The WUEC folks have done it again; we are on the verge of another day-long indie rock concert featuring local and regional bands, which is most importantly, an all-ages show. Sure, we did have to abandon the ghost that is The Stone’s Throw to keep it that way, but while I would do plenty to see the likes of Daredevil Christopher Wright and Zoo Animal beckon the phoenix from the ashes, I would do plenty more to ensure the seeds of Eau Claire’s future music culture were properly sewn.

That’s right, The Daredevil Christopher Wright are back again this year. They released an outstanding EP, The Longsuffering Song, in the last quarter of 2011, and have been continually touring and working on new material. We are extremely proud to claim these fellas as a part of the Chippewa Valley. You can find our review of the EP here.

It is phenomenal that WUEC was able to corral Zoo Animal. The very recent release of their Departure EP (out Feb 18th), marks a literal departure from the Zoo Animal some of you may have seen last year backstage at the State Theatre. Holly Newsom remains the foundation, and after losing long-time band members within the last year, she now plays with a constantly changing group of musicians. If you have had the pleasure of seeing Holly playing a solo set at House of Rock, you know what to expect – raw, intrinsic emotions crooned honestly, and sometimes with fire. You can still stream the entire EP on SoundCloud.

 

There is an extremely large pair of shoes to fill in the Eau Claire indie-rock scene; Meridene, – stalwarts of the local scene for more than a half decade -  have recently called it quits, and Laarks – though still together -  play dates further and further apart due to various side-projects. Adelyn Rose is poised to fill the void, and they carry with them the wisdom of the aforementioned groups if form of members Dave Power (Meridene) and Ian Jacoby (Laarks). These gentlemen, however, do not outshine lead Addie Strei, but instead fortify the band’s ranks with the skill of seasoned veterans. They are set to release their first full-length, Mezzanine, March 9th. Nostalgic indie folk-rock birthed right here in Eau Claire. Learn more about Adelyn Rose from this great piece by Volume One.

 

Multi-instrumentalist Shane Leonard is somewhat of a musical vagabond. He brings his music to people; living room shows, universities, coffee shops, radio shows. He can do this because his songs are pleasing and palatable. Real folk music from a man that celebrates it in the most traditional sense. While he is comfortable solo, Kalispell introduces the tools that play more vividly with sound and mind. Ben Lester (who is very involved with S. Carey’s upcoming EP) plays pedal steel guitar and Dave Power plays the kit. They have put out two EPs that you can get in touch with at kalispellband.com. There is also a full-length in the works that looks to be slated for May release.

The Backwards Thinkers Society is an improvisational comedy troupe, founded by students of the UWEC Theatre Department in 2010. Kind of the “black sheep” of the lineup, being the sole non-musical act, but these newcomers are certain to bring some laughs to the event and gain some exposure outside of their traditional fan base.

This show is a must-attend event for local music fans, especially for those unable to attend the typical bar show.