Tuesday, Jul. 7th, 2009

It Just Keeps Growing!

Along with growing folkies Daredevil Christopher Wright and fixture Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Megafaun – constructed from Chippewa Valley natives – are inching into the spotlight, garnering a post in Rolling Stone Magazine’s online Hype Monitor. The mag mentions their large beards while comparing them to Fleet Foxes. “The Fade” (a song) is likened to a “wondrous, rickety tree-fort of a country song,” however you’ll interpret that.

Megafaun have shared stages with the likes of Akron/Family and The Dodos, as well as sharing a band with Vernon. (And unless you've been imprisoned in a basement for the past 10 years, you remember DeYarmond Edison, a collaboration between Justin Vernon, Brad Cook, his brother Phil, and Joe Westerlund. The latter three would form Megafaun.)

Currently, the band is on a North American tour out on the East Coast and won’t be back hereabouts until July 21, when they stop into Minneapolis on their way to the West Coast. This just so happens to be the same day their new album, Gather, Form & Fly comes out, so start piggy banking now!

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Wisconsin wants its deer head back

Last year, a guy named John Longo was out driving near Racine and happened across a common sight in rural Wisconsin: the ever-present dead deer on the roadside, tragically struck down before its time by a motor vehicle. So what’s a guy to do? If you’re John Longo, you throw it into the back of your truck, drive it on home, eat it, and mount the head. It must have had a nice rack. No big deal, right, man?

Wrong, man. In case you’re a Wisconsinite from the big city (Madison), and don’t know any better, let me fill you in on roadkill etiquette. If you see a dead animal you want, you’re gonna need a permit to pick that carcass up. John Longo had no such permit. So he got a $208 fine. Which he didn’t pay. And then, after some weird legal bickering between the DNR and a local county circuit judge, the DNR has decided it wants the mounted deer head, because it’s technically state property. (Source.)

So the state of Wisconsin is asking for its deer head back, please. The DNR probably just wants to test it for chronic wasting disease, but maybe it just wants a sweet deer head to hang on the office wall.

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Dios Mioifest Destiny

As you read this, the guys in Dios Mio and the Texas band High Life (featuring Eau Claire’s own Conner Lynch) are cruising down the western sea board on a West Coast tour of America. Dios Mio’s tour kicked off a little over a week ago and I am anxiously awaiting  a road report from them. The above bus which only a few months ago was serving the Minneapolis/St. Paul school district now ferries them across the nation’s western expanses. It has been lovingly refurbished to fit the needs of a band's gear transportation and on/off road relaxation. The biggest highlight in the upcoming tour dates is in a couple days they will be playing at the famed Gilman St. in Berkley California. They’ll be on the road till returning to the great state of Wisconsin on July 24 where the tour will end amongst the twisting water slides of Noah’s Ark. Hopefully, as I said, I will be getting some road stories from them soon and maybe some photos of their exploits.

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Monday, Jul. 6th, 2009

TONIGHT: A nice karate crane kick right between the eyes

As if we haven’t talked about this enough, don’t forget that tonight is the first night of the 2009 Back-Alley Summer Cinema Series. And it’s a-gonna be The Karate Kid. If case you've never heard of the film – which most critics consider the best movie in history of cinema – here's a synopsis:

  • Teenager Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) moves with his mother from Newark, New Jersey to Reseda, a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California riddled with Karate-loving preppies. The family is in search of a new beginning after the death of Daniel's father. Their new apartment's handyman is an eccentric but kindly and humble Okinawan immigrant named Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) who teaches Daniel totally sweet Karate moves so he can kick a bully’s ass, win a girl’s heart, and get a really big trophy in a karate tournament. Also, Mr. Miyagi gives Daniel a classic car. Not sure what Miyagi’s getting out of this whole relationship.

Details for tonight! Details about the whole cinema series! And details about Ralph Macchio!

Just watch this lightning-fast and furious karate action!

