Articles in this Issue

Editor's Notes

Note from the Editor | April 29, 2015

I recently attended the 101st Annual Meeting for the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce. I know, sounds boring. They may call it a meeting, but it’s really more of a massive dinner, party, and award show with nearly 700 attendees from throughout the local business ...

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The Rear End


springtime in Wisconsin is punching me in the face

Clear, aqueous snot suddenly gushed from my nose like a Wisconsin Dells water slide. My tear ducts sizzled with dryness. The skin around my eyes felt all puffy and weird. I stood there, frozen in my Sketchers.

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Cover Art
Opening Shots

Music Quick Hits | April 2015

Local pop superstars The Millenium have released a new video for their song, “Take Me” off their debut album It’s So Much Friendlier With Two. The video puts the band in an empty room – just like the lyrics reference – and with the burst of the infectious tune’s last chorus, a burst of gold confetti flies around the band. ...

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Bluegrass, New Grass

Evergreen Grass Band keeps evolving, puts priority on new album

Our hometown string boys Evergreen Grass Band haven’t put out an album for five years, though they’ve tried to at least two and a half times now. Their first album, For Sheriff was released in 2010, and the band already started putting work in on a sophomore effort in 2011, when the loss of a band ...

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Metalhead Gone Solo

ex-Megalodon guitarist softens it up on new EP

Eight years ago, Corey Glanville wasn’t even out of puberty. I’m looking now at the article, which appeared in the March 27, 2007, issue of Volume One, on his short-lived, yet hugely influential (at least by Eau Claire metal-core standards) band Megalodon, ...

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30 Years of Innocence

UWEC a cappella group has been singin’ for 30 years

When UW-Eau Claire’s director of choral activities Gary Schwartzhoff came to the university in 1991, the a cappella group Innocent Men had disbanded temporarily due to disagreements between the then-director of choral activities and the students’ ideas about which way the group ...

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Time to Koza Up

singer-songwriter returns to UWEC for Cabin gigs

Chris Koza’s music is a graceful blend of rock, pop, and Americana with a definite Midwestern flare, despite his Portland roots. Last November the singer-songwriter opened for Ingrid Michaelson at UW-Eau Claire’s Zorn Arena, but this time he’ll be playing his own shows in The Cabin inside Davies Center ...

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Nickolas Butler: Familiar Landscapes

Butler explores light and dark sides of Midwest in short-story collection

There is an Upper Midwest narrative that started somewhere around Little House in the Big Woods and strings together generations of writing, from Aldo Leopold up through some of the Chippewa Valley’s most successful modern artists, such as Michael Perry and Justin Vernon ...

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Not to Be Missed

Menomonie writer melds afterlife fantasy, YA lit

Menomonie resident Michelle Reed got the idea for her first book when she and her husband were en route to a screenwriter’s conference in Los Angeles in 2006. She had been listening to “Leave” by Barenaked Ladies, which lead singer Ed Robertson wrote after his brother died in a motorcycle accident ...

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North Words

EC native’s book-length poem defies categorization

About 20 years ago, I was a student at Memorial High School sitting in Mary Mickel’s English class. On the day in question, we were presenting some kind of speech, possibly based on a personal experience or some such – I don’t really remember. But what I do remember is my friend, Nick Gulig, ambling up to the front of the class in his tattered punk-rock regalia: Clothes literally held together with pins, magic, hasty stitches, body odor, and Trucker’s Union patches ...

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Visual Art

Space to Bloom: Jessica Mongeon

a colorful conversation with painter Jessica Mongeon

She’s still quite young, but as an artist, Jessica Mongeon has a lot of perspective to put on the canvas. A graduate of the University of North Dakota, Mongeon studied fine art and communications, but art was never gonna be her main thing. She thought she’d settle into the gooey stability that being a PR-professional-and-artist-on-the-side brings. But doubts-be-damned, Mongeon applied for grad schools ...

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Masterful Moviemaking 101

summer class at UW-Stout puts filmmakers to the test

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how it’s about time for a film renaissance in the Midwest. I mean, sure, Chicago sees some big-budget film productions, but I’m talking about right here – like right here – Chippewa Valley-style. Luckily, I’m not alone, and the folks over at UW-Stout have been cooking up a program to help kickstart the movement ...

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Feeling Prairie Good

short documentary Prairie Enthusiasm! focuses on Upper Midwest prairies and those who love them

Many of us are starting to understand why growing and purchasing organic and local foods can have a positive impact on groundwater and soil quality. However, we don’t really consider other ecosystems of rural areas beyond farmland ...

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Local Lit
Local Look

Local Listening

duo’s relaxed radio news show celebrates one year

“Luke?” “Hey Scott.” One surefire constant of Luke Hoppe and Scott Morfitt’s Local Show is a familiar greeting followed by hushed, tongue-in-cheek philosophical questions, like: “How exactly can a radio host be too self important?” This campy lightheartedness is a ritual before ...

