While protesters continue to vent their anger in Madison and across the state, it hasn't taken local songwriters long to put pen to paper and plectrum to string to make their voices heard either.
John Sieger, who is currently prepping for the release of the first new Semi-Twang CD in decades, runs his Tune du Jour song-a-day blog, and today's number is a Dylanesque commentary called "The 5:15 to The Promised Land."
"I'm pissed and I hope the whole state is," he writes in the text that accompanies the posting. "We have been hoodwinked by an irresponsible liar and obvious Tea Party wannabe. Music will still happen here, but it will soon be shown the door at public schools, along with art and hot lunches for the disadvantaged. Unions might survive this thuggish attack, but there may have to be strikes. What Scott Walker did yesterday is not democracy but a dirty trick disguised a legislation."
"I wrote it when the governor started rattling the saber about bringing in the National Guard to enforce his edict," Blowtorch tells me. "I remembered asking my man Dan from the IWW what he would do if he were on a picket line and a policeman was pointing a gun at him.
"Dan said, 'I would say, "Join us, because you're a working person, and you've got as much to lose as we do".'"
Blowtorch says the song is a good natured expression of his anger.
"I tried to write the opposite of a protest song. The optimism and good humor of the demonstrations here and in Madison have been so upbeat. I think this song goes hand in hand with that positive spirit."
UPDATE: Drummer and local music writer DJ Hostettler pointed me to another tune, "Imperial Walker" -- by his band IfIHadAHifi -- which you can stream for free or download for $1 here. Hostettler says sales benefit Russ Feingold's Progressives United.
If you know of other songs addressing the current conflict in Wisconsin, please post links using the Talkback feature below.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.