Local bands perform Volume One gallery to support university’s literary magazine

Local bands perform Volume One gallery to support university’s literary magazine

Story by Katy Macek, Currents Editor

Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the last names of Christian Sather and Bryce Kunkel. The Spectator apologizes for the error.

Students and several community members filled the Volume One gallery at The Local Store in Eau Claire on Friday evening for NOTA’s music appreciation concert.

Water Street Ramblers, Love Taxi and Hannah Hebl all performed at the event, and the small crowd was able to take home free copies of NOTA, UW-Eau Claire’s art and literary magazine publication, as well as stickers, bookmarks and buttons. Audience members could purchase T-shirts for $10.

Bryce Kunkel, a senior graphic design major, has been on the NOTA staff for four semesters and said they don’t often have events showcasing the music section of their magazine, which features art, literature and music.

“This semester we’ve had more music submissions than we’ve ever had,” he said. “It is a huge part of our book, and as we grow as an organization it’s important that all the areas of it grow at the same time.”

Kunkel heard of NOTA early on in college and said he wanted to become a part of it at the beginning of his graphic design career.

Christian Sather, senior, said he joined the NOTA staff this semester but first discovered the magazine more than four years ago while at a hookah lounge in Eau Claire.

“I was impressed by the quality of the publication and the quality of the work in there,” he said.

As for Friday’s event, Sather said he hoped everyone who came had a good time listening to the local bands.

“I hope NOTA’s presented in a good light, people take home merchandise and spread the word,” he said.

Gabe Larson, Eau Claire alumna and member of Water Street Ramblers, said this particular group is also part of another band, Reverii, which has most of the same members.

“What you saw tonight, I suppose you could call it a side project,” he said. “It’s more like this little kid that we have come over and play sometimes.”

Even though Reverii is their main focus, Larson said their friends are still familiar with Water Street Ramblers, and that’s why they were asked to play at the NOTA appreciation concert. Reverii also performed for NOTA’s book release show last spring.

Water Street Ramblers formed around two years ago, Larson said, when the group of friends came together and realized they all enjoyed making music. They took to Water Street, hence the name, and played bluegrass tunes for passersby.

“In a way that’s the story of how Reverii started because we all kind of realized that we loved doing music together,” he said. “Except then we just completely abandoned the bluegrass genre and went for something else.”

In comparison to Reverii, Larson said Water Street Ramblers is a more chill, relaxing performance that plays low-key music.

“Ramblers is just like … I’m wearing long johns right now,” he said, referencing his clothing choice for the concert.

April Westrum, a junior in the audience, said she heard of the concert through her roommate, who is a staff member for the publication.

Westrum said she couldn’t find anything she really disliked about the evening and said it was a fun way to spend a Friday night.

“I liked [Water Street Ramblers] the most because I like singing a lot more, but the instruments [in Love Taxi] are beautiful,” she said.

Sydney Flottum, junior, has been on staff at NOTA for over three years and said she enjoyed this event particularly because it is off campus, which she believes makes it more accessible for the community and allows students to step out of their usual environment.

Flottum said she joined NOTA because she liked the non-threatening environment for writers to publish their work, and she enjoys working with B.J. Hollars, the faculty adviser for NOTA.

Second semester NOTA staff member Ana Von Huben, senior, said she hopes students come to more events because most of them are free opportunities to experience their peers’ creativity in a relaxing environment.

Huben said the appreciation concert as well as NOTA itself is another good outlet to get local bands noticed in the community.

“It’s creative people getting a chance to be as creative as they can,” she said. “To kind of have free range to produce some really amazing things and then give it away to students for free.”