Tuesday, Feb. 3rd, 2009

Temporary Bands: The Side Project, a musical experiment

Not long ago Volume One received a New Avenues classified ad about and event/idea called The Side Project. We thought the idea was pretty cool and might need a little more attention. Straight from the event's home page, here's the lowdown: "The Side Project is a concert for and by high school students, college students, and young adults in and around the Chippewa Valley. Volunteers will form side project concept bands at the meeting on January 24th to write and perform 15 minutes of new material at a large auditorium booked on March 27th."

This all started with Peter Matz and Adam Thoms, two local guys who play together in the Harvesttime Church band. Peter and Adam felt strongly about doing something big on behalf of music in Chippewa Valley and decided to pool their resources to create The Side Project for musicians and artists looking for a low-commitment band experience. The 12 bands they've assembled will play that final show at Harvesttime Church (3231 S. Hastings Way, Eau Claire) on Mar. 27 at 6:30 with a $5 cover. Although a lot of The Side Project's process involves the church as a venue, the musicians and music are not necessarily church-related. They're also looking for volunteer ticket takers, security, sound and lighting people, and many more positions. If you want to get involved, hit up the contact info below.

Looks like a cool show. The process is brilliant and bolsters Chippewa Valley music, but I can see the show either flopping on its belly or being freakin' fantastic. What do you think about the Side Project? And does this festival's process pique your interest in going to the final show, or does it turn you off?

Myspace: myspace.com/ecsideproject
Blog: ecsideproject.blogspot.com
Email: ecsideproject@gmail.com
Phone: 894-0640 (Peter), 456-5266 (Adam).

Comments 8

Bad Economy = Booze = Crime?

It’s no secret that bad economic conditions lead to bad behavior like crime and alcohol abuse … unless you’re the reporter who wrote this little piece for WEAU.com. In that case, it’s brand new news. From the article:

  • Local law enforcement officers say the depressing economy is making more people turn to alcohol.
  • Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer says it's tough to know why people drink because officers don't typically ask people that question when they're arrested.
  • But he says there's data showing an increase in drinking, most likely he says because of the tough times.

Indeed. And I’d like to add that recent data shows a remarkable spike in local moodiness, and startling numbers of people have been located down in the dumps. What can we do about it? Sheriff Cramer says people need to find a new outlet. WEAU.com quotes: "If people would go exercise instead of sit and drink, obviously we probably would see a lot less people involved in criminal activity." Once again, indeed. If only people could somehow realize that exercise is good and whiskey is bad.

OK seriously, I’m no expert, but it doesn’t seem like people who lose their job and turn to alcohol are doing it because they’ve never heard of jogging. I don’t think Sheriff Cramer is stupid, not at all, but this article sure doesn’t make him sound too savvy.

To sum up … duh.

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Nearly Frozen When Found
(Jan. 30, 1908)

Nearly Frozen When Found
Officer Wolf picks up queer case of drunk last evening.
– Eau Claire Leader | Jan. 30, 1908

Eau Claire – But for the kindly offices of a patrolman last night a man might have frozen to death on North Barstow street. A lumberjack, who is believed to reside near Durand, became somewhat intoxicated late yesterday and late last evening was about to seek a lodging place in some of the hallways along Barstow. Officer Wolf noticed the condition of the man and brought him to the detention station where he was given lodging for the night. In his meanderings the man had lost his hat, and was unable to tell the officers what had become of it. He did manage to hang on to a sack of cookies, which he brought with him to the jail, and when he got thawed out he ate he lunch with as much contentment as a swell at Delmonico’s.

Chad's Take:
1908 or 2009?
Believe me I am not purposefully trying to dig up stories that involve alcohol, but there are just so many great drinking stories available that I simply can not resist. The best aspect of this story is that if you only read the headline and first sentence you might think that the story took place in 2009, not 1908. This lumberjack who allegedly passed out on Barstow Street was so intoxicated that he lost his hat, yet he was coherent enough to keep a tight hold on what was really important—his sack of cookies. I wish the article had listed the name of this colorful lumberjack so that the next time I am down on Barstow street I could toast a drink in his honor.

In closing the article the writer throws out the fact that the cookies tasted so good to the lumberjack that he might as well been eating lunch at Delmonico’s Restaurant. This mention was a reference to the world famous New York restaurant that was in operation until 1926. 

