Thursday, Mar. 12th, 2009

Made in Chippewa Falls:
Slide-a-ma-jig iPhone App

Hey, remember Chuck Gamble of Lucky Radish Studio over in Chippewa Falls? Well, we got an email this week about his newest project – an iPhone App called Slide-a-ma-jig. Chuck says …

  • My first iPhone/iPod app is available on iTunes as of today! It’s a goofy little distraction with lots of fun drawings. Take a look and if you actually download it let me know what you think. I’d especially love to hear what kids have to say about it (good or bad) as that’s the main target.

Chuck is the guy who made those awesome Halloween cut-outs we put together. We downloaded Slide-a-ma-jig (it costs a whopping 99 cents), and it's tons 'o fun. You slide your fingers across the iPhone screen (duh) to swap out different body parts and create weird/random cartoon characters. And there’s totally sweet old-school cartoon sound FX, too.

Anyways, is this the first iPhone App made in the Chippewa Valley? Anyone know of any others? If you have iTunes, check out the App in action right here. Or go to the iTunes Music Store and search for “slide-a-ma-jig.”

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Wednesday, Mar. 11th, 2009

Such a Rube ... Goldberg

In retrospect, my high school extracurricular options kinda sucked. Yesterday was UW-Stout’s big Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, pitting teams of high school students against each other in heated contraption battle. This was the second year of Stout’s contest. For this year’s theme, competitors had to swap an old-school, energy-wasting light bulb with an energy-efficient bulb (aka, the twisty kind). And they had to do it in at least 20 steps. (No light bulbs got screwed in or out, just switches flipped.)

The New Auburn and Thorp teams took top honors, and will go on to the national competition at Perdue University. New Auburn’s entry – "Super Mario World Goes Neon" – used 46 steps, and as if that weren’t enough, they used a Super Mario theme. Man, kids these days. Over at the Leader-Telegram, you can read a description of Mario machine. I’ve yet to find a video, though.

> Check out photos from the event!

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Call More Dudes: the Whole Story

First I must tell you all that the final days are upon mankind as Nate Dungeon has written a blog. Second I was asked by Volume One for more info on the events surrounding the legendary InDefence Taco Johns music video. A little over a year ago a show at my Dungeon was rudely interrupted by the police, because my lame neighbors (whom thankfully no longer haunt MY neighborhood) decided to call them instead of coming over and asking the band who parked in the alleyway to move their vehicle. Long story short, we could not continue the show, and only Dios Mio had played. But thanks to the quick thinking of someone (now) known as Taco Shawn, arrangements were made for us to all roll down to Taco Johns and play (Taco Shawn worked there). Every band ended up playing about 3 songs and the whole event lasted about 15 minutes with no interruption. That’s the rest is history.

Next, some information on the song "Call More Dudes" itself. It all began in the summer of 2006 – the summer the Mid-Waste Motel was born. The first show at the Mid-Waste, people started saying, “Call more dudes!” I guess it kinda meant "Let’s get more people here to rock, or party,” something akin to that. Somehow it stuck and InDefence (who commonly plays here), decided to write a song called “Call More Dudes”. I think they wrote in the later months of that year. It first appeared recorded on the Minneapolis 2007 ep. Here’s the lyrics:

  • I’m going to the show, really really wanna go, who’s playing, who’s on the bill, I don’t know, don’t ask Will
  • Call more dudes, Call more dudes, Call more dudes
  • It’s at the Mid-Waste Motel, mosh it up till it stinks like hell, wall of death dive off the stairs, Nate’s old school he don’t have hair
  • Call more dudes, Call more dudes, Call more dudes

A band from Minneapolis who is one of the biggest punk rock/hardcore bands in the Midwest has written a song about how awesome Eau Claire and its kids are. They have also been quoted as saying “We steal all our ideas form Eau Claire.” And before that, their song “Hardcore is Dead” claimed, “Hardcore is dead, except in Eau Claire.” That’s right, for all you naysayers out there about Eau Claire. They have also recorded Call more Dudes part 2 – “Call more gay Dudes,” and this weekend, they should be recording part 3: “Call more girl Dudes”

InDefence will be playing at Skate America (or for those in the know, Moulton's) on March 28th, so Call More Dudes.

