replace my heart with a machine

Michael Benjamin Lerner’s project, Telekinesis, is hitting the road and bringing a new EP with them. At a little over ten minutes, the band (now comprising Lerner, Jason Narducy [Robert Pollard Band] and Cody Votolato [Blood Brothers]) fleshes out Telekinesis!‘s “Calling All Doctors”, offers up a couple new songs, and covers two more.

“Non-Toxic” has a nice 90s alt feel to it, and “Dirty Thing” is an instant like with its staccato, prancing piano and dreamy guitar. The covers on PSC stay fairly close to the originals. Lerner could have easily penned Guided By Voices’s “Game of Pricks“, and Telekinesis keeps all the punk of Warsaw’s (Joy Division before they were Joy Division) “The Drawback” while pushing the drums even closer to the explosive quality of machine-gun fire.

Parallel Seismic Conspiracies dropped 08.31.10.
Listen to the album at the Merge Records site.

love and zombies

Handsome Furs – I’m Confused (the plague has never been lit so beautifully)
WOODS – To Clean (stop-motion is a fad I can get behind)
Telekinesis – Awkward Kisser (Lerner and the real girl)
Sera Cahoone – Baker Lake (pretty light for a pretty song)
WHY? – A Sky For Shoeing Horses Under (turn around – bright eyes)

we speak and spell and make each other’s children

Telekinesis! by Seattle’s Telekinesis (aka Michael Benjamin Lerner) is essentially a collection of audio Polaroids – captured and created in a short time. Together, Lerner and Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla set out to track and mix each song in a single day, putting it on analog tape. The lack of digital gloss gives Telekinesis! a warmer, accessible feeling befitting of the album’s character.

Opener “Rust” immediately endears the listener, as Lerner sings of a broken heart in a way that’s not sappy or conducive to eye-rolling. “Tokyo” and it’s fuzz nods to the earlier sound of the Pacific Northwest,  “Great Lakes” captures some of the Midwest’s gloom, and the keys and choir-esque backing on “Look to the East” round out Telekinesis’s sound. “Coast of Carolina” is blissful, evoking summer and all it has to offer.

Unfortunately, the end of the album is not as engaging as the beginning – “Imaginary Friend” and “All of a Sudden” are just standard indie fare, while a certain progression in “Calling All Doctors” confoundingly calls to mind “Shine” by Collective Soul (the brain works in mysterious ways).

Lucky for all of us, Lerner ends the album on the redeeming acoustic track “I Saw Lightning”. He suggests ‘let’s be in love’ – my rusty heart happily obliges.

Telekinesis! dropped 04/07/09.
Click to download “Coast of Carolina“.