Friday, Sep. 26th, 2008

Saturday: Melismatics

On Saturday, the Stones Throw will feature a local favorite from Minneapolis – Melismatics. They’re a swaggering, super-tight pop band that takes their own modern vision and sterling hooks and then tumble them around with the best aspects of the classics. While referencing points stretch from Big Star, Husker Dü, the Kinks, and Supergrass, to Devo and AC/DC, their catchy and euphoric noise is all their alone. 4 bucks, 10pm, Stones Throw.

Also on Saturday: Theater Discovery Day for the drama queens, Ice Cream and Pie Social for the friendly sweet toothers, pig and corn roast at Ray’s for the pork-lovers, Fiamma Fumana for the technophiles, Mojo Lemon for the blues-niks – and No Loving Place, Wrecking Day, and Orestus those who wear ear plugs.

Have a good one.

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Thursday, Sep. 25th, 2008

Chippewa Falls Keeps It Legal

You can still smoke the cigs in Chippewa, man. From the Chippewa Herald...

  • On Wednesday, [Transportation] committee members, Susan Zukowski, Jack Covill and Brian Flynn, voted to wait for state action. They agreed a local smoking ban would cause economic hardship to city businesses at a time the economy is struggling.
  • “Every bar owner in Chippewa looks at this as an attack on their business,” Covill said.

Obviously, a different line of thinking resulted in Eau Claire’s very own smoking ban. Yet, the Leader Telegram sez that...

  • Council member Jack Covill said he had spoken with an Eau Claire tavern owner who had seen his property value drop some $400,000. Eau Claire began a workplace smoking ban July 1.

Taking a much less controversial route, the Chippewa City Council decided to wait until the state Legislature tells everyone what to do in 2009.

Comments 4

Wednesday, Sep. 24th, 2008

Broken Music Scene?

Check out this comment left on the Best Of reader poll’s Talent category:

  • Well, kiddies ... as you all sit here and bicker amongst yourselves, we've had our first venue casualty.
  • Jake's in Menomonie closed its doors this week. In the face of a tough economy, John made the difficult decision to shut the place down. For those of you that aren't familiar - Jake's had great food, a great staff, and was a great venue for live music outside during the summer months. John is a musician himself, and always supported live music at Jake's. It will be sadly missed.
  • The lesson here is this: Jake's had good business, with both their food, and their live music. And if a place like that can't make it in today's world, a LOT more will be sharing its fate. Do what you can to support what's left of the already small number of live music venues in the area.     – J

And from last week on the same category:

  • ... We as cover bands should be worried about the state of our local music scene. If you have not played O'Leary's Pub or Tailgates since the smoking ban, perhaps you don't know how close we are to losing our local venues. Tailgates business is down 28% and has cut way back on it's live entertainment. If you have called O'Learys Pub in the past couple of weeks to book out 2009, you would know that they are not booking and will tell you they are seriously considering hiring DJ's and Karoake for their weekends after their slow summer. We, need to spend our energy trying to get our Myspace and Facebook fans to support not only ourselves, but, all of the local bands at these venues in the next couple of weeks. ...     – Slant

So what’s up with live music around here, guys? Is there enough interest / money / ambition to keep the scene going? Is this just the scene's normal ebb and flow, or is something changing?

Comments 6

Tuesday, Sep. 23rd, 2008

UWEC Student Makes T-Shirt That Says “Vagina” On It

We’re gonna take a big flying leap (with a triple flip) onto the bandwagon here, and talk about Catherine Emmanuelle, the UWEC student who is making some pocket change selling T-shirts that say "I don't endorse just any vagina." The Leader-Telegram says …

  • "The discussion was how we have a female running and how (women) feel like they have an allegiance - like they're indebted," Emmanuelle said. "We need to think about why we're voting for people. Who do I want to be elected? We need to do research."
  • That prompted Emmanuelle to create a way to make others think more about the candidates than about their gender. After two weeks of mulling over phrases in her head, "I don't endorse just any vagina" was born and printed on a T-shirt.
  • Emmanuelle's friend Caroline Wee, 34, was excited to help in any way she could.
  • "I said, 'Oh my God. We have to do this,' " Wee recalled.

First of all, “Wee” is the most amazing last name ever. Secondly of all, Oh my god, really, Caroline? What’s the big deal? Emmanuelle says she wants to start some discussion (and if you are reading this, mission accomplished, Cath), but it’s not like “I don't endorse just any vagina” is thought-provoking enough to generate more discussion than is already out there. I’m all for inflammatory T-shirt slogans, but this one could have been better. Laurie Forcier (dis)agrees:

  • Laurie Forcier, chairwoman for the Republican Party of Eau Claire County, thinks she knows what it's about - GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
  • "That is partisan," Forcier said. "I don't care what they say."
  • Forcier refuses to believe that Emmanuelle and Wee produced the shirt to make people think. Rather, Forcier sees it as a stunt to elude filing for tax-exempt status as a political organization. Furthermore, she thinks the wording is horrendous.

Horrendous? No. Effective? Eh. It’s just the word vagina. By the way, if any of you can send us a picture of someone wearing one of those T-shirts, we’ll totally give you some free stuff.

Comments 9

Monday, Sep. 22nd, 2008

Thirsty for Innovation, Wis. Man Turns Poop into Water

According to, an enterprising Wisconsin dairy farmer named John is making clean drinking water from his cows’ poop. Here’s a fun little factoid from the article:

  • John Vrieze says every single day the cows on his St. Croix County dairy farm produce 50,000 gallons of manure and waste. That's more than the average backyard swimming pool.

Good to know! Farmer John says the water made from all that manure is cleaner than treated municipal wastewater, which makes sense since he’s using a similar process. Man, a farmer gleaning drinking water from his overwhelming stores of cow crap – now that’s an Original Maverick, only less cool and more revolting. And probably more helpful in the long run.

Comments 6

Sunday, Sep. 21st, 2008
Friday, Sep. 19th, 2008