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Tuesday, Mar. 10th, 2009

Creepy Talking Doll
Causes Fear, Insanity

Anyone out there read the Dunn County News? Anyone out there who reads the Dunn County News remember this headline: "Menomonie Wal-Mart pulls alleged pro-Islam doll from shelf"? That somehow got by me. But I thank Jim Stingl from JSOnline for giving it more attention:

  • A woman in Menomonie, Wis., is the latest to complain that a talking doll selling at Wal-Mart is trying to recruit children to become little Muslims.
  • Lois Debee told her hometown Dunn County News last week that she thinks the doll says, "Islam is the light." To me it sounds more like, "Is mom in the lake," which probably proves I'm not nearly paranoid enough.
  • Debee marched right down to her local Wal-Mart to raise a ruckus over the doll with the ridiculously long name, Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Cuddle & Coo. She found out they had pulled the dolls off the shelves late last year when this controversy erupted, but they found their way back.

So wrong in so many ways. I wonder if Debee is aware of the millions of children around the world who are already Muslim. (As far as I know, a talking doll was never part of the equation.) Also, do people really think that a hunk of plastic can jibber-jabber a religious metaphor and magically convince a toddler to practice a religion? Because those kind of people are insane and need to get help. Anyway, have a listen.

Here's the original article. By the way, anyone out there remember this monkey business?

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Officer Tighty Whitey
and the Money Man

You know when a news story starts off like this …

  • A Kenosha County deputy in his underwear teamed up with a bank president to track down an alleged drunk driver.

… it’s gonna be a good day. That sentence is pert near the plot to a new John Cusack rom-comedy (that only exists in my mind). Just replace “bank president” with “charming, female bank president,” change “alleged drunk driver” to “eccentric bank robber played by Paul Giamatti,” and swap “Kenosha County deputy” with … “John Cusack.” Hey! They could film the whole thing in Wisconsin! Oh, wait.

Here’s more of the script treatment, courtesy of the Associated Press:

  • Police say Deputy Russell Preston was home Thursday evening when a pickup truck hit a light pole, skidded into his front yard and kept going.
  • Preston gave chase on foot, wearing a T-shirt, boxers and socks.
  • Johnson Bank president Dick Hansen was driving by and witnessed the commotion. He motioned for Preston to get in and together they followed the driver.

The AP says our dynamic duo “nabbed” the drunk a few blocks away, but they don’t say how. Which is kind of disappointing, because as is, that’s barely 10 minutes of screen time.

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Monday, Mar. 9th, 2009

Non-smokers Beat Bars
(3 to 1) picked up on this smoky little nugget (yum!) of statistical info concerning the Eau Claire’s smoking ban …

  • A new poll shows nearly 3 in 4 voters in Eau Claire support the city's smoke-free ordinance.
  • A polling firm, The Mellman Group, surveyed 400 likely voters in Eau Claire in late February. SmokeFree Wisconsin commissioned and paid for the research. It also found 77 percent of those who go to bars and restaurants at least once a week support the smoking ban.

Not sure if this really shoots into the heart of the matter as far as business owners’ rights are concerned. And the whole “bars and restaurants” qualifier seems like it skews things. A lot.

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UPDATED: County Jail Strike Force Strategy

In what’s being excitedly billed as “perhaps our most critical meeting yet,” CAJE (Citizens for Accountable Jail Expansion) will be meeting tonight to strategize the strongest possible arguments for the Special Committee (to Resolve Space and Site Needs) to support off-site jail location, split operations possibilities, and expanded alternative programming. TV18 might be showing up to do some reportin' on the group.

If you oppose the county jail expanding in downtown Eau Claire, you should probably attend tonight’s CAJE meeting because the Special Committee may be making their final decision on the new jail location on March 19. Tonight's meeting is at 6pm at the First Congregational Church, (on 3rd and Broadway).

On the other hand, if you do not oppose the downtown jail expansion, we’re not sure what you should do because you don’t have a citizen action group. Maybe you can form one or something.

Part of the reason for CAJE's urgency, from

  • On Thursday night, the committee formed to come up with alternative sites for a new Eau Claire County jail, other than downtown, came up with two sites.
  • The committee's top pick was land next to the Chippewa Valley Technical College west campus, land that is owned by the college. Friday morning, the committee was told that sight was already slated for another project.

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Sunday, Mar. 8th, 2009

The Big Week, Episode 21

In this episode: We talk about tickling things, giggling like a girl, important lighting concerns, super sexy Decedent Cabaret, and we giveaway $50 in Italian food.

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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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National buzz builds around Eaux Claires

Here's a quick roundup of articles about and lists including the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival, all set for July this summer. Please do check out Volume One's own interview with Justin Vernon and Arron Dessner, as well as our infographic ...

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