Monday, Feb. 8th, 2010

Super Bowl ad produced by a couple of Minneapolis dudes

Well, even if you don’t “follow football very much,” you’re probably aware that CBS aired a little scrimmage last night called “The Super Bowl.” And even if you don’t read the sports page, you’re probably seeing lots of headlines about the all-important Super Bowl ads. Our own Leader-Telegram has once again hauled out UW-Eau Claire professors to provide some local analysis - but all anyone really wants to know is “which ones were funny and where are they on YouTube?”

I’m seeing plenty of talk about the Pop Secret “human dolphin” one and the one with Leno, Oprah, and Letterman all on a couch. But I happened to be watching the game when the “Doritos Samurai" ad ran, and I gotta say ... I laughed my attractive butt off. What I didn't realize at the time is the commercial was part of a contest run by whatever mega corn processor invented Doritos – and it was shot by two unemployed guys over in Minneapolis. The ad placed 17th in the contest overall, winning the two at least $25,000. The Star Tribune has the nacho-licious scoop:

  • Minnesota's only team to make it to the Super Bowl, "technically unemployed" Minneapolis film makers and best friends Ben Krueger and Cole Koehler, got their 30 seconds of fame Sunday night, even though they didn't score the big payoff. Their "Snack Attack Samurai" Doritos commercial was seen on the most watched TV show on the planet, the Super Bowl.
  • ...  Their ad was filmed at the Uppercut Boxing Gym in northeast Minneapolis in four hours, using Minneapolis actors and friends. It cost less than $1,000.

Check out the full article for a cool video on the commercial. And if you wanna actually watch the commercial, click ... here.

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Sunday, Feb. 7th, 2010

Weekly Shakedown:
The Stuff You Maybe Missed

Here’s a fantabulous assortment of Volume One website goods that you may have missed last week.

Enjoy your Sunday, one and all.

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Saturday, Feb. 6th, 2010

Saturday: What's "kubb?"

Today will see a local “Kubb Friendly” event, where enthusiasts and beginners alike can gather in Eau Claire’s Boyd Park for some leisurely paced kubb action. What’s kubb? It’s a Nordic lawn game that sort of combines the gameplay of horseshoes, bowling, chess, and beer pong. This isn’t a tournament, but a friendly gathering of people who are interested in learning and playing the game. Check it out (details). Also ...

MUSIC: 8th Annual Midwinter Music Meltdown | Five bands, three locals, two from Minnesota, one night. No Loving Place, Nameless Feeling, and Silenize bring not only metal, but also some acoustic/experimental/ambient music. From Minnesota, Outside The Murder and Revilwen brings this house some metal and hardcore rock.

BEATS: Frost Byte | Expect to hear everything from dirty house and sexy disco to filthy electro and slamming techno alongside rudeboy jungle and funky dubstep with DJ ESP Wood McBride, Easyrider, MC Brace, MC Hyde, Josh G, dirtydub, BluePauly2, DJ L and more.

STAGE: Because of Poppy Weisz | What if what you read in the papers isn’t exactly what happened? The relationships between four young New Yorkers and their ties to a grisly Capitol Hill murder magnifies and reflects the obsessive sense of connectedness of the 21st century.

Saturday: See it all.

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Friday, Feb. 5th, 2010

Show Review: QuinnElizabeth
@The Acoustic Café

When they were playing, the harmonies were flawless. And, when they were playing, the flute, the guitar, the drums, the vocal solos, were all fantastic. But, QuinnElizabeth had some technical issues. Compounded by adjustments, guitar passing, sisterly bickering, and trivia questions. So, sadly, we didn't get as long to enjoy the three sisters actually playing music. What we did hear, I enjoyed very much. This is only the second time I have seen the band. And I enjoyed them equally each time. The two shows were very different of course. The State Theater with its perfect lighting and focused audience compared to music over coffee and conversation at the Acoustic Café. I wish I would have gotten a little more music for my forty minute roundtrip, what I got I certainly enjoyed.