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Wants Prayer To God For Rain

Wants Prayer To God For Rain
Some Unknown Person Sends Written Request For Publication. Asks Ministers And Priests To Have Bells Tolled At That Time
Eau Claire Leader | July 5, 1910

The following unique request, written with pencil and by an unknown person, came to the Leader office and although it was received too late for Sunday’s paper, it is given now. We have had no rain since Sunday so that the request is not too late please put in large print and place to be easily seen, in Sunday’s paper only –July 2, 1910: “Will the brothers and sisters in Christ, all unite in prayer, either in their homes or in the churches tomorrow, at 2 o’clock to God, to send us rain and let the ministers and priests see that the bells are tolled in the churches at that hour. IN JESUS’ NAME, WE ASK IT.” “P.S. Please send a copy to all the ministers and priests in Eau Claire.” The above was not signed. It is not too late to take action. For the past week or more, prayers have been offered in the majority of the churches asking for rain. At Nearly every service, prayers with this request were offered.

Chad’s Take: No God -– No Rain, Know God- – Know Rain.

I would have truly enjoyed being in church during this service. I can just imagine the priest or minister asking the people to bow their heads in prayer as they pray for world peace or an end to hunger and disease. Then as a final note, it is requested that prayers be sent out in hopes for rain in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I am not sure if prayers are similar to numbers at a deli and get answered in the order they are received, but if prayers get answered based on urgency, this prayer would certainly have shot to the front of the line.

Of course I am being a bit facetious with my remarks. I do realize how important rain was during a time when nearly fifty percent of the country’s population was involved in farming. I also realize that if your crops failed you couldn’t simply run over to Chicken Unlimited and grab a family meal (a real shame). Yet even though I know how hard life was back then I am still a little perplexed by this article. Was it really a reasonable request from a concerned citizen, or just another strange character of Eau Claire making their presence known. I guess I will have to remain divided on this one. However, I will impart with you something my father used to tell me when he was alive, that always brought some clarity to me. He would say “If you see me while you are in church, you must be sitting by the window.”

Keep an eye out ...

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Sunday, Jul. 5th, 2009

Weekly Shakedown: What You Might Have Missed

Here’s an amazing assortment of Volume One website goodness that you may have missed last week.

Enjoy your weekend, people of the Chippewa Valley.

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Saturday, Jul. 4th, 2009

Saturday: KA-BOOM!

As you read this, the Chippewa Valley is jumping with activities for tons of patriotic family fun. Menomonie’s Freedom Fest kicks off first with the Firecracker run/walk. Everyone is invited to join in the rest of the Independence Day celebration with games, music, food, and beer. Bands will include Swing Crew, Howard “Guitar” Luedtke, and Sassy Magoo. Activities will include children’s inflatable games, softball and baseball tournaments, crafters, Ozseeker the Clown, a dunk tank, beanbag tossing, pudding eating contests, and a scavenger hunt. The night will conclude with a brand new, spectacular fireworks display.

The Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire is holding its 17th annual Independence Day celebration – the Fourth of July Family Fair – with many family friendly events as well. Activities will include music by the Eau Claire Municipal Band, cakewalks, bubble gum blowing, food and drinks from the Mega Grill, and ice cream from the museum’s fab fifties ice cream parlor. Enjoy some more historically oriented activities by listening to patriotic speeches, watching the honor guard, and checking out the added feature this year – a live civil war encampment. Carson Park’s Fourth of July Celebration will have train rides, music, food, and a big fireworks show in the evening for the whole dang family to enjoy.

And on Sunday: 5th Annual Chippewa Valley Firecracker Mountain Bike Race, Midwest Shamanic Gathering, Bear Creek Band, Blues On The Chippewa "Afterglow" Open Blues Jam, and of course, the Ski Sprites Water Ski Show.

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Friday, Jul. 3rd, 2009
Thursday, Jul. 2nd, 2009

Wisconsin banks want to
see your pretty face

Yes, more Public Enemies-related news. Wisconsin Bankers Association president Kurt Bauer isn’t about to let that hunky Johnny Depp turn John Dillinger into some sort of folk hero and spark a blaze of Wisconsin bank robberies set to kickass background music, no sir. So Bauer says the WBA is launching a new campaign to combat the inevitable copycat crime wave – the likes of which has never actually been seen in the history of modern (or non-modern) cinema. The crux of the campaign is this: please don’t wear hats, hoods, or sunglasses when banking.

If there’s ever been a better plan to stop an unlikely rash of bank robberies, I’ve certainly never heard of it. According to the Associated Press, they’re trying to make it easier to identify them dirty robbers. They’ll still serve you if you try to cash your paycheck dressed as the unabomber, but President Bauer says, “everyone in the bank will be watching [you] more closely.”

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