Friday, Jun. 16th, 2017

Video: The Shouting Matches at Oxbeaux

In case you missed it, check out The Shouting Matches (Justin Vernon, Phil Cook, Jill Heinke Moen, and Brian Moen) opening up their set Thursday night (June 15) at The Oxbow Hotel. They were the last performer at the Oxbeau concert that night, which closed down a block of Galloway Street in downtown Eau Claire on the eve of the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival – just one of many shows that night.

We shot this quick video from the rooftop of Ramone's Ice Cream Parlor. 

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Thursday, Jun. 15th, 2017

Lineup Revealed for 2-Day 'Last Call' Show at the House of Rock

Later this summer, Eau Claire’s long-running rock club the House of Rock will close its doors for good after 17 years of hosting shows on Water Street, but not before this music scene and the spectrum of bands that have developed their sound on that stage can give it a proper send-off. So July 21 and 22 is “Last Call” for the House of Rock with 27 bands performing over two nights. We’ll see the return of Laarks, the return of Meridene, the return of The Nicotines, plus a crazy slate of artists from rock to metal to punk to hip hop to electronic all culminating in one final set by the Drunk Drivers. Mark your calendars and raise a glass, here’s the lineup in full:


Last Call at the House of Rock • 422 Water St., Eau Claire • July 21 and 22 • show starts at 4:30pm both days • $10 • 21+

Friday, July 21

Landfill Park
Arms Aloft
No Loving Place
Jim Pullman Band
I, Torrent
Giants of Midgard
FM Down
FanOffBirdSafe / Beercan Pentagram
Two Castles
Pit Wagon
In Black Print

Saturday, July 22

Drunk Drivers
The Nicotines
Smack Davis
The Jaggernauts
Mors Mortis Machinatio
The Ronald Raygun
The Heart Pills
DiY Daisy
Distant Friends

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Wednesday, Jun. 14th, 2017

Look for "If History Had Legs" Art Installation at Prex Claires (June 15)

Amongst other art installations around downtown Eau Claire on Thursday, June 15 – part of the freshly announced Eau Claire Public Arts Council launch, as well as part of the city's Prex Claires events leading up to the Eaux Claires Music at Arts Festival on Friday and Saturday, you'll find "If History Had Legs." From the artists ...

"If History Had Legs" Installation

Our time and place has a scale and movement.  A crib representing human powered nomadism asks What time is this place? ... How did we get here? ... What innovations can we create to modern living that allow for humane, human scale, urban life? ... How can we guide movement to grow our sustainable home here in the Chippewa Valley?"

Presentation methods: The crib will be stationed at Grand and Barstow Street on June 15.  A film inside the crib will screen current conditions juxtaposed against historical conditions and crossings on Barstow and Graham Ave.  Think of it as a kind a of time machine.  Photos gathered at Chippewa Valley Museum are key crossing locations for before and after images.

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Baroque Sculpture Lighting to Debut at Prex Claires (June 15)

Join Visit Eau Claire from 8:30pm to 11pm on Thursday, June 15 for the lighting of the Baroque sculpture as part of the Prex Claires festivities near the intersection of West Grand Avenue and First Avenue in downtown Eau Claire. A sneak-peek of Grease the Musical presented by the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild will perform at 8:30pm. Live music will be featured by CollECtive Choir on the Baroque stage starting at 9pm.

Originally a featured piece at Eaux Claires Deux in 2016, Baroque is the product of a skilled Italian design team, headed by Edoardo Tresoldi. Masterfully sculpted and constructed, the mysterious lights enhance the viewer’s experience as Baroque takes center stage along the scenic Chippewa River and brings this ominous pipe organ to life. Baroque offers a one-of-a-kind artistic flavor to the Eau Claire community and its visitors, while igniting conversation for all of those who passersby.

On Thursday evening around 8:30pm, Baroque will be lit for the first time since its return to Eau Claire. The conjoined event will be a part of the Prex Claires activities on Thursday, June 15. For more information on all Prex Claires activities, check out

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PHOTOS: Eaux Claires Fans at Peak Eaux Claires

Eaux Claires fans wisp about like dandelion wishes.
Eaux Claires fans wisp about the festival grounds like dandelion wishes.

We've taken many a photograph over the past two Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festivals, as all kinds of fantastic people converge upon the Chippewa Valley from around the world. Enjoy a handful of music fans who seem extra-at-home at Eaux Claires.

Eaux Claires fans like to reflect upon the journey.

Eaux Claires fans like to reflect upon the journey.

It's often hard to contain their excitement.

Music is serious business.
Music is serious business.

They paint with all the colors of the hot Wisconsin wind.


At music festivals across America, a hero appears whenever we need him most.

To be fair, this noble hero appears at all music festivals everywhere.

Some of the fans have their own bands.

Sweaty whiskers and Pepsi, y'all. 


Eaux Claires was made for romance.

Their strength and balance are second to none.

They had the time of their life.
They had the time of their life. They never felt this way before.

They stay true to their roots.

When representing Wisconsin, they pull no punches.

Hush and be still as the splendid Eaux Claires Spirit Animal quietly steps from behind a birch tree and welcomes you to the merch tent.

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Thursday, Jun. 8th, 2017

5 Nicknames Only Eau Claire Townies Will Understand

The Daniel Shaw Lumber Co. – the namesake of
The Daniel Shaw Lumber Co. – the namesake of "Shawtown."