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An 'Iconic' Leader

Duax remembered for service to city he loved

Eau Claire lost one of its most recognizable, enthusiastic, and thoughtful civic leaders when City Councilman David Duax died April 17 in Eau Claire.

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Visit Eau Claire Wants Bigger Share of Room Tax

Visit Eau Claire, the region’s tourism promotion agency, wants to tap into a larger share of the motel room taxes generated in the city of Eau Claire. Currently, Visit Eau Claire gets 56 percent of these taxes, which amount to about $969,000 last year ...

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Time to Spruce Up Downtown

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your own home and yard: City streets, parks, and sidewalks need some springtime love, too. If you can push a broom, pick up trash, or squirt Windex, Downtown Eau Claire wants your help for the annual Our City Spring Clean-Up ...

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Downtown Eau Claire's Heirloom Wedding Dressmakers

besties’ business specializes in vintage-y wedding dresses

Kleinfeld’s doesn’t have a thing on them. Not only are you guaranteed to “say yes to the dress” with local dress-makers Linyage, but on your special day, you will be a piece of masterminded art. As you walk into the design studio that looks like your Pinterest boards, and are welcomed by a cow-hide rug named Bernie, two of the sweetest people you’ve ever met, and a comforting pink couch that makes you feel like a Victorian bride, you’re guaranteed the ultimate experience with Linyage. ...

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Food / Drink

Westside Eatery to Feature Fifties Flair

the Classic Garage will offer a unique culinary and automotive experience

Texas transplants Rick Payton and Alex Karrer are hard at work on The Classic Garage, a new eatery on Third Street in the old home of Pure Oil and Buck’s Classic Auto Repair. With some Texan flavor and a refined business plan, Payton and Karrer are aiding in development of Eau Claire’s West Bank neighborhood. With a solid theme and a lil’ spit and polish, this auto repair garage is being transformed into a classic 1950s diner and vintage Cadillac showplace with an anticipated opening ...

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The 5 Wisco Wine Regions

tasting your way across the Dairyland

If you think the only good wine comes from Napa or some other name-brand locale, think again. Right here in Wisconsin winemakers are creating a wide variety of world-class bottles. The Winemaker’s Association of Wisconsin breaks the state up into five distinct regions of awesomeness, each with its own styles and specialties. Time to go tasting ...

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Full Court (Wine) Press

Wisco winery tops Final Four face-off

The Wisconsin Badgers may have lost a heartbreaker to Duke in the Final Four, but a Badger State winemaker had better luck in a hoops-themed competition judged by the staff of Wine Spectator magazine. In early April, the magazine selected wineries located near the colleges playing in the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four ...

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Family Roots

Autumn Harvest Winery changing hands, but will stay in the family

Ten years after creating a winery to complement their family’s well-known orchard, a Chippewa Falls couple are selling both businesses. However, Autumn Harvest Winery and John McIlquham Orchard will stay in family hands ...

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Kid Culture

Paddle Back in Time

The Past Passed Here opens history to kids (and adults)

It’s time to shed the stereotypes about history being boring and stuffy. The lives of those who came before us in the Chippewa Valley were exciting and diverse, and every year kids (and grown-ups, too) get a chance to immerse themselves in part of that history courtesy of the Past Passed Here. Now in its 13th year, the Past Passed Here is a four-day re-enactment of the fur trade and lumbering eras, which shaped the Valley as surely as a flying tomahawk shapes its target. ...

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Look to the Stars

space lovers celebrate Astronomy Day

The stars will align for astronomy fanatics and hobbyists of the Chippewa Valley on May 2. The annual Astronomy Day for the Chippewa Valley is an event that appeals to people of all ages who have ever had a fascination with the night sky, space travel, rocketry, and other related subjects ...

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Take it in Stride

EC Marathon offers plenty of ways to get involved

On your marks, get set … run! The Eau Claire Marathon returns to Eau Claire Sunday, May 3. Not a runner, you say? Doesn’t matter. From children to adults to volunteers – not to mention cheering spectators – there is a way for anyone interested to participate ...

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Look to the Stars

space lovers celebrate Astronomy Day

The stars will align for astronomy fanatics and hobbyists of the Chippewa Valley on May 2. The annual Astronomy Day for the Chippewa Valley is an event that appeals to people of all ages who have ever had a fascination with the night sky, space travel, rocketry, and other related subjects ...

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8 Quirky Wisconsin Museums

Whether it’s mustard, accordions, or angels, Wisconsinites have a unique way of taking a hobby and turning it into an exhibit hall. Our state is home to an eclectic mix of museums that go beyond the ordinary and are the product of a passionate person with a vision: a vision so ...

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