everson. Enjoy!

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Thursday, Aug. 20th, 2009

A sad month for Nickleback fans

Say what you will about bands like Nickleback and Slipknot, Eau Claire’s 99.9 The Carp corked an important hole in the Chippewa Valley. And for eight years, they corked that hole with rawk. But earlier in the month, Maverick Media replaced The Carp with (DJ-free) Bob FM, which we’re not going to dignify with a description. Suffice to say, it’s true: the Chippewa Valley’s airwaves no longer buzz with the soothing tones of Pantera.

Despite having over 13,500 members, not even a "Bring Back 99.9 The Carp" Facebook group could turn the tide. The Leader-Telegram talked to the horse’s mouth:

  • George Roberts, vice president and market manager for Maverick's Chippewa Valley stations, said the answer lies in changing musical tastes and advertising. While he acknowledged The Carp was a big hit in the beginning and still had loyal fans, the format was beginning to slip nationally.
  • "Maverick's always been known for making the move before something's out of gas," Roberts said.

Some businesses are known for just doing successful things, but hey, being known for getting out of something during a downward spiral ... that's good too. Apparently, the change was made in order to appeal to our 30- to 54-year-old listening demographic. I guess if most of the Valley’s radio advertisers are selling Fords and vinyl flooring, it’d be hard for The Carp to keep floating, er, bottom feeding. Still sucks, though.

We’ll miss you, The Carp.

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Concert Cancelled: Mother Nature ruined it for everyone

Once again we’re canceling the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series for tonight. The forecast is calling for a 60+ percent chance of annoying drizzle and depressing rain. Even if the water stopped falling from the sky, there’s enough on the ground in Phoenix Park to make it a big sloppy mess. We don’t want anyone to get too wet and/or electrocuted, so the concert is officially off.

So, no Irie Sol or Duncan Ninja for you! Too bad, because tonight promised to be the funkiest concert in SLS history. Funk levels were estimated to be a full 37% higher than normal. Luckily, both bands play pretty regularly around here – in fact, Irie Sol’s got a gig later tonight at the Mousetrap.

Join us next week for the season’s last concert, featuring Meridene and The Wars of 1812!

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Wednesday, Aug. 19th, 2009

Let the good times poll

Hey, just a quick reminder that you’ve got about 10 days left to vote in our Valley-wide Best of the Chippewa Valley reader poll. This is your chance to tell everyone else around here what you like.

Thus far, the “best cover band” question has received the most action, with close to 5,000 votes registered. Meanwhile, categories like best or worst "use of taxpayer dollars” have yet to break 300 votes. What can we learn from such information? Well first off, most of the people voting seem to care more about a killer rendition of Sweet Caroline (unlike this) than they do about where their hard-earned money is going. But hey, that’s rock-n-roll, baby.

Remember! You get to add your own responses that can, in turn, be voted on by everyone else. So have fun, and shoot us an email if you have any questions.

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Tuesday, Aug. 18th, 2009

Floodwater got you bummed? Try waterskiing!

Hey, farmers and people who live on flood plains! If all the recent water that fell from the sky has got you down in the dumps, turn that frown upside down and do something useful – perhaps even pleasurable – with the giant pond that’s formed over you yard/house/income-providing alfalfa field. Why not go waterskiing?

More than six inches of rain fell in Durand last week, and while it’s destroyed some crops, it allowed a few guys named Dave and Bob to have tons of watery fun. has the story – with video. Basically, Dave straps on some water skis and grabs a rope tied to Bob’s jeep. Then Bob lets ’er rip and charges the jeep though an alfalfa field alongside some pesky flood water, pulling Dave upon the water.

In other words, it’s a real life Mountain Dew commercial.

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Monday, Aug. 17th, 2009

Brickhouse bandit nabbed
via eBay

In case you missed it, our good buddies over at Brickhouse Music done got robbed last month. Some guy broke into the locally owned downtown Eau Claire music shop and dashed off with $18,000 in guitars, cymbals, and electronic drum equipment. We even heard the thief made off with a boxful of whammy bars, but that’s yet to be confirmed.

Over the years, Brickhouse has filled an important role in the local music scene, so the theft was extra depressing. Well, thankfully, a bunch of the stolen goods have been returned and we now know that the thieving ass in question is named “Chad.” And it’s all thanks to eBay, where Chad sold the stolen goods. From

  • [Brickhouse store manager Eric] Thompson says most of these items are easily trackable on eBay because of how unique they are and their price. That's how police were able to link Chad Murphy from Eau Claire to the crime. He was arrested and charged with theft.

Thank you, internet! Unfortunately, many of the bigger items are still missing. Thompson told WQOW that Brickhouse will be moving to a bigger location on Graham Avenue and the robbery has sped things up.

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Girls, Girls, Girls!

If you’ve had an unrequited hankering for female singer-songwriter shows, these past few months have been heaven on earth (are you thinking of Belinda Carlisle right now?). April 25’s Women Rise Up at Raw Deal, May 22’s Songstress Showcase at the Acoustic, and last Thursday’s Anna Lily Fair at Mabel Tainter were each all-female events.

If you haven’t had a chance to support your sisters (or satisfy the need to admire a particular crush) during this odd surge, there’s yet another one on the way. The Anna Lily Fair returns to the State Theater just before summer’s out, on August 22. Eau Claire’s very own QuinnElizabeth and Chippewa Falls’ Feathe will play this last one, with Sarah Jade, Kaptivating Kate, and Anna Johnson, so fans take note! 

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Cabaret Captured, Part Deux

Randy House has released the second song video from the 30th annual Decadent Cabaret, this time featuring Laarks doing U2's With or Without You. (Check out the first one, with Daredevil Christopher Wright channeling The Beatles.)

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