Bumbershoot Music Lounge: Telekinesis

photos by Jim Bennett
intro by Carrie Rubens with Christy Thacker

The first time I saw Telekinesis play live, Michael Benjamin Lerner looked comfortable, and it wasn’t just his shaggy bedhead and gray sweatshirt. Simultaneously singing lead vocals and playing the drums is no easy feat, but Lerner tears through each vigorous pop melody with aplomb. With his drum set prominently positioned front and center on stage, audiences can get a healthy dose of kick drum and feed off the infectious energy that Lerner and his bandmates emit. The catchy guitar riffs and Lerner’s dulcet vocals are guaranteed to get you moving.

Telekinesis was Lerner’s inception when he started writing music while attending Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. Now it’s a full-fledged band with fellow Seattle-based musicians Chris Staples (guitar), David Broecker (electric, acoustic, and bass guitars), and Jonie Broecker (bass guitar and keyboard) whom he met while working as a recording engineer. His first album Telekinesis! produced by Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie and released by Merge Records, has been getting a lot of attention, especially since Walla’s enthusiastic post on Stereogum over one year ago. Telekinesis not only played live in our studio on the heels of their debut release back in April, but they also honored us by performing at our secret Bumbershoot Music Lounge.

Right off the bat, these guys made me feel like I was part of their hip foursome. I not only fell in love with their upbeat rock/pop sound all over again, but the actual band members won my heart. Their show was so personable, full of jokes, laughter and silly stories. Lerner shared his sadness about missing Katy Perry (because he was performing at the same time) and dedicated a song to her, causing the crowd to howl with amusement. Broecker was ecstatic to share a short, fast paced never-before-played song “Non-Toxic.”. And poor Staples rocked his guitar while sitting down with a broken hip. According to Broecker, Staples was “trying to save a puppy from a well and fell in”; if that’s true, he’s officially my hero. Overall, Telekinesis’ energetic vocals and vivacious beats make them a solid musical experience.

You can catch them live at Bumbershoot at EMP’s Sky Church on Saturday September 5th.

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