Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2007

NonCert on the Square

The "Concerts on the Square" were over, so Rob, Matt & I decided to stage a little music ourselves. Unlike a 'regular show', our performances were completely ad-lib, with the three of us joining in on each other's songs. Thanks to all who showed up, fed us and shared their 'spirits' with us!

Drinking With Ron White

Because I can....

Overlooked Losses

There has been a lot of press, blog entries and chatter about the closure of the Pub and the impact on the local music scene. There was considerable coverage of the Pub's auction [it was unique to watch decades of history be divided into lots to be sold to the highest bidder]. What has not really been mentioned is that downtown Wausau has also lost another restaurant.

Yes, Scott Street was a great music venue, but am I the only one missing sizzler steaks, Pub Burgers, and grilled tuna sandwiches? Great food, great prices. The grill was open for lunch, stayed open later than most other downtown restaurants, and one of the few that operated on Sunday. As much as I miss playing at 124 (and 126) Scott Street, I truly miss stopping in to eat.

When I moved to the downtown area three and a half years ago, there had been considerable development to 'save downtown': the Heinemann Building apartments, the Gateway at Washington Square - including the Jefferson Street Inn and City Gr…

It's Your Fault

There is this person I know who leads a rather tragic existence. When there are one hundred choices to make and 99 of them are positive, this person will choose the 1 option that will have horrific consequences. To make it worse, the 'decisions' this person makes are apparently the result of everyone else not doing enough to prevent these disasters from happening.

It is your fault. How could you let this happen to me?

I really don't understand this way of life. Nor can I understand the fact that this person doesn't realize that they are pushing everyone in their life away. Then again, I guess that isn't their fault either, is it?

Rain as Inspiration

From my perch above the Southwest sky, Rib Mountain silently slid in and out of visibility as the rain drizzled this grey Sunday away.

Rain has served as an inspiration for millions of songs, stories, poems and moods. Funny, I don't have a rain song, but I have mentioned the Bevent Home for the Insignificant in three pieces. That just doesn't seem right, does it?


accidate - [ak-si-deyt], verb, noun. acci·dat·ed, acci·dat·ing.

An accidental date. I thought we were just hanging out, then I realized I was on an accidate.

The Final Gigs at Scott Street Steak & Pub

I've tried to write this entry several times now. The first attempt came across as poorly written eulogy for a funeral. "She was a good Pub, lots of great memories. She will be missed." The second attempt was like a coach trying to rally the team together, "We've seen some great bands here, it has been an honor to share the stage. The Pub may be gone, but the music and memories will live on..." Rubbish.

Much has been written about the way the Pub was closed down by CSI: Wausau. [To check out press/blog coverage, scroll down or click here.] All I have to say is that somewhere, someone could have picked up the phone and said, "We're closing you down at midnight, be prepared". I guess that would be too easy... it is a bigger statement to have officers enforce a vague interpretation of a licensing issue.

By random chance, I was scheduled to play the last Thursday night the Pub was to be open. I knew from the outset, that this would be no ordina…

The Pub's Last Dance

Scott Street Steak and Pub was scheduled to close at the end of business on June 30th. The Wausau Police department closed the pub at the end of the 'legal day', forcing the Corpse Show Creeps and the disappointed crowd to move the Pub's going away party to the Pollack Inn.

Much has been said on this, so for now I'll link to other sources of information:
Wausau Blog Article on Closing (Check out the comments)
Wausau Blog on Saving Video / Mural
Additional Wausau Blog Coverage: Penultimate Night, Scott Street Winding Down
Wausau Blog's Flickr Photos of the Pub and Close Down

WSAW News Coverage (with Video)

Wausau Daily Herald Article (Pre-show Coverage)

Corvino's Photos

After hitting Green bay on Sunday, Milwaukee Monday, today I head to Minneapolis. I will blog about my final performances at the pub soon.

Sunday, Sun, Sweat

My outdoor show at The Bar of Wausau was, well, hot. It was almost 90 degrees, I was in the sun.... and my Scandinavian blood was simmering. The Coppertone Sport sun block dripped into my eyes, making singing difficult, comfort impossible.

The crowd was great. Missy's birthday was a blast.....John is a saint. The after party spilled to the open mic at the Glass Hat. Note: Future shows at The Bar will be from 5-9 (as opposed to 4-8).

Thursday is my last show @ Scott Street Steak and Pub. Saturday is the final show. There will be several bands (The Jim Carlson Trio included) with the Corpse Show Creeps as the Pub's final act. Bring your camera. Send me your pics.

My Final Pub Shows - June 28th & June 30th

As many of you know, Scott Street Steak and Pub is officially closing on June 30th. My final acoustic show will be June 28th. Guests are welcome, but please let me know in advance if you'd like to play.

