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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 40.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily
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End 2006 with 'Wisconsin Rap'...
Before Walmartopia writers Andrew Rohn and Catherine Capellaro take leave

One of the crazier New Year's parties on Sunday night is likely to be at Cafe Montmartre, where the disco-dance nine-piece VO5 will be saying farewell not only to 2006, but possibly Madison as well. Two of its members -- Andrew Rohn and Catherine Capellaro, the playwrights behind Walmartopia -- are moving to New York. They were also members of The Merkins, a kitchen-sink septet active in Madison through the early '90s.

The Merkins consisted of Rohn, Capellaro, Peter Bresnick, Ricardo Avila, Dina Passman, Annie Chiles and Sabrina Felsen. "Most of us lived in the same apartment on Spaight Street back then," Rohns explains. "We were trying to be the most eclectic band in the world." This other large group started out with a bluegrass bass, albeit with drums and brass elements, before wandering into disco, pop, Balkan folk, Scottish reels, and "all-out" rock. "We are spread out across the country now," he continues, "a doctor, a soon-to-be-priest, a hermit crab (in educational plays), and Off-Broadway playwrights."

In 1992, they collaboratively composed "Wisconsin Rap," a tune whose banner has since been picked up by VO5. It was performed at the disco group's penultimate show at the King Club on Dec. 16, and captured for posterity on video by Angela Richardson and edited by band member John Feith.

The live music video follows below.

Here are the lyrics to Wisconsin Rap:

All you people from Brooklyn
think you're really great
But I'm here to tell you
'bout a better state
It's a state of mind
it don't need to be refined
It's 100% Grade-A behind

(chorus) Wisconsin! Wisconsin!
W-I-S to the C-O-N
Now tell me, is it a sin to be
living in Wisconsin

(Polka time)

If you ever start feeling all horny and hairy
go up to Door County and get you some cherry
and late at night you can take your goil
to the White Gull Inn for the Friday fish boil

E.T. phone home was the #1 jam
'til the humble people of Belleville took a stand
UFO's were sighted on every hill and glade
see the little green people (bastards) in the annual parade

Tell 'em 'bout it! (chorus)

(Polka time)

Go to New Glarus if you want to do the polka
see the Heidi Festival and drink a chocolate mocha
there's folks dressed up in lederhosen
but are those accents made or chosen?

Now, London's Big Ben's got a loud tick-tock
but it sure ain't the world's biggest four-faced clock
to see that shit, go to Milwaukee (home of Laverne & Shirley!)
and the clock at Allen-Bradley

If ya like to get naked, and ain't afraid to show it
go to Mazomanie beach and let the world know it
Throw your clothes on the sand, wave your gonads in the breeze
get bit up my mosquitoes and... sand fleas

Don't matter if you're fat or got blotchy skin
in Wisconsin lookin' funny, well it ain't no sin
Take a picnic along, and a frisbee y'all
And watch out for the occasional... sleazeball


"Sound Off the Cities!!"
Wonewoc, Oconomowoc, Waukesha, Wautoma
Waunakee, Menominee, Mazo and Monona
Oshkosh, Mukwonago, Manitowoc, Kenosha
Minocqua, Waupaca, Pewaukee, Wauwatosa! (repeat)

(name interlude, including, with growling voice "Rhinelander!")

Forget about the campfire in Chicago
recall the burning flames that killed all those in Peshtigo
flames ravaged the young and old
a sawmill's all that's left I'm told

It was a conflagration -- a conflagration
a big big fire -- a big big fire
it was a conflagration -- a conflagration
it was a big... fire

Now Joe McCarthy came from Appleton
and the Republican Party was born in ol' Ripon
but Senator LaFollette, known as "Fightin' Bob"
fought the lumber barons and the railroad mob

Come one, come all to the -- the Big Top
where your childhood dreams don't ever stop
be a dog-faced boy, bearded lady or clown
in Baraboo, the Barnum & Bailey circus town


Oh, let the sun beat down upon my cow
stars caress my cheese
I ride around inside the Weinie Mobile
another bratwurst, please
oh, ah...

Tell 'em 'bout it!
Wisconsin! The first Gay Rights State!
The only place to get a real cheddar cheese plate!
We all appreciate the products of the bovine
that's why you'll find us sporting 30% more behind!

That's body fat! And we'll throw it around!
We won't be cold! Our souls won't be sold!
Keepin' warm underneath an extra-thermal skin fold
The mid-west is the best (or) The north coast is the most


"Sound off the cities!"
Wonewoc, Oconomowoc, Waukesha, Wautoma
Waunakee, Menominee, Mazo and Monona
Oshkosh, Mukwonago, Manitowoc, Kenosha
Minocqua, Waupaca, Pewaukee, Wauwatosa! (repeat)
A home-studio solo version of the song created by Rohn is available as an MP3 at

The wigged-out nonet is playing with the Big Mouth Musical Cooperative at a New Year's Disco Funk Extravaganza set for Sunday night (and Monday morning, of course) at the Cafe Montmartre. Wigs and purple attire are encouraged at the party, which may very well be VO5's final performance.

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