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Milwaukee-Based Band Telethon Tries to Tell Stories Through Their Albums

Brett Smith

Telethons. They’re the television equivalent of radio’s venerable pledge drive: kindred spirits, if not bitter rivals in the ongoing quest for money. And while Milwaukee-based band Telethon isn't explicitly asking for funds, they're not opposed to receiving them. 

Telethon playing, "Analysis."

Their most recent album "Citrosis" came out earlier this year. The group describes it as a quasi-concept album, meant to be listened to in its entirety. Lead vocalist, Kevin Tully, says the narrative structure of their songs is an important part of their music. 

Telethon playing, "Fallout."

"I think of things in terms of a story. I mean like, when I'm writing I think about how an individual event fits into the bigger picture," he says. "You can't tell the full story in one song, and so I think - I don't know, I think it's important to have a beginning, middle, and end or at least some semblance of it."

Telethon playing, "Apocalypse When."

Telethon is made up of Tully, keyboardist Nate Johnson, guitarist Jack Sibilski, drummer Erik Atwell, and bassist Alex Meylink.

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as a producer for Lake Effect. Before then, she was a director and producer for Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm Chicago Public Radio.