Telekinesis, the power pop project of Seattle-based musician Michael Lerner, released its fourth record, Ad Infinitum, last month. An album that seems almost out of another time, it focuses more heavily on the synthesizers than previous Telekinesis albums and amplifies the 80s influences which have always been present in Lerner’s music. Last week, the band’s tour for the album came to the Black Cat.
On album, Lerner plays all of the instruments himself. Playing live, he takes on drums and vocals, a combination that seems difficult and impressive to keep up for an entire show (even famous singer/drummer Phil Collins uses other drummers and concentrates on the vocals when performing live), and hands the other instrumental duties to his touring band – Rebecca Cole on keyboards, Nick Vicario on guitars, and Eric Elbogen on bass. The band played a little over half of the album, including album stand-outs “Falling (In Dreams)” and “Courtesy Phone.” Live, the new songs take on arrangements which come much closer to the classic Telekinesis sound than the album versions, due to the heavier emphasis on the guitar, bass, and drums. Intermixed with older tracks – including “Power Lines” and “Lean On Me” from Dormarion, “Please Ask For Help” from 12 Desperate Straight Lines, and “Tokyo” and “Coast of Carolina” from the self-titled debut album – the new songs fit right in. In addition, the band also played a single cover, “Living Without You” by Randy Newman.