Friday, Mar. 6th, 2009

Friday & Saturday:
Decadent XXX

With a rich tradition of fishnet stockings and lingerie, the House of Rock plays host to this year's Decadent Cabaret for its 30th year. Nineteen bands across two nights will blow the top off Eau Claire music. The unofficial rule of Decadent Cabaret is to sport a costume that is too scandalous or ridiculous for Halloween, so do your worst and be in good company. ($5, 7pm both nights.)

Friday night: Orestus. Kaptivating Kate, The Daredevil Christopher Wright, Laarks, Meridene, Social Parasite, FanOffBirdSafe, Sicamore, Klenz/Walk Jazz Sextet, and the Jim Pullman Band joins with QuinnElizabeth's Elizabeth and Meridene's Trevor for a Pixies tribute set.

Saturday night: Drunk Drivers, The Shorn, Yam Cannon, Flags Will Cover the Coffins, Tony Basley, No Loving Place, Mors Mortis Machinatio, Children of the Beast, and the Eau Claire Blues All Stars.

Also this weekend: Better in Show, Opera: Albert Herring, Michael Perry and the Long Beds, New Science, Sassy Magoo, Wisconsin Rumble, Heiruspecs, Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast, Annual Chilly Chippewa, Monopoly Tournament, Funky Monks: Tribute to Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Shamrock Shuffle.

P.S. Yes, that bunny up there is rocking a mini double-neck.

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Stunt Hoff!

This post inspired us to find Stunt Hoff. Sure, it’s got a nutty cutout of David Hasselhoff’s head on a little motorcycle stunt guy, and that’s great, but the true fun of Stunt Hoff lies in the controls: frantically mashing 2 keys on your keyboard. Big, big fun, y’all.

Play Stunt Hoff.

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Thursday, Mar. 5th, 2009

Breaking the Silenize

Nameless Feeling is a band who, on the surface, flaunt a style of metal music you won’t often (like never) find spinning in my stereo. That said, their sound must have found a chink along the masonry of my narrow mind, because it resonates with me. It has to do, partly, with the melancholy of the guitars (which I am always a sucker for) and partly with the vocals of Nate Carey. Cue segue. Which brings me to the blog at hand, Eau Claire’s Silenize. A point of interest/entry for me into this band is the fact that Nate plays guitar and lends some of his vocal talent to Silenize, who are rounded out by Chase (lead vocals), Seth (bass guitar), and Greg (drums), and who are currently polishing up material for a demo. I took a listen to all five tracks, currently posted and awaiting your ears here: www.myspace.com/silenize. Overall impressions were the following: they’ve got the croon/rasp balance down, though I was not annoyed the way I often am when metal bands play “peek-a-boo” with their testicles; and there’s a surprising (and welcome) amount of diversity scattered throughout the songs. “The Weak” has a seductively sad hook when it moves, whereas “B-Syndrome” is all drive and breakdown, replete with an appropriately coarse chorus line. “What I Deserve” gets precipitously close to “rap metal” before a cool, Slayer-like riff (Slayer circa 2006, think the ending of “Skeleton Christ”) stabilized my blood pressure. The track also boasts a deceptively simple but effective tribal beat build up. “From It All” almost has a ballad-like quality before Chase’s razor throat slashes all to bloody hell. From there it’s “The Phoenix,” more “rap metal” flirtation before sonic salvation (seriously, guys, my heart can’t take these false scares). Keep in mind, too, that these are demo tracks. And while the harsh tones sound awesome, the cleaner parts are a bit thin, something that should be ironed out before the demo gets in the hands of venues and, perhaps, your grubby mitts, if you’re lucky. Silenize has got my attention, and I am looking forward to further investigating their sound live. How about loosening up the page space, Volume One, and giving these upstarts an interview?

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Very Peculiar Snake Story, March 2, 1906

Very Peculiar Snake Story
Comes From North Side Hill- Cow Said To Have Snake In Stomach
Eau Claire Leader | March 2, 1906

Eau Claire- A most peculiar snake story comes from the north side to the effect that a cow owned by a widow lady on Madison Street took sick and continued to get worse until it became necessary to kill the beast, which was done. Satisfied that there was some internal trouble an examination was made and it is said a snake, closely resembling a water snake in appearance, about an inch and a half thick and nearly fifteen feet long was found in the stomach of the cow. It is said that neighbors are willing to corroborate this statement.