Keep an eye out ...

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Apocalypse to Follow ...

In what's surely a sign of the coming End Days, the Girl Scouts have announced that their boxes of sweet, delicious cookies will be holding less sweet, delicious cookies this year. From WQOW.com ...

  • The Girl Scouts of USA confirmed it's cutting back because of rising transportation and baking costs. A spokeswoman says there will be two to four fewer cookies in each box. She says it's too early to tell how the change will impact sales.

Rising baking costs? Seriously? Man – I just placed a order the day before this tragic news broke.

Comments 6

Monday, Feb. 2nd, 2009

The Big Week, February 2

In this episode: France wants its boat back, wacko dresses like The Joker for local crime, Trevor breaks down going back to school, and we giveaway $50 G.C. for Anytime Fitness.

Comments 2

Sunday, Feb. 1st, 2009
Friday, Jan. 30th, 2009

Saturday: Might As Well Jump

Yee-haw, ski jumpers. Get ready for the 123rd Annual Silver Mine Invitational! This weekend, the Eau Claire Ski Club invites you to join them for a K90 ski jumping tournament. (USSA sanctioned, or course). Trial and competition rounds will be held, with awards following the competitions. It all gets started around 11am at that big ski jump southwest of Eau Claire.

Also this weekend: Cabaret XXXI Colors, Howard "Guitar" Luedtke, The Cloud Hymn, Trampled By Turtles, A Tribute to Nirvana + Kaptivating Kate, The Dead & Dying of the Analogue World, and holy crap French Toast Breakfast!

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Thursday, Jan. 29th, 2009

REVIEW: A Variety Show for the Facebook Generation

Screw Thursday’s John Mueller Winter Dance Party. I went to the Grand Little Theatre and what HAD to be the best show of the month – the Las Vegas-based touring group The Optical Delusions. Comprised of three young performers – a juggler, a magician, and a mind-reader – this hysterical and impressive gig reminded me why its great to take a chance on an unknown show. Even though you might catch a bomb from time to time, they’re all made up for with a show like this. The packed house (which admittedly isn’t hard to fill with room that size) ate it up and gave it back with a standing ovation by shows end. The ridiculously lovable juggler did it all, including tossing several “Knorches” (knives and torches comically fused together) and left everything he had on that stage after his finale, pictured above. This dude was jaw-droppingly good. The London-born mind reader and the charming magician (who actually happened to graduate from UWEC before leaving for Vegas and landing some seriously high-profile gigs) didn’t disappoint either – bringing A-game quality and theatrics. The show's arc was perfect, except one trick sequence that was a little lame and obvious (the Three Card Monty routine), but by that time you were so endeared to these guys that it didn’t even matter. Kudos to them for bringing their show to EC, and to the Grand Little Theatre for hosting it. I’m SO glad I caught it.

Comments 3

Stout Student to Appear on Reality Poker Show

Caught this over on Stout Media’s (terrific) website: Stout student Tony Wind (originally from St. Paul) will be appearing on Ultimate Bet’s Best Damn Poker Show on February 2. On his audition tape, Wind impersonated totally timely characters like Ace Ventura, Pee-Wee Herman, Macaulay Culkin, and Michael Jackson – all playing a hand of texas hold’em. From Stout Media:

  • “I figured there would be some stiff competition,” says Wind. ”So I knew I had to make my audition stand out and came up with the Neverland Ranch Poker Invitational.”   
  •  … As expected, Wind reiceved an invite for an all expense paid trip to California and ended up missing a few classes at the beginning of last semester.  During his experience, Wind met many poker pros and players. 

Check out details, including the audition video right here.

Comments 1

Thursday: Idea Lounge 8,
The Revenge!

After cancellation due to super cold air outside, the next Idea Lounge is back,  tonight at Porter's in downtown Eau Claire at 7pm. It's called "Global Ideas for Downtown" ...

  • Customizing our space with some international flare … Have you ever traveled abroad and saw fantastic ideas that you would love to see in the town you live in? Come hear what others have experienced and share insight of your own, whether you have traveled or lived abroad, or are just interested in learning more. What can Eau Claire do to incorporate some of these great ideas and create a unique “village” of our own? More details.

Downtown Eau Claire Inc. has totally taken the reins on this one – show them your support!

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