Wednesday, Feb. 22nd, 2017

You're Invited! MOSES Offers Locals Discount Night & Downtown Gets Ready to Party


Photo: Dahli Durley
Photo: Dahli Durley

The MOSES Organic Farming Conference is coming! What does this mean? Not only does it mean the La Crosse Center is completely taken over, right down to each storage room, but it also means Downtown La Crosse becomes “the Oktoberfest of organic farmers”. In lieu of lederhosen, you’ll see plaid flannel and overalls; instead of dirndls, you’ll see… well, plaid flannel and overalls. You may notice the beauty of more folks in town with dreadlocks, hipster glasses, and a few extra beards. German beers may get opted out for an organic cider and polka is replaced with some of the best bluegrass and Americana in the Midwest.

With several music venues poised to open their doors to the overflow of the best attended event at La Crosse Center, locals can kick up their heels with some visiting folks that know how to work hard and play hard. These farmers may even share a thing or two about healthy soil composition.

What’s the MOSES Organic Farming Conference about? It’s the world’s largest gathering of organic farmers and the conference opens Thursday night at the La Crosse Center, and runs through Saturday. Locals can get a special ticket for $20 on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. to see the trade show with over 170 vendors, supplying everything from organic seeds to hand tools and small-scale tractors—many items perfect for gardeners, too. The event also features a bookstore with farming, homesteading, and gardening books hand-selected for great content.

The Thursday evening locals ticket includes admission to the bookstore and the one-woman performance of “Turn Here Sweet Corn,” which starts at 7:40 p.m. In addition, tickets are available to the entire conference as well.

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

What’s going on Downtown? Horseshoes & Hand Grenades play two nights at The Cavalier, Mid West Music Fest kicks off a dance party with PHO at the Root Note, Pigtown Fling strings it up at The Bodega, The Shufflin’ Duprees switch it up with Blues at The Brickhouse, and more!

Check out additional links to articles and events at the end of this article for more info about each event. Throw on your plaid, check out the MOSES Organic Farming Conference, and get downtown this weekend!  

Thursday, Feb. 9th, 2017

The Band of Heathens Live Feb 10: Mid West Music Fest Show at Cavalier

Austin, TX based, The Band of Heathens, are an old-school southern Americana and boogie woogie band that have gathered a huge base of fans in their 10 years as a band. Mid West Music Fest (April 14-15 La Crosse and April 28-29) is helping to bring them to La Crosse through a partnership with Weber Family Foundation. In a rare Midwest performance, the 5-piece band will be joined by Denver-based Great American Taxi and local country-grass pioneers The Smokin’ Bandits.

The non-Midwest acts are not as out of the ordinary as it sounds for the organization that has made a name for itself branding Midwest music and its artists. “In the music business, these days, like in a lot of fields, it comes down the relationships we are building with certain artists, booking agents, and local community members, says MWMF Festival Director Parker Forsell.

“There actually is a strong chain of connections here that all circles back to relationships made in the community of La Crosse,” Forsell adds.

The Band of Heathens are managed by Chad Staehly, who is the brother of Christian "Chubba" Staehly of The Smoking Bandits, a group of La Crosse guys who all met while attending college here. The Staehly brothers grew up in the Fox Valley, but have gravitated like many others toward the burgeoning arts and cultural scene in the Mississippi Valley. Chad Staehly is in the process of moving his family to town, which should be a boon for the music community in general in our area. Chad works for Nashville-based Gold Mountain Entertainment and is not only the manager of The Band Of Heathens, but other well-known acts Todd Snider and The Chicago Farmer. He also plays keys, sings and manages his own two bands, Great American Taxi and Hard Working Americans (which includes Todd Snider, and Dave Schools and Duane Trucks of Widespread Panic).

Both The Band of Heathens and Great American Taxi are celebrating the release of new albums and are on tour throughout the country.

More event info by Clicking Here.

Band of Heathens: Website

Great American Taxi: Website

The Smokin Bandits: Facebook

Friday, Nov. 18th, 2016

Good Times With Bad Companions

Feel like getting out the skinny ties, pointed shoes and cutting the rug to some raucous rock-a-billy and cavorting country tunes? Come to the Trempealeau Hotel on Saturday, November 19 because The Bad Companions are the band for you. The four piece from Minneapolis has played everywhere in the Midwest from neighborhood dive bars to car shows, from music festivals to county fairs. They've been on national TV and were featured on NPR's Prairie Home Companion – which seems a given considering the band’s name (get it, Companion?).

