Today's highlighted Madison-based musical act is VO5.
What Madison band features the talents two playwrights, two stage singers, two power engineers, a doctor, a birdwatcher and a firefighter? Why, it's V05, a disco and dance nonet seeking to "make people boogie" with their mix of classic fin de millénaire covers and a few originals. Breaking out their disco ball and wigs since the spring of 2005, the group is gearing up to end this year with a flash. Lather up.
Who are these nine disco dancers? Each are introduced in turn by their lead vocalist Catherine Capellaro and guitarist John Feith:
V05 founders Catherine Capellaro (vocals) and Andrew Rohn (vocals and piano) wrote the hit musical Walmartopia, which is headed for a NYC run after making a splash at the New York International Fringe Festival. They were previously in a band called "The Merkins."
Singers Anna Marquardt (best actor, NY International Fringe Festival) and Kelly Murphy also toured with Walmartopia, as did Steve Tyska (trumpet), our resident physician.
Steve and Gail Campbell (drums) also play in the band Swim Team.
Drew Szabo (bass) has played in every Rohn-Capellaro creation since 2001 and composes film scores.
John Feith (guitar) and Drew made a short film that will be featured in the prestigious 2007 Beloit International Film Festival in January (The Search for the Byzantine Hermit Snipe). John also records bird songs for his bird CD & DVD and is still upset the band rejected his bird-related band names (Bobolink, Lincoln's Sparrow, Grackle) in favor of its lawsuit-evoking shampoo handle.
V05 formed nearly two years ago, with Feith describing their origins as Cherry Pop Burlesque meets Walmartopia. "Drew, Andrew and Gail are the 'Cherry Cordials,'" he explains, who serve as the house band for the three-year-old burlesque revival troupe. Capellaro, meanwhile, has performed for Cherry Pop while he has written skit for the group. Moreover, Feith continues, Cherry Pop performers Angela Richardson and Amy Bethel were original members of V05 and remain honorary singers and dancers.
Capellaro, meanwhile, the group's mission:
V05 represents the hopes and aspirations of all Americans. We believe that dancing should be an essential part of everyone's revolution and that when we're in charge, mandatory wig policies will be strictly enforced. We believe in peace and justice and the American way, especially if it involves platform heels and lots of glitter. Our repertoire includes everything from Sly and the Family Stone to Nelly
Feith notes that this catalog assumes that ABBA, The Jackson Five, The Beatles, The Bee Gees, Queen, Britney Spears and Ohio Players fall somewhere between Sly and Nelly. In the end, he says, the band "simply aims to make people dance."
Though they have not recorded an album, several of the group's original songs can be listened to online at voh5.com. These include: "Wisconsin Rap," "Do Me Like That," "I Want to Be a Woman," and "I Love the Sun." There's also a live recording of their performance as the headline band during the Friday night party at the 2006 Wisconsin Film Festival, along with numerous photos of the group in action. In fact, there are many more online photos featuring V05. Honorary member Angela Richardson published a massive photo gallery featuring their filled to capacity show at the Weary Traveler on Nov. 17. More pics and a few gig posters are can also be found at the VO5 Flickr page.
With Capellaro and Rohn moving to New York along with their hit production Walmartopia, and Marquardt already having moved to Brooklyn following the summertime success of that musical, there are not many chances left to see the group in action, at least in its current incarnation. In fact, there are only two before the end of the year.
To begin, V05 will be playing at the King Club on Saturday, Dec. 16, with bewigged patrons receiving a discount on the cover charge. This will be followed two weeks later with a New Year's Eve party at the Café Montmartre, where they will be closing the calendar with their disco funk extravaganza.
This is the latest featured entry from the Madison Music Project, an online database of Madison-area musicians. Please register or update your current profile on the project for consideration in these highlights.