Chad’s Take: Snakes Are Everywhere!
At first glance the story of a snake being housed in a cow’s stomach seemed pretty mundane to me. I mean cows spend their whole day out in the fields eating grass so the possibility of a small snake getting mixed up in the meal doesn’t surprise me. Plus cows have four stomachs right, so I am sure there was plenty of room for the small snake to maneuver around. However, the article certainly grabbed my interest when it was stated that the snake found inside the cow’s stomach was nearly 15 feet in length. Now keep in mind that I am no Herpetologist, but a fifteen foot snake seems pretty large to me especially when you consider that the average rattle snake averages about three feet in length. Of course this Eau Claire snake was nowhere near the 49-foot python that was captured in Indonesia in 2004, but that snake wasn’t living inside of a cow’s stomach. This snake also seems to be much different than the other black snake that was terrorizing Water Street (See Monster Black Snake Blog) during the same year, as that snake was only six feet long, but it was described as having a mouth as wide a crocodile and the body the size of a kangaroo.

It is amazing at just how many snakes were slithering around the Chippewa Valley 100 years ago. I have collected dozens of stories involving snakes, and those were just the bizarre cases, imagine how many normal snake encounters went unreported. Just to give you an idea of how times have changed, grab a notebook and for the next 10 days record information about all of the snakes that you encounter in the Chippewa Valley during your daily routine.

Keep an eye out.

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Should Stout Ban Smoking?

Apparently, UW-Stout is (still) mulling over a campus-wide smoking ban. Wow. From StoutMedia.com

  • The University of Wisconsin Student Senate held a meeting Tuesday March 3rd 2009 to bring forth a resolution that would allow students to vote on whether or not the campus should enforce a campus wide smoking ban. The scheduled voting time is set for early April. This raises questions regarding the effects on the university. The proposed Resolution would effectively make smoking on campus illegal.

Seems excessive to me. But I’m not a Stout student, so I don’t matter. Any Stouties out there?

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Wednesday, Mar. 4th, 2009

Are You Jazzed Up?

So I've been getting lots of events lately in preparation of the great big Eau Claire Jazz Fest next month. It's main events are going on Apr. 2-5, but there are so many jazz concerts scheduled as far as a month beforehand they almost overshadow the featured artists. So, I thought I'd provide the Soundboard with Jazz Fest and other jazzy events.

Some events here may not be a part of the official Jazz Fest schedule, but I included it anyway. After all, Eau Claire jazz is Eau Claire jazz. For pricing, non-concert Jazz Fest events or any other Jazz Fest information, refer to the Eau Claire Jazz Festival website. And if you see any jazz concerts I'm missing within this timeframe, leave a comment with all the info I'm providing here and I'll ammend this Soundboard post to include it.

So, with all that covered, here is Volume One's list of jazz events going on from now to the end of Jazz Fest:

Today to Saturday Mar. 7
Jazz in the Cabin Mar. 4, 8pm • The Cabin, Davies Center, UWEC • 836-4833 • www.uwec.edu/studentsenate/uac/cabin/

Hot Garbage Mar. 5, 7pm • Infinitea Teahouse, 112 E. Grand Ave. • 514-1975 • www.infiniteateahouse.com

The Walk/Klenz Sextet + TBA Mar. 7, 5-10pm • Acoustic Cafe, Eau Claire, 505 S. Barstow St. • FREE • 832-9090 • www.theacoustic.com/eauclaire

Week of Mar. 8
Brian Handeland/Mike Wolter Duo Mar. 8, 1pm • Borders Books and Music, 4030 Commonwealth Ave. • 832-2852 • www.borders.com

Take 2 Mar. 10, 5pm • Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, 316 Eau Claire St • 832-2787 • www.eauclairearts.com

Glad Panda Mar. 11, 7-9pm • Acoustic Cafe, Eau Claire, 505 S. Barstow St. • FREE • 832-9090 • www.theacoustic.com/eauclaire

Week of Mar. 15
Chris Bresette Sextet Mar. 18, 7-9pm • Acoustic Cafe, Eau Claire, 505 S. Barstow St. • FREE • 832-9090 • www.theacoustic.com/eauclaire

QuinnElizabeth + TBA
Mar. 21, 5-10pm • Acoustic Cafe, Eau Claire, 505 S. Barstow St. • FREE • 832-9090 • www.theacoustic.com/eauclaire

Week of Mar. 22
Sue Orfield Mar. 24, 5pm • Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, 316 Eau Claire St • 832-2787 • www.eauclairearts.com

Regis High School Jazz Band Mar. 26, 7pm • Oakwood Mall, 4800 Golf Rd • 836-0044 • www.oakwoodmall.com

