Friday, March 4th, 2011
You Turn Clear In The Sun
Review of Telekinesis’ 12 Desperate Straight Lines and giveaway
Kyle JohnsonWith his 2009 self-titled debut album as Telekinesis, Seattle’s Michael Benjamin Lerner established several bona fides. First, playing every instrument on the record without ending up over- or under-produced was no mean feat, although having Death Cab’s Chris Walla on hand in the producer’s chair certainly helped. Secondly, he could write the hell out of a power-pop tune, what with the record being packed top to bottom with instantly likeable and memorable numbers. Third… well who needs a third point when you’ve got those first two down?
For the follow-up, Lerner sent the band he toured the first record with home and again holed up with just himself, Walla and another brace of songs. The result? 12 Desperate Straight Lines, which doesn’t offer any sort of dramatic reinvention of what Telekinesis is or does, but does take it to enough different terrain to set it apart. And by different, I mean darker, or at least as dark as a record laden with “ba ba ba” singalong choruses can get.
The hooks may remain, but the innocence of the debut is considerably muted; that there was a failed relationship between records one and two is no surprise to who takes an even cursory listen to the lyrics. And even if the words go in one ear and out the other, the more propulsive tempos and chunkier, riffier guitars and cribs from The Cure – albeit the poppiest aspects of The Cure – certainly speak to there being both some catharsis and moping going on behind the scenes of this record’s creation. You could still rightly describe it as sunshine-y, but you can’t ignore the shadows that are cast throughout and all in all, that makes for a more interesting picture.
Telekinesis are playing The Horseshoe this Sunday evening, March 6. Tickets are $11 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got five pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to witness Telekinesis” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that in to me before 5PM, March 5 – that’s Saturday evening, as in tomorrow. And if you can’t make the show, there’s also an acoustic in-store performance at Sonic Boom earlier that evening at 7PM.
Rolling Stone has an interview with Benjamin Michael Lerner.
Battles will be at The Horseshoe on April 29, previewing material from their new record Gloss Drop which is out June 7.
Stream: The Dodos / No Color
Speakers In Code has an interview with Nicole Atkins, who has been keeping a tour diary of her current jaunt over at Spinner. Explore Music has a video session and interview while MPR is streaming a radio session.