Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart

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5 Songs to Namecheck Wisconsin

Jasmine Ferrell

Things get hairy when Motion City Soundtrack references Wisconsin.
Things get hairy when Motion City Soundtrack references Wisconsin.

Many people don’t see Wisconsin as the nation’s most glamorous  state, but we’ve been making our way into popular songs for decades. Here are just five recording artists who paid homage to the ol’ dairyland. And guess what? None of the artists’ names rhyme with “bustin’ yearnin’.”

1. Motion City Soundtrack, “Last Night”

Quote: “I haunt the halls of Madison at night, choking back the urge to fight.”

There’s a debate whether it’s Madison or medicine, but as a Minneapolis band, it’s no surprise that a mention of Wisconsin’s capital would sneak its way into a song. Listen.

2. Bruce Springsteen, “Cadillac Ranch”

Quote: “Hey little girlie in the blue jeans so tight, Drivin’ alone through the Wisconsin night”

A song about the inevitability of death, it’s a girl from Wisconsin (in tight jeans no less) who is Springsteen’s last love. Listen.

3. Jonathan Richman, “They’re Not Tryin’ on the Dance Floor”

Quote: “Like Sheboygan or Eau Claire, They’re just there.”

Formerly a punk artist, Richman went a bit lighter with this tune, and while it is nice to see a direct reference to Eau Claire, I can’t help but feel a bit slighted. Listen.

4. Sponge, “Neenah Menasha”

Quote: “Neenah Menasha will wait”

Although they make up the title of the song, this '90s alt-rock group simply chose the local references for the appealing way they roll off the tongue. Listen.

5. Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Around the World”

Quote: “Bonafide ride, Step aside my Johnson, Yes I could, In the woods of Wisconsin”

One of the more prominent acts to mention Wisconsin – yet it’s hard to determine just what they’re getting at. Regardless, it’s comforting to know that our dear woods leave such an impact. Listen.

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.