Bradley's Almanac

Live Mp3s: Telekinesis in Cambridge, MA

Posted on August 11, 2009 at 11:05 am | No Comments

I’ve had the good fortune of seeing Telekinesis play live a couple times in the six months since the release of their gloriously catchy self-titled debut disc – once here in Boston on the eve of the album’s arrival back in late March, and again just two weeks ago down at XX Merge in North Carolina. While the album showcases the songs and multi-instrumental talents of Seattlite Michael Lerner, he’s taken a far different approach than most singer/songwriters (who might hit the road with a guitar and a microphone) and brings along a couple guitarists and a bass player to surround him as he handles vocals and drums with ease. And despite being anchored to a drum throne, he provides an energetic focal point for the four-piece, propelling his already-infectious songs along with rock-steady floor tom beats and perfectly-placed cymbals strikes. It really is a joy to watch.

The band’s March set at Cambridge’s Middle East was a too-short, first-of-four opening slot (with Blind Pilot, the Broken West, and Say Hi), and I’ve been hoping for a proper (i.e. headlining) return to town ever since. Well, the wait might be awhile longer, as a broken hip has sidelined one of Michael’s bandmates, and a personal loss kept the other two from joining him at XX Merge. If you’re a SCORE! subscriber, you’ve seen the gorgeous new mini-book that reprints the artwork of every single Merge release from their first 20 years, and you’ll find the Telekinesis cover on the very last page. I couldn’t imagine there was any way Merge’s most-recent signing and anniversary book-end was going to miss the party down in Carrboro. I’d heard whispers of some unfortunate circumstances causing the pre-fest band-scramble, and wondered if we’d actually get a rare Telekinesis solo set this time, until I saw a drum kit and a couple of amps being lined up on stage. So while it appeared we get some kind of last-minute line-up, I certainly didn’t expect who walked out on stage – Nada Surf‘s frontman Matthew Caws on guitar and backing vocals with Ivan Howard of the Rosebuds on bass. And after just one practice, well, the trio simply nailed it.

While we patiently wait for audio and visual evidence of that special set to see the light of day, and while the Boston area awaits the live return of Telekinesis, here’s my recording of their Spring set (minus the missing opening song), shared with M.L.’s permission. Note that it includes the non-album “One Step Forward“, as well as a version of “Calling All Doctors” that differs pretty dramatically from the album recording…


Live at the Middle East Downstairs
in Cambridge, MA
on Monday, March 30th, 2009

01. All Of A Sudden
02. Imaginary Friend
03. Tokyo
04. Great Lakes
05. Calling All Doctors
06. One Step Forward
07. Coast Of Carolina

Some Telekinesis links…

  • Their MySpace page, Wikipedia entry, Merge Records artist page, the Telekinesis Merge news blog posts, and Michael’s own Flickr page.
  • Additional Audio: You can stream the entirety of the Telekinesis debut over at Merge, sample some songs on MySpace, and make sure you listen to both this KEXP/NPR live session, where four songs were laid down, and an excellent set for KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. Buy your own copy of “Telekinesis!” right here.
  • Video: There are official clips for Tokyo and “Awkward Kisser”, and lots of live video through a Telekinesis YouTube search (filtered by music, unless you were hoping to see some mind-induced movement). The above KCRW set has video, as does an in-studio appearance at The Alternate Side.
  • Photos: My Flickr-hosted shots are here, including the ones from XX Merge. Check out the full Telekinesis Flickr search (which will include photographic evidence of attempted mental motion).
  • Upcoming tourdates: Just the one – an appearance at the Bumbershoot fest in Seattle on September 5th.
  • As always, stream any ‘Nac-shared Mp3s at the Hype Machine.
  • the finest of prints… If anyone has an issue with these Mp3s being made available, just let me know (my contact info in the ‘nac faq). Live sets recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps Mp3s. Files are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.