The roots-rock quartet was formed by Alan 'Al' Subola. Subola is a veteran of the Twin-City's rock scene, having spent years as lead guitar player and principal song writer for the critically acclaimed Vibro Champs. He was nominated as best electric guitarist in the state by the Minnesota Music Association. For the Bad Companions, Al also plays the lead guitar and is responsible for a majority of the vocals. Another Vibro Champs alum is standup bass player W.E. 'Bill' Keefe who's played with James Brown's drummer – Clyde Stubblefield. The Companion's drummer Scott 'Frenchy' Freemont earned his chops in bands like Stockcar Named Desire and Frenchy's Big Band. Finally Dan Gaarder of Roe Family fame plays the second guitar and supports Subola on vocals – especially when the Companions get their country on.

For smaller bar gigs the Companions like to perform as a three piece, leaving the second guitar in Minneapolis. Hayden Grooms on drums, Bill's stand up bass and Al's guitar still deliver the whole Bad Companions experience of utterly danceable classics and originals influenced by the likes of Bill Haley, Roger Miller, Johnny Cash and the Reverend Horton Heat.

Says Subola, ”I'm excited to come back to The Hotel. It just goes perfectly with our rock-a-billy and classic country music. An old building, the Mississippi on one side, Main Street on the other – it just feels like home. And please know – we will rip into a Johnny Cash train song, as soon as one comes by”.

Bad Companions Live

Saturday, November 19
8 – 11pm

Trempealeau Hotel
11332 Main Street
Trempealeau, WI 54661

No cover – pass the hat
(608) 534-6898

Tuesday, Sep. 27th, 2016

The Magnificent Seven: A Film Review

The Magnificent Seven is a Western revival where a gang of unlikely heroes band together and come to the aid of a small town that’s been taken over by a gold mining tycoon.

The new movie stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Byung-hun Lee, Vincent D’Onofrio, Manual Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard.

Todd Wohlert: First off, let me say that I'm a big fan of Westerns. When done right, they can be so much more than a bunch of guys on horses shooting at each other. One of my all-time favorites, “High Plains Drifter,” is more of a horror movie than a typical Western. “Unforgiven” is great because it shows the consequences of violence on the soul. Where does the gunfighter go when he rides off into the sunset?

Jess Witkins: I think the first shout-out has to go to the director, Antoine Fuqua, for his vision with this film. The 1960s original, while a classic of its day, was the epitome of what Hollywood did best, which was whitewash other people’s stories. The Magnificent Seven of the ’60s was set in Mexico, yet the main cast was all white males. Its leading Mexican was played by Russian-American Yul Brynner. Seeing the 2016 remake with a diverse cast of actors and characters is highly satisfying.

T: When I saw that Denzel was on-board with this remake, I knew that it wasn't going to be a fluff piece. And it’s historically accurate to have these diverse characters, too. There were Black cowboys in the Wild West. There were Native Americans. There were Chinese immigrants working on the railroads. They were all there!

J: Yes, Todd and I are in agreement that the actors in these roles were fabulous. I’m a big fan of Korean actor Byung-hun Lee’s work in this film, but all of them were great.

T: This movie is beautiful. It totally needs to be seen on the big screen. All the actors get to make interesting characters. Some of the best parts are just of the characters goofing around. Vincent D'Onofrio steals every scene he is in. One of my few gripes about this movie is that I wanted to see more of the characters interacting with each other.

J: We would have watched them all more. The film is a little over two hours long, but we both would have kept watching. We loved what we saw, and we wanted even more character development. We just wanted to keep getting to know these guys.

Hands down, “The Magnificent Seven” has been our favorite film to screen so far. The cinematography is gorgeous. There were so many different camera angles, wide shots and close-ups that it was really and truly beautiful to take in. And the musical score for the film is composer James Horner’s last. He died during filming last year, and friend Simon Franglen completed it. The music in this reminded me of his work in “The Mask of Zorro.”

Lastly, we’ve got to say, the other thing that impressed us was how timely the release of this film is. Stripped down, this movie is about a community coming together to stand up against the money-hungry corporation. This film is thought-provoking. Early on Peter Sarsgaard’s character makes a comment that as Americans we believe in democracy, but democracy is all about capitalism, and God loves capitalism, so to defy capitalism is to defy God. That’s a big statement. And this film looks at a lot of big issues, from race to economics to politics to ethics.

Verdict: We loved it! Go see this one in theaters now!

Check Marcus Theatres for times and locations.