Telekinesis

R5 Presents

Telekinesis

Deep Sea Diver

Tue, May 7, 2013

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:15 pm

$12.00

This event is 21 and over

All shows are 21+ Proper I.D. required for admission

Telekinesis - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
Telekinesis
If Michael Benjamin Lerner has given us nothing more than an opportunity to nudge the word
“effluxion” into the common vernacular, it is still a crowning cultural achievement. To truly
appreciate this minor linguistic marvel, you need to say the word out loud—do this right now,
wherever you are; it’s worth the stares. It comes from the Latin term meaning “to flow,” and
pronouncing it is the closest you will ever come to feeling like you’re in an episode of Star Trek.
But he has given us much more than that. The fifth full-length album he’s recorded as Telekinesis is
perfect, unfussy power pop—romantic and hopeful and skittish and fresh and familiar, with hooks
in all the right places. He called the album Effluxion because he too found the word a little alien
when he first heard it in passing, but it also captured the spirit in which the album was made. “I
looked it up and it felt really indicative of the way this record ended up working,” he says.
“Everything just started kind of flowing out.”
After Lerner largely traded guitars and drums for moodier synthesizers and drum machines on
2015’s Ad Infinitum —more OMD than GBV—Scottish indie-pop gods Teenage Fanclub invited
Lerner on board as a touring member in 2017. In addition to this being genie-lamp wish fulfillment
for a devoted acolyte (see: Telekinesis’ cover of “The Concept” and also pretty much everything
Telekinesis has ever recorded), playing those songs every night with his heroes brought him back to
known pleasures.
“When I got home, not only was I shit-hot on guitar and keyboard, I was like, ‘God, I fucking love this
music,’” Lerner says. “The one criticism I’ve gotten throughout my career is that I’m not trying to do
anything inventive, and my response is always, ‘I’m not trying to do that at all .’ What you’re hearing
is me regurgitating my favorite records.”
Effluxion is, in the purest way, a back-to-basics album—not just in its reaffirmation of the sound and
style that made Lerner an indie wunderkind a decade ago at age 22, but in the way it was created.
Using the same now-discontinued MacBook microphone he used to record his earliest tracks, he
holed up in the basement of his West Seattle home and put the album together piece by piece over
the past two years, playing every instrument. While previous albums had former Death Cab for
Cutie guitarist Chris Walla—who discovered and championed Telekinesis’ demos—and Spoon’s Jim
Eno serving as producers and sounding boards and sidemen and general voices of authority and
experience, Lerner wanted to do this one entirely on his own.
“I think I’ve always had the knowledge, but I never had the confidence,” he says. “If something is
feeling really good to me, then I don’t care if it’s lo-fi or if there’s a bad note somewhere. And that’s
how I felt when I made those first records. But this is the first time I can say it’s very much my own
singular vision.”
Lifted by a buoyant oh-whoa chorus, “Like Nothing” catalyzed and crystallized this consciously
retro process for Lerner, but the songs themselves don’t feel of any time in particular, no matter
how transparent they may be about their inspiration. Raised by a Beatles-obsessed father who was
a Seattle DJ for 30 years and educated as a teen at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for
Performing Arts, Lerner wears his influences on his striped t-shirt sleeve; “Suburban Streetlight
Drunk” proudly boosts the piano from Band on the Run ’s “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five.”
Of course, there’s nothing unique about having been influenced by the Beatles; it’s about how that
influence is manifested. Quiet-loud-quiet first single “Set a Course” and “Cut the Quick”—which
Lerner considers one of the best songs he’s ever written—are so naturally infectious you somehow
already know them. More than mere pastiche, Telekinesis songs are specific enough to paint vivid
detail but universal enough to be about your life.
All of which goes back to the idea of effluxion. Ten years into what will be a long career destined to
be studied and mined the way he studies and mines those of the bands he loves, Michael Benjamin
Lerner is as much a medium of power pop as a manufacturer. Telekinesis has internalized the
science of catchiness and understands on a cellular level what makes certain kinds of songs evoke
certain kinds of chemical reactions. Hooks flow in, hooks flow out.
Deep Sea Diver - (Set time: 9:15 PM)
Deep Sea Diver
Jessica Dobson started playing shows around her native Southern California when she was 17, and life's moved fast in the decade since. Deep Sea Diver was originally a solo project, just Dobson singing along to the bold sounds of her electric guitar. That changed in 2006, when Dobson was in Seattle recording the songs that would become her first EP,New Caves, with producer Phil Ek (The Shins, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes), and met a barista named Peter Mansen at Fremont's Lighthouse Roasters. Mansen, a Seattleite by way of Tacoma, had formally been the drummer of the post-rock outfit Eyes of Autumn; through persistence and after a few rejections, he eventually became Deep Sea Diver's drummer and, in 2009, Dobson's husband. The two married in a California ceremony and taco feast during which Mansen accidentally shot his groomsman in the leg with a pellet gun, in a way heralding the couple's upcoming shared life of adventure and unpredictability.

2009 was also the year that Deep Sea Diver released theNew CavesEP, opened a summer tour for Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, and officially recruited a third member, Dobson's old friend from Long Beach, bassist John Raines. In the meantime, Dobson's professional cachet got a boost after she was invited to join Beck's band as lead guitarist and toured the U.S., Europe, and Japan on his Modern Guilt tour, including an appearance on theLate Show with David Letterman. Dobson returned to late night TV in August of 2009; she spent the month touring as a bassist with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and appeared with them onLate Night with Conan O'Brien. In 2011, James Mercer named Dobson the guitarist of his new lineup of the Shins, along with Richard Swift, Joe Plummer, and Yukki Matthews. Following appearances onLate Night with Jimmy FallonandSaturday Night Live, Dobson will spend much of 2012 touring with the Shins for their latest record,Port of Morrow;

Despite her success as a moonlighter, Dobson remains primarily committed to her own band. By December of 2010, Dobson had had enough of Southern California; she and Mansen relocated to Seattle. With Raines, they wrote a taut live wire of a song with Raines called "Weekend Wars," the first of a series of new material that would become Deep Sea Diver's first full-length,History Speaks.Dobson had toyed with the idea of ditching the band name and just using her full given name for the project; ultimately, the collaborative process of writingHistory Speaksdecided her against it-the songs belonged to Mansen and Raines as much as they did to her.

History Speaks,which features guitar work from Sean Walker (the Delta Spirit) and percussion from former Tom Waits drummer Stephen Hodges,took a cross-country journey to completion-it was recorded in Long Beach with Matt Wignall (Cold War Kids, the Delta Spirit), mixed in Seattle by the band's close friend Luke Vander Pol, and mastered in New York by Paul Gold (Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors). The resulting record, which hit #1 on Bandcamp the day it was released in February, is too unique and far-reaching to categorize. Some songs, like the title track, are slow washes of contemplation ("History speaks, and I'm still listening"); others, like "You Go Running," are live wires of happy energy and movement. Propelled by Dobson's uniquely boyish, bawling vocals, it's an intricate, carefully orchestrated type of pop and guitar rock that can't be compared to anything else being made in Seattle today.

Written by Erin Thompson
Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
http://www.johnnybrendas.com/