Something to Do gave Eau Claire something to jam to

Local talent energized the Cabin with a fresh sound

More stories from Hillary Smith


Photo by Hillary Smith

In addition to more typical instruments such as drums and guitars, Something to Do features a trumpet and a trombone.

Something to Do, a band from Milwaukee, colored The Cabin with high-energy music, dance and banter at their Friday performance.

The small venue burst with sound as the six-person group performed songs new and old while engaging each other and the audience in lighthearted, random conversation.

Banter about Tina Fey, beer and sinus infections seemed to delight the audience of about 40 as they laughed along and clapped with encouragement.

Despite their black and white formal attire, the men appeared entirely at ease as they swung effortlessly from amiable chatter to lively music.

“They really vibed with the crowd,” said Kelli Cook, a freshman Spanish student. “I thought they had a lot of good energy.”

The Cabin often showcases more acoustic/indie/folk music, so the fast-pace and relentless energy coming from the band was a change of pace for the small venue.

Brad Klotz, the drummer for Something to Do, said he enjoys performing in smaller venues like The Cabin because it allows for freedom to experiment and interact with the audience.

“It’s neat to be able to connect with people more intimately,” he said. “If we can get someone from a state of rest to a state of motion, we know we’re doing something good.”

That goal was achieved; the crowd seemed to emulate the band’s energy as many of them tapped their feet and nodded their heads along with the music, characterized as rock and roll blended with ska.  

Ska is an upbeat style of music originating in Jamaica and serving as a precursor for reggae. It is made for dancing and features horns that follow the off-beat rhythm set by the bass and drums.

In addition to vocals, Something to Do includes a bass, two guitars, a trumpet and trombone, making for a unique, full sound that several members of the audience said stood out to them.  

Klotz agreed that the instrumental variety provides a cool twist.

“The horns add a nice touch of melody and they definitely stand out sonically and visually,” he said. “It’s a really visceral experience.”

Klotz said the band was formed in 2002. They perform mostly between Madison and Milwaukee, but Klotz said they are able to branch out more when a couple shows sync up. Such was the case on Friday; after playing in Eau Claire, Something to Do was off to the Twin Cities for a Saturday night show.

In addition to covering some classics like the Beatles and newer material from the likes of Drake, songs from their newest album were also a keystone to the show.  

The band released their fourth full-length album “Not Making a Sound” in September. Klotz said they drew their inspiration from pop culture (affirmed by the presence of not one, but two “odes” to Tina Fey on the album) and exploring relationships.

“We speak the language of love,” Klotz said with a laugh.

Some of the songs on the album include “Let It Rain on You (But Not on Me)” and “You Got Me Feelin’ Emo, Knock It Off,” titles that showcase the laid back, humorous nature of the group.

Music from Something to Do is available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon.