Believe it or not, Milwaukee comedy is in the midst of a renaissance. Besides area humorists landing opening gigs for noted touring acts like Michael Ian Black, Kumail Nanjiani, and Kyle Kinane at traditional venues, local comics are pushing the scene forward with inventive and entertaining DIY showcases in bars, micro breweries, movie theaters, art galleries, and even a performance space in the basement of a beleaguered downtown shopping mall.

On May 31, eight of Milwaukee’s best stand-up comics converged at the cozy confines of the Underground Collaborative beneath the T.J.Maxx in the Grand Avenue Mall to lay down laugh tracks for Comedic Release Show’s second volume. In partnership with Milwaukee Comedy, local funnyman Adam Loeding started the showcase in which performances are recorded and condensed into a free album. “I wanted the comics to have an item to distribute to promote themselves and the scene,” Loeding says. “No other show really had that. The value of recorded material is legitimacy.”

The follow-up to January’s inaugural volume is eight tracks and approximately 76 minutes worth of material. Between Allison Dunne enlightening the audience on her unorthodox birth control methods, Mario Robinson reliving a conversation he’d had with his cellmate about unicorns, Liza Marie screaming poolside obscenities, and Gary Zajackowski explaining why 100-year-olds don’t know shit, Vol. 2 serves as recorded documentation of Milwaukee comedy’s rapid growth, as well as a free gateway to some of the scene’s most promising performers.

Milwaukee Record is proud to be the only place to hear Comedic Release Vol. 2 until it’s available for digital download on Bandcamp July 23, and physically at a variety of local locations thereafter. After you’re done streaming this installment, stream or download Vol. 1. The third volume will be recorded at the Underground Collaborative on August 30 and will feature Tyler Menz, Matty Field, J.J. Harris, Lisan Woods, Ryan Holman, Jake Kornely, and KC Michelson.