How many of these old-timey Eau Claire monikers do you know? 

1. Plank Street Hill

To long-time residents, the steep street that the maps call Harding Avenue has another name: Plank Street. In the early days of Eau Claire, this steep, sandy ridge was a difficult climb for horses, so a road was built out of planks to make travel easier. These wooden boards have been gone for generations, yet the name remains – at least among those of us who’ve lived in town awhile.

2. Shawtown

The thousands of visitors who will soon be winding their way to the music festival grounds just outside the city limits will have no idea they’re cutting through one of Eau Claire’s oldest and most colorful neighborhoods, Shawtown. This neighborhood, built along the west bank of the Chippewa River around the slopes of Mt. Washington, takes its name from Daniel Shaw’s lumber mill, which once stood here.

3. The Bloody Ninth

Genuine Eau Claire old timers refer to the West Side neighborhood around Bellinger and West Madison streets as “The Bloody Ninth.” More than a century ago the area took its name from both its voting ward and its young people’s pugilistic reputation. As former V1 columnist Frank Smoot wrote in 2012, the Bloody Ninth was a “tough, working-class, immigrant neighborhood, without, as we say now, ‘enough parental controls.’”

4. The Four Corners

Countless communities have a crossroads dubbed “The Four Corners,” and Eau Claire is no exception. Long-time residents will recognize that the title here is applied to the intersection of South Barstow Street and East Grand Avenue. Today, you’ll find the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire on that corner, as well as the parking lot next to The Lismore Hotel, One Source Imaging, and a multi-tenant building. A century ago, the intersection was home to the Eau Claire National Bank and the Union National Bank; just down the street was the massive Ingraham Block, later home to the Midelfort Clinic.

5. The Point

Before it was cleaned up, parkified, and rebranded as the Confluence, locals referred to the spot where the Eau Claire River flows into the Chippewa River as “The Point.” The area was home to the “old gas house” – a former Northern States Power manufactured gas plant – and was largely abandoned and unused by the mid 20th century. Whatever you call it, it’s far from forgotten now as it's the home of Phoenix Park.

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Throws Eau Claire Some Love

And the hits keep coming. Just last week we mentioned two different Wiscosnin magazines featuring Eau Claire as a travel destination, and today we have the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (with one of the lengthiest pieces we've seen) highlighting Eau Claire as "one of Wisconsin's most underrated getaways."

The article features a bunch of photos from around the area and even a video interviewing Volume One owner/Oxbow Hotel co-owner Nick Meyer.

The piece, as usual, mentions Justin Vernon and the Eaux Claires festival, but it also spends a ton of sentences on local attractions such as our rivers and trails; The Informalist; The Dive; Lazy Monk Brewing; The Brewing Project; The Firehouse; Phoenix, Owen, and Carson Parks; Clancy's; JAMF Software; Justin Green of Toy Car Studios; Big Falls County Park; The Devil's Punchbowl; Lucette Brewing; Lake Wissota; Leinenkugel's; and The Oxbow Hotel and The Lakely. And more. 

And as we mentioned last week, these kinds of articles (like this one and this one and this one) have been popping up more and more – and there's sure to be more on the way.

ALSO: Check out the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's companion piece Trip Tips: Things to do in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls.

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Tuesday, Jun. 6th, 2017
Thursday, Jun. 1st, 2017

2 More Magazines Hype Eau Claire in Advance of Eaux Claires Fest

Two more magazines have profiled Eau Claire (like here and here and here), this time targeting people who'll be in town for the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival (June 16 & 17). The big music fest has drawn a lot of new attention to the area, causing some publications to look closer at the Chippewa Valley as a travel destination, and these are no exception. 

Milwaukee Magazine's profile, straightforwardly titled "Heading to the Eaux Claires Music Festival? Here's Your Guide to Eau Claire," does a ton of name dropping, plugging The French Press, Milwaukee Burger Company, The Classic Garage, Bijou Bistro, Leinenkugel's Brewery, Autumn Harvest Winery, UW-Eau Claire, the Chippewa River State Trail, the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market, and The Oxbow Hotel. They even list a number of non-Eaux Claires events happening that weekend.

Meanwhile, Madison Magazine featured Eau Claire in its post 7 Wisconsin Area Road Trips, mentioning the Acoustic Café, Sculpture Tour Eau Claire, the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market, the Chippewa River State Trail, Northwest Park, Lazy Monk Brewing, The Brewing Projekt, Lowes Creek County Park, Infinity Beverages, and more. 

Seems like articles like these have been popping up more and more – and there's sure to be more on the way.

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Wednesday, May. 31st, 2017

Well, This Is Embarrassing

The Washington Post today (among others) is talking about a recent bit of data from Google Trends. In honor of the National Spelling Bee (happening this week), Google wanted to find out what words the people in each of our 50 glorious States of the Union have trouble spelling. 

To do this, employees looked at Google searches of “how to spell ______” in each of the states from Jan. 1 to April 30 this year. Whatever word filled that blank most often in each state became denoted as that state’s “most misspelled word.” – Washington Post

And as the Wa-Po is unfortunately careful to point out, "People in Wisconsin, for example, most frequently searched for how to spell Wisconsin."

Wow. Well, if it's any consolation, Minnesotans appear to struggle when spelling  "beautiful." (It isn't.) Remember people, when you spell "Wisconsin," you've spelled it all. 

NOTE: We removed a correction to this article, because the correction was inaccurate. More on that here.

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