The Jim Carlson Trio will play at the Pub Closing Party on June 30th. Also scheduled to appear: Cool Hand and the Corpse Show Creeps.

Please keep an eye on Jim Carlson Music dot com for additional details.

Scott Street Steak and Pub Memories Volume 1

Scott Street Steak and Pub, at one time, was arguably the mecca of the Wausau music scene. Sure, there were hard rock clubs and country music bars, but to my knowledge, only Scott Street supported three (yes, three) house bands. It was not uncommon to have regional and national acts stop by to perform or to catch a drink while passing through.

The Pub was the place to be. Suit and tie folks (I bet they hate those four words put together like that...) rubbed elbows with the hippies, while the factory workers mingled with the artists. Dollar burgers, an amazing selection of beer and live music brought people from all walks of life together as equals. Equals.

Petrified Alien Brain dominated Thursday nights. Les Nillissen started playing on Tuesday nights and before long, Mary and the Mercenaries migrated from the Hiawatha to fill Wednesday nights.

When I heard that Les had secured the Tuesday night slot, I went up to him, introduced myself and asked if he would let me play a few tunes …

This Is Why I Keep My Camera With Me

Anigo, WI 1:18 PM CST

Lights. It is All About the Lights.

Thursday's City Pages article on my Rockyesque return to the stage set the tone. Friday's gig would be no ordinary show.

I thought about bringing my meager light rig to Mickeys, but decided against it when I remembered that there was a house rig... When I arrived at Mickey's and looked up, the lights were gone. [They are in the process of updating their rig.] So after a quick trip home to grab my lights, it was show time.

John Hocker (bass) and Sean McCue (percussion) joined me and the three piece Jim Carlson Trio was resurrected. [For the last few years, the Trio has been a four piece with the addition of Will Heisler on guitar/vocals/harmonica.]

With the last [four piece] Trio show over seven months behind us, one would think the event would have been nerve wracking. One less player, a ton of time since we'd played together. It wasn't. From the first song on, we clicked.

I should mention that performing as a three piece acoustic act is considerably more challen…

Performing Again

Yesterday, I played my first full show in nearly seven months. The show was supposed to be on the deck at The Bar of Wausau (which is the one by Cedar Creek, not the old Gas Lite), but 20 mile an hour winds brought the show indoors.

I wasn't really sure how my acoustic music would go over in a club more known as a 'sports bar' with 'dance club', but it went well. The crowd was lite, but welcoming. (Memorial Day Weekend is always a challenge, unless your are near a body of water or in a 'destination' town.) By the way, The Bar has a pretty good menu, which will be expanding later this month.

I was a little nervous about performing in general. The majority of my set list had collected dust since my last show in December. I was wondering if I would butcher my songs, and sure enough, there were some blunders. I completely killed a new song, (I never wrote the lyrics down, and I completely blanked - deer in the headlights style). The crowd shared a laugh …


For a while now, I've been privately writing on the impact choices have on our lives, and the lives of others.

The theory of choices is endless. One choice leads to another, which leads to another; ad nausea. Before long, these choices make up our lives. Some of these choices are conscious, some are not.

Now sure, there are times in life when we are at the mercy of other's actions. This can be random or the result of placing ourselves in compromising positions.

My basic conclusion of an extremely complex theory is simple: The decisions we make today form our future.

Fixing Things

It seems as though people are constantly trying to fix things. In their own lives, in relationships and attempts of mending others. One of the hardest lessons in life is learning when you can't repair things. Oddly enough, it can also be extremely refreshing and liberating....

Reflections on the News

The last two weeks have had considerable contrasts. A gunman kills 32 people a few days after a radio show host insulted a group people.

We live in a country where freedom of speech is supposed to protect even the most vile words. Offending? Sometimes. It seems as though freedom of speech became limited when two 'civic leaders' (who both have deplorable records with their own words) convinced the media that one man's words should cost him his job.

While one man's words offended, sparked controversy and ignited debate; another man's inability to express himself lead him to kill 32 innocent people.

Freedom of speech and the right to bear arms both come with immense responsibility. Neither is perfect, nor is either fundamentally broken.

Virginia Tech

Learning to Fly

Sometimes it just hits you in a funny way. You go about your life as usual, and then you discover that fundamentally, you have been fooling yourself.

Sometimes, it is that simple discovery that allows you to make a simple change.

Refreshingly, today that happened to me.

The Line of Trust

I try to give those who enter my life a 'blanket' amount of trust. This is an 'innocent until proven guilty' offering, loosely based on the belief that there is [some] good in everyone. From this base, one can earn more ... or completely destroy what they have been given.

Trust is as difficult to explain as any human emotion. In it's essence, it is the ability to open one's self to vulnerability....with the belief that doing so will not lead to exploitation. Trust, of course, means dramatically different things to different people in different circumstances.

