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Last weekend in the valley

Sue Orfield
August 10, 2018

A few pictures from last weekend in the Chippewa Valley. Saturday was the ever-popular Dragon Boat races in Eau Claire, and all wekeend Blues on the Chippewa rocked Durand. Yours truly spent Sunday afternoon in Durand volunteering to sling beer to the thirsty Blues crowd. Anyway, these are a few views of both events.

Pablo Center announces initial schedule

August 9, 2018

The Pablo Center at the Confluence has announce the initial schedule for their opening season. The schedule includes a mix of local peformance groups, films, and performers brought in from far and wide. Highlights for me are likely to include Ailey II, Kate Lindsey and  Baptiste Trotignon, Cassel/Block, and The Blind Boys of Alabama. The complete Pablo schedule brochure is linked below.

Chasing Mabel at Music Over Menomonin

chasing mabel

Chasing Mabel at Music Over Menomin Summer Concert Series

July 24, 2018

Music Over Menomin at the has had a rough summer as many of the music events have needed to be canceled due to the wildly unpredictable summer weather. This week (Thursday - details below) local favorite band is playing. In honor of that the band has made a video asking you to come out.

When the Hills are Gone - A Review

Thomas Pearson
April 29, 2018

I recently read When the Hills Are Gone - a book about the sand mining activists in Wisconsin during the period of the frac sand boom. The author, Thomas W. Pearson, is an associate professor of anthropology at UW-Stout. A disclaimer - I've known Tom for years, particularly since the frac sand activist period documented in this book. 

Frigg - live in Eau Claire - Don't miss them!


Frigg GLivelab

April 20, 2018

Folk, fiddles, and fun come to Eau Claire on Sunday. We were planning on heading on over to the cities next week to see Frigg at the Cedar Cultural Center. But this afternoon I was looking at (embarrasingly, my own) calendar on the site and realized they are playing in Eau Claire on Sunday.  Free and open to the public at Schofield Auditorium at UWEC.

Pro Arte Quartet Recital at UW-Eau Claire

Pro Arte Quartet

Howl: Howl - Part II

March 27, 2018

The music school at UW Eau Claire holds many music events, many from the faculty and students at the University, and some with visiiting performers. One of those opportunities to see a great performance will happen next week as the Pro Arte Quartet holds a recital at the University. It is free and open to the public. April 4, 7:30 PM.  Details are listed at the links below.

Steve Earle performing in Eau Claire

mareklug - Steve Earle at the City Winery Chicago 2015-02-03 23.07.07

Steve Earle - Copperhead Road

March 22, 2018

Musical performer, author, and actor Steve Earle will be performing at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center on June 3.  Tickets are on sale starting tomorrow (March 23) to the general public. Tickets are currently on sale for members. Here's a sample of what you will see and hear.

Northwoods Blues Fest announces lineup

Northwest Blues Fest Logo


March 1, 2018

The Northwest Blues Fest returns again this year to the Northern Wisconsin Fairgrounds in Chippewa Falls. The Chippewa Valley has become a center for a wide range of music festivals, but this is one of my favorites. It's only been in Chippewa a few years, and presents an amazing assortment of blues. The Fest is June 29-30 and I promise this will be a good time with fantastic music and great food. Here's a video to whet your appetite, and more info is available at the links below.

The education of Ursula Le Guin

January 31, 2018
File 20180129 89550 9v4iwb.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
A connection can be made in between Ursula Le Guin’s fiction and her father’s groundbreaking work in anthropology.

The UWEC Campus Films

A man called ove poster

A Man Called Ove Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Rolf Lassgård Movie

September 24, 2017

We often forget that the opportunity to travel the world is in our own backyard. There are many completely under-used opportunities in the arts in the Chippewa Valley, and it is our intention to point some of those out.

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Today, July 13

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    Acclaimed One Man Show Comes to Thursdays from the ULadysmith, WI - On Thursday, November 12, Kevin McMullin will be performing excerpts from his one man show, Into the Black Sea, Stories of Darkness and Light, that will be livestreamed from 12:30-1:30 on Thursday, November 12th as part of the Thursdays from the U Lecture and Performance series. To access this event, visit the webpage at at least 5-10 minutes prior. There you will find instructions for joining the live session, as well as the entire fall schedule, news releases for each talk, and archived recordings. Thursdays from the U is sponsored by UWEC-BC Foundation.McMullin’s childhood playgrounds ranged from the housing projects of Chicago to the suburban neighborhoods haunted by Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright. He embellished his somewhat unusual upbringing with an education at Northwestern University where he studied tuba with brass demigod, Arnold Jacobs. He tossed in a couple of years learning old time fiddle with Chicago Barn Dance icons, Mark Gunther and Mark Ritchie. The whole pastiche went with him to Seattle, Washington, where McMullin began playing the Pike Place Market and movie lines. With a somewhat addled sense of career opportunity, he decided to make a home in Sarona, Wisconsin. There he shed his urban ways, added storytelling to his bulging bag of tricks, and launched a trajectory of playing, telling, writing, educating and in general plying a trade for which there is no appropriate box on any federal tax form. Things were going pretty well. He cofounded Duck for the Oyster, one of the hottest folk dance bands in the upper Midwest. He cut a CD with jazz jock, Randy Sabien. He toured Chile. Then Mexico. Then Peru. He was sought after as a teacher and a performer. It all came crashing down in 2015 when he was diagnosed with a vestibular schwannoma, a non-malignant brain tumor that left him deaf in one ear, and struggling with chronic dizziness, tinnitus and fatigue. While he was recovering from the surgery, his father was diagnosed with a rare lymphoma. So McMullin moved to Chicago where he cared for his father until his father’s death 8 months later. “Let’s just say it threw my life into some disarray,” McMullin says. The abilities he lost forced him to do a lot of letting go. “I’d just lost my father. My music career was toast. Playing by myself is hard. Playing with others is not an option. I was grieving and exhausted and I had no idea where to go next.”But those years of illness, recovery and loss were fecund with stories. His own stories as well as the stories of others’. “I realized at some point that I could tell these stories. That I needed to tell these stories,” he says, “Stories of people walking in dark places and finding or making some kind of light in the most unlikely ways. And once I started telling them, I...

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