Jayson Collins Sextet Mar. 28, 7pm • Acoustic Cafe, Eau Claire, 505 S. Barstow St. • 832-9090 • www.theacoustic.com/eauclaire

Week of Mar. 29

North High School Jazz Ensemble I Mar. 30, 7pm • Oakwood Mall, 4800 Golf Rd • 836-0044 • www.oakwoodmall.com

The Walk/Klenz Sextet Mar. 31, 5pm • Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, 316 Eau Claire St • 832-2787 • www.eauclairearts.com

Jazz Fest Kickoff Party: Christine Salerno + Woody Mankowski Apr. 2, 5pm • Location TBA (check eauclairejazz.com for updates)

Chris Potter + Jiggs Whigham Apr. 3, 7:30pm; Apr. 4, 7pm • Memorial High School, 2225 Keith St. • 852-6300

Open Jam Apr. 3, 10pm • Location TBA (check eauclairejazz.com for updates)

Art and Music Jam: An Improvisational Dance Between Artist and Musicians Apr. 5, noon-2pm • The Heyde Center for the Arts, 3 South High St. • 726-9000 • www.cvca.net

Jam on Toast + Randy Sabien with UW-Eau Claire’s Jazz Ensemble I Apr. 5, noon artist reception, music starts at 2pm • The Heyde Center for the Arts, 3 South High St. • 726-9000 • www.cvca.net

Recurring Jazz Events
Connie Johns & the River City Dixie-Jazz Band • Every Thursday, 6:45-9pm • VFW Club Post 305, 1300 Starr Ave. • FREE; donations welcome • 552-8438

Live Jazz at Shanghai Bistro • Fridays and Saturdays • 6pm • Shanghai Bistro, 2930 Craig Rd. • 835-3348

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Ice Jam

 All of this freezing and melting has turned the Chippewa River into kind of a mess. All of these gigantic chunks of ice have been floating down the river, and getting clogged up underneath the Water St. bridge. Pro tip: Don't use them as makeshift boats.

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Simply Hoff

I love urban art. Everything from the awesome exhibition that had images projected on buildings downtown to the spray-painted faces on sidewalks. All of it brings a smile to my face, and makes the mundane tasks of everyday life a bit more fun.

So imagine my giddy little girl delight when I hopped into a friend’s car behind Eclectica on Grand, he turned on the headlights, and this piece of gloriousness stared back at me. Into my soul.

I immediately laughed, then cried a little, and the image lingered so I got a little creeped out.

And though the street art made me instantly rejoice, as we pulled out of the space I soon recoiled in sadness because I realized we weren’t in a car that could talk in a British accent and fight crime.

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The Pagoda Remains

Our photo editor just called Woo’s Pagoda The Red Parrot a few weeks back because of the whole “since we no longer serve Chinese food and changed our name from Woo’s Pagoda to something bird-related, we’re gonna rip down that big green pagoda on the roof” rumor. And we heard what TV13 heard:

  • A longtime Eau Claire icon will remain on the roof of Woo's Pagoda. Owner Terry Voss says it was a widespread rumor that the pagoda was being removed since the name of the business was changed in recent weeks to The Red Parrot. …
  • The restaurant closed last month, and owner Terry Voss changed the name to fit a different atmosphere at the business which includes a bar and food. But, he said the pagoda remains.

If that pagoda was coming down, we were going to get pictures. No such luck. Which is good. Because we love the pagoda. And it remains.

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Tuesday, Mar. 3rd, 2009

Wisconsin Guns Ain't Cheap

Wisconson’s gun-buying consumers might feel part of the state’s economic burden if Governor Doyle’s current budget proposal is accepted. The proposal is, um, drawing fire from state congressmen and other parties who are now, um, hunting to, ahem, blow holes in the plan. From the Chippewa.com

  • [Doyle’s] spending plan would increase background check fees from $8 to $30, a move that could affect tens of thousands of gun buyers. Republicans pounced on the idea. Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, branded it “outrageous.’’
  • “Gun owners should not be unfairly taxed when legally purchasing a firearm to help Governor Doyle balance his budget,’’ Suder said in a statement.
  • Doyle’s budget director, Dave Schmiedicke, said the increase would help offset shortfalls in the background check program and other law enforcement programs funded through offender surcharges.

Even National Rifle Association spokeswoman Rachel Parsons is up in arms, calling the fee “a tax on the constitutional right to own and bear arms.” Man, lately Doyle’s been pissing off everyone – from actors to gun-owners. Nope, it’s not a fun time to be the governor.

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