Sights with Sami

Follow the Currents Editor on her mission to explore Eau Claire this semester

More stories from Sami West


If there’s one thing Eau Claire is known for, it’s the music.

Home to big names and small (Justin Vernon, The Daredevil Christopher Wright, S. Carey), many venues, opportunities for live music and music shops, Eau Claire hosts one of the liveliest music scenes in the state.

Who are we kidding? I love telling people I live in the same community Justin Vernon is from, and to this day calls home. I love casually bringing up the fact I have friends who have seen Justin Vernon, who have spoken to Justin Vernon… who have breathed in the same room as Justin Vernon.

If you’re a music lover, there’s plenty out there right here in Eau Claire for you to do.

Without any planning in advance or money, I was able to fill my weekend experiencing some aspects of Eau Claire’s music scene, both on campus and off.

On Friday night, I went to The Local Store, where many local artists’ albums are readily available in CD form, sometimes even on vinyl.

I could’ve browsed forever. It took everything I had to not spend the money I’ve saved for things others deem more essential, like, you know, food. It’s hard being a music lover and a college student.

Nonetheless, The Local Store had a ton of great music for affordable prices. Though I didn’t actually buy anything, I made a lot of mental notes for future purchases. On top of that, I was able to add a lot of killer local music to my Spotify. In a nutshell, the experience was priceless.

Saturday, I went to Revival Records. And again, I could’ve stayed there for hours (and hours and hours and hours), no purchase necessary.

Of course, a vinyl collector (or addict, whichever term you prefer), I found many things I wanted that I couldn’t afford. But browsing, the best part of this expensive hobby, was enough for me.

On top of that, I was able to attend one of my favorite Minneapolis musicians, John Mark Nelson, right on campus at The Cabin.

Who else can say their university offers live music for free every weekend? How many other people can say they spend an obnoxious amount of time at the coffee shop Justin Vernon first performed at (Racy D’lene’s, in case you don’t know what I’m talking about)? Not many.

I’m proud to call Eau Claire’s music scene my home for the next several years, and I can’t wait to be able to tell people about my experiences both in the entire community, as well as on campus.

This weekend, my mini (and free) Eau Claire music-filled weekend, is one I know I’ll remember for the rest of my life. And hopefully before my college career is over, I’ll have many more unforgettable, music-filled weekends to look back upon as fondly as I will this single one.

If you aren’t already doing so, make sure you’re able to say the same by the end of your collegiate experience at Eau Claire.