Palmer Shah explained what the organization does and why Yum Yum Cult chose to support the non-profit, “Grand Avenue Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those struggling with mental illness in the community. The building itself acts as a safe haven during the day, where reading and creating art is heavily encouraged for members just seeking recreation. There’s artwork and photography on every wall in the building, all done by club members—they even host art exhibits for gallery night.
“For members seeking employment, housing, further schooling and many other resources, GAC can provide them. Members are hired through businesses that are sponsored by the GAC, while GAC assists in maintaining their work.
“The environment at the club is extremely communal. Anyone who becomes involved in any capacity with the club is considered a member and being a member is much like being a family. They all look out for one another and strive for each other’s well being. Members all join in on club activities or group outings and hold special events. And everyone contributes and works together to keep the club thriving and welcoming for all. In fact, many of the members actually make up the staff, and if a visitor were to ask which of the staff are also ‘patients,’ they wouldn’t tell you. There are no patients, and there’s no form of hierarchy at the Grand Avenue Club. Just members. And members are all equals.
“Not a lot of people know about them and what they do, and I think the support structure they provide for people with mental illness is honestly one of the most humane and effective ways that I’ve seen, for handling our county’s mental health crisis, and I would love for more people to get turned onto it.”
You may be familiar with YUM YUM CULT—if not for the memorable name, for the members. The Milwaukee group is comprised of members from Ugly Brothers, Soul Low, Ladders, Temple and more, and since the band’s live debut almost a year ago, it’s remained pretty active and consistent with shows throughout Milwaukee.
The group recently released the first official single “Up in the Tenement,” a slow-smoking track that sheds an angst-filled perspective with maturity and allure. The track highlights the ugly observances of getting older with blunt lyrical force: “At old age ‘atonement’ is just a front to score some brownie points with God.”
While bleak and ominous, there’s a positive, supportive framework around the single—100 percent of the proceeds are going to Grand Avenue Club of Milwaukee.