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Mortgage Freeman, Telethon, and Bum Alum

  • 19 Jun 2018
  • 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Humboldt Park Band Chalet

It’s possible to describe Mortgage Freeman’s sophomore album Streetcrusher in a single word: busy. Using one word to describe an album this bountiful, however, almost feels like an insult, since brevity has nothing to do with this record’s prog-addled vision. So instead let’s describe Streetcrusher as an audaciously manic, supersized, seam-bursting loaded baked potato of a record, an hour-long spectacle that crams so many voices, plots and twists into each song that it feels like a quadruple album that’s been compressed in a pressure cooker. It’s also a fundamentally zany album, and occasionally its nods to Rush, King Crimson and the like boarder on Weird Al-style genre parody territory, making it easy to lump Mortgage Freeman with the many other bands in the Milwaukee music scene that sometimes seem more interested in messing around than in writing serious songs. Ultimately, Mortgage Freeman aren’t mocking prog-rock—they’re celebrating it, and Streetcrusher is at its heart a love letter to the genre, in all of its heightened space-opera glory. To love prog, Streetcrusher reminds us, is to love how gloriously ridiculous it can be. (Shepherd Express) 

Telethon is powerpoppunkrock for the modern kids. 

Previously called Bum Ileum, John Griffin and Shae Lappen have released a three-song demo under their updated name, Bum alum. The duo, originally from Pierre, South Dakota, relocated to Milwaukee a few years ago.

Dreamy, lilting cocoons of sound coupled with bombastic synth fill the short but sweet EP with psychedelic, experimental dance-pop. A little bit Hot Chip, a little bit Menomena, the looping beats, scratchy vocals, and chill atmosphere are contained within a tight mixing, allowing the tipsy, lighthearted nature of the songs shine through. Perfect for a lazy afternoon or a drive through the country, the forward-facing melodies create a momentum that constantly edges the bizarre and slightly strange while at the same time soothes the ears into a contented state.

Although they haven’t played at a venue in a while — perhaps to focus on creating a full-length album — fans can still follow along for updates and more information over at their Facebook page. Give the demo a listen at their Bandcamp page. (WMSE) 

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