A lifetime of trust can be broken in a moment. Ironically, the reverse can also be true... A world of trust can be granted in an instant.

Recently someone indicated that they trust me in a way that is well beyond the scope of the friendship I thought we had. How did this happen? What did I do to earn this trust? I am not sure I want the responsibility.

It is easy blame others when they break our faith. Bu…

James Returns

One of the most inspirational bands in my career is back. James the Band has reformed.

"Just Like Fred Astaire" and "The Shining" from my "Out of Fashion" CD were originally recorded by James.

In 2001, Roger Bardo (an original member of the Jim Carlson Trio, and clearly one of the best people I have ever had the opportunity to know) and I flew across the pond to attend the 'last' James performance at Wembley Arena in London.

Their UK tour sold out immediately, and new recordings are pending.

Bucks, Kohl, Quite the Experience

Saturday night I was a guest at the Bucks / Nuggets game in Milwaukee. I'm certainly not the biggest hoops fan in the world, but actually being sideline at an NBA game is an amazing experience. (This was my second NBA game of the season, I was also a guest at a Bulls / Celtics game in December.)

Unfortunately, Michael Redd and Allen Iverson were both out with injuries (although Redd warmed up with the Bucks). I was impressed with Carmelo Anthony and the amazing play of the Bucks 5' 5" Earl Boykins. The game was very competitive, (which was a bit surprising considering Milwaukee's 19-32 record) with the Nuggets edging to a 109 to 102 win.

Another highlight of the trip was a sitting near Bucks President (and owner) Herb Kohl. Here is a US Senator, multimillionaire, and NBA team owner sitting in the stands among the fans. He was absolutely approachable and treated those around him with complete class.

I'm not big into politics, but I am impressed with Kohl's de…


Literally. As I write this, Wausau is experiencing a balmy -11°F. Windchill? -37° F. Welcome to Siberia. It is going to get worse, the air temp will drop to the -18° range as the windchill drops to around -41°. Super Bowl Sunday's high will reach -7°.

I've always been amazed at the contrast we experience here in God's Country. In the Summer, we reach 100° and higher... I've seen Winter's hit under -30°. That is a 130° temperature change.

Think about it. Cars. How can they handle such tolerances? On top of it, cars are engineered to withstand the temperature extremes of the entire country...I've witnessed nearly 130° temps in Phoenix. It is simply amazing.

The irony is, this winter has been unseasonably warm. December was one of the warmest on record. We are paying dearly. Dearly.


Lately there have been some interesting rumors concerning my break, my music, and my life. Normally, I'd ignore these attacks, but I'm compelled to make a few comments.

First of all, I have not joined Van Halen. David Lee Roth is back with them for a summer tour, but it seems as though Micheal Anthony has been replaced by Wolfgang Van Halen on bass. Am I the only one who thinks this is odd? I was really hoping that we'd be able to negotiate the acoustic folk tour with the VH crew....

Jessica Simpson was not in attendance at my PRIVATE show in Mequon over the weekend. Seems she is happily running around with my 'competition', John Mayer. I would appreciate the gesture if you'd not call me to discuss the situation. I'm not quite sure what happened here, but I assure you she is off my guest list.

I have not gotten a breast lift or a nose job. No comment on my alleged 'brow lift', please respect my privacy.

I have not moved into the Dudley Building, n…

Break Update

Lately people have been asking what I've been up to since I've 'quit' playing.

I laugh every time I hear that I've 'quit' performing. For one, my blog entry on the subject should have explained my intentions thoroughly. Secondly, I've actually appeared at several open mics (Intermission, Scott Street Steak and Pub) as well as guesting with Will Heisler on several occasions at Nitzy 9's (most recently last Saturday for a full 'duo' set).

For the most part, I've been enjoying my time away. I have not missed playing as much as I thought I would (although the open mic/guest appearances obviously help). Musically, I have been writing, arranging, but as of this writing I'm not actively recording.... I am also preparing for a private appearance the last weekend of January.

Outside of music, I have been taking care of things in my life that needed attention. I'm taking better care of myself....eating better (actually cooking more), …

The "High Speed Lift is Broken" Blues

It was colder out than I had anticipated, but the skiing was great. Granite Peak is in great shape, and surprisingly there were not as many people out today as I would have imagined....after all, this is a holiday weekend.

Suddenly, the Comet Express stopped. We were left hanging in the air for 5 minutes. Finally it started up again... The resurrection of the lift was short lived, it only operated long enough to take us stranded snow-lovers to the top. By the time I finished my next run, the lift was out of commission for the day. Back to the lines of the "Old Rib".

Being a season pass holder, I did the logical thing....I left the hill. Leave the lines to the 'tourists', I can come back any day.

Tonight my dad and I are going to check out Will Heisler's show @ Nitzy 9's. Stop on out.