I don't mean to make it sound like I feel short changed. I mean, it was virtually a free show after all. I bought two beers, two cookies, and four ice waters. That seems pretty close to free for me. And, I got to witness all this incredible music talent. So I really feel like I have a hard time complaining about anything as it is. But, I feel like musicians I write about will go on to bigger and better things. And at those bigger, better venues, things make a difference. I think musicians hear their own music, experience their own talent, and the talent around them, and begin to take it all for granted. But to us talentless oafs in the audience, musicians are amazing. Performers don't really realize just how precious their time is to the audience. We get to hear them for such short periods.

 

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Thursday, Feb. 4th, 2010

First Avenue concept design

What you see above is a concept design floated by Citizens for Accountable Jail Expansion (CAJE) for that land along First Avenue which is currently a big dirt lot. The idea is that – if our new justice center gets built outside of downtown – this land’s gotta get used for something and here’s a “mixed use” solution that’s trying to stay in line with the West Grand Ave. Business district’s historicalness-icity and downtown’s comprehensive plan and all that.

Regardless of your feelings on where the jail should be built, if at all feasible, something like this would be pretty cool. (Take a closer look.)

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Wednesday, Feb. 3rd, 2010

RAGDOLL CANNON!

Good fun to be had, here, yo. Description: "A mixture of projectile and physics game, on Ragdoll Cannon you need to fire dolls (no kidding) away, with the objective of hitting the “Here” pad on each level. There are many obstacles along the way, and you need to to use your brain more than once to finish the game." Sweet cannon blast sound effect, as well.

PLAY IT!

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Tuesday, Feb. 2nd, 2010

Bicycling adds about $1.5 billion to the Wis. economy (per year)

Leave it to a Portland area bike blog to cover the Wisconsin economy! BikePortland.org informs us that a recent study out of UW-Madison found that bike-related tourism and industry adds about $1.5 billion to our great state’s economy every ding dang year. From the aforementioned blog:

  • “Recreational bicycling” had the largest impact, accounting for $924 million. Of that amount, the study says, $533 million is direct spending and $391 million is due to “indirect and induced effects, such as increased purchases of supplies and labor by restaurants and hotels serving cyclists.
  • But wait, there’s more:
  • • Bicycling creates 13,000 Wisconsin jobs
    Bicycling has a larger economic impact than deer hunting ($926 million) and snowmobiling ($250 million) combined.
    • 49% of Wisconsinites participate in recreational biking
    • A 20% increase in biking could increase economic activity by $107 million and create 1500 more jobs

Um, holy crap and wow. And apparently, this study even details the bicycle industry’s positive impact on Wisconsin's health care costs. So, lest some of you snarky-yet-lovable commenters out there think Volume One is excessively pro-bike, just remember – when we post about biking, we’re really posting about the economy. And health care. Whatever that means.

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Totally local Twilight news!

In case you haven’t heard, the Daily Shakedown blog (which you are reading right now) was created for one purpose: to deliver you the finest, most important, most earth-shattering news possible, using only the power of blogging and the strength of the world wide web.

With this noble mission firmly in mind, we present to you the photographic evidence above – proving that, yes, the skinny pale vampire guy with the huge hair/head from those Twilight movies, well ... he loves Eau Claire. It says so right on that box of Sweethearts “Forbidden Fruits” Valentine candy up above ("I heart EC").

As Skinny Teenage Vampire reminds us, “The Forbidden Fruit Tastes the Sweetest.”

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Monday, Feb. 1st, 2010

Locally made Avatar iPhone app

Chuck Gamble – the Chippewa Falls artist who runs Lucky Radish Studio – is at it again. Last year, he released what could very well be the Chippewa Valley’s first locally made iPhone app, the funky and fun Slide-a-ma-jig. And now he and some West Coast buddies at a company called Spinapse have created Avatrivia - an iPhone-delivered, Avatar-based trivia game that tests your knowledge of the film’s fictional world of Pandora, as well as “the subtle nuances of the film.” They say you don’t even need to speak Na’vi to play.

Chuck loved the movie and says, “[Spinapse] actually made the app and pulled me in to do the art and UI. I made all the art from scratch based on the 'tone' of the film but not using any actual imagery from the movie.”

So check it out and see what you think: iTunes link.

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