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  • About the ‘Nac

    This is Bradley's Almanac. I'm your host, Brad. Barely holding it together since February 2000.

    "I love this song. It's so true. I wish this song was a whole day long. Man, I would have the best day that day."
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  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Saturday, December 16th
    Bent Shapes (farewell show),
    Laika's Orbit, & Beware the
    Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion
    @ Great Scott

    Monday, December 18th
    Big Brave
    Child Bite
    @ Great Scott

    Thursday, December 21st
    @ Sonia

    Friday, December 22nd
    Love Love & Friends Xmas Show!
    with special guests Rick Berlin,
    Field Day, Bob Kendall,
    Anna Rae/Hemway, & Martha Marin
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Thursday, December 28th
    Cymbals Eat Guitars
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday & Sunday
    December 30th & 31st
    Deer Tick
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, December 31st
    Speedy Ortiz
    Wendy Eisenberg
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, January 6th
    Fur Purse (LP Release Party!)
    with Whore Paint,
    Shepherdess, and Sister
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Wednesday, January 10th
    Craig Finn & the
    Uptown Controllers
    with John K. Samson
    @ City Winery Boston

    Friday, January 12th
    Passion Pit
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday, January 13th
    40 musicians form 8 new
    bands & perform that night
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, January 13th
    Lana Del Rey
    Jhene Aiko
    @ TD Garden

    Saturday, January 13th
    Horse Jumper of Love
    Mini Dresses
    Strange Passage
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, January 13th
    Camper Van Beethoven
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Thursday, January 18th
    Family Planning
    Olivia Neutron-John
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, January 21st
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, January 24th
    Sleigh Bells
    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, January 24th
    Mega Bog
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, January 26th
    The Posies
    @ City Winery Boston

    Wednesday, January 31st
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
    Night Beats
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, February 3rd
    Steve Earle
    @ City Winery Boston

    Friday, February 9th
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, February 10th
    Weakened Friends
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday & Sunday
    February 10th & 11th
    Ian Hunter
    & the Rant Band
    @ City Winery Boston

    Friday, February 16th
    Steve Earle
    @ City Winery Boston

    Friday, February 16th
    Robert Plant
    @ the Orpheum

    Saturday, February 17th
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, February 17th
    Noel Gallagher’s
    High Flying Birds
    @ the Boston Opera House

    Sunday, February 18th
    X Ambassadors
    Now, Now
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, February 21st
    Frightened Rabbit
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 1st
    French Vanilla
    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, March 6th
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ Great Scott

    Thursday, March 8th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 8th
    @ the Royale

    Friday, March 9th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    @ Sanders Theatre, Harvard

    Friday, March 9th
    @ the House of Blues

    Saturday, March 10th
    Nada Surf celebrating the 15th
    anniversary of their "Let Go" LP
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, March 23rd
    Glen Hansard
    @ House of Blues Boston

    Saturday, March 31st
    S. Carey
    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, April 3rd
    Yo La Tengo
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, April 7th
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, April 10th
    Franz Ferdinand
    @ House of Blues Boston

    Tuesday, April 17th
    Chelsea Wolfe
    @ the Royale

    Friday, April 20th
    Buffalo Tom
    @ the Paradise

    Sunday, April 22nd
    The Darkness
    @ the Royale

    Friday, April 27th
    They Might Be Giants
    @ the House of Blues

    Saturday, April 28th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    performing both of the
    "Substance" collections by
    Joy Division & New Order
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday & Sunday
    April 28th & 29th
    Camp Cope
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, May 18th
    The Fratellis
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, June 2nd
    Japanese Breakfast
    @ the Sinclair

    Wednesday, June 11th
    Jimmy Eat World
    Alex Lahey
    @ House of Blues

    Tuesday, July 17th
    @ Xfinity Center

    July 21st & 22nd
    Foo Fighters
    @ Fenway Park

    Friday, August 10th
    Pedro the Lion
    @ Brighton Music Hall