A to Z: Telekinesis

Michael Lerner enlightens us, A to Z style



We caught up with Michael Lerner from Telekinesis after second album ‘12 Desperate Straight Lines’ has safely secured its place on the shop shelves. He gave us the low down on his musical influences, letter by letter.

A is for… Aguaturbia - Aguaturbia is a late 60’s psych rock band from Chile. It has a female lead singer, but ultimately sounds exactly like Led Zeppelin. And it rules. And I love it so much. Just listen to ‘Heartbreaker’.

B is for… the Beach Boys - I recently re-fell in love with ‘Pet Sounds’. What a milestone of a record. I mean, nothing can be said about it that hasn’t been said before. But, it’s really a true gem in this whole crazy music business.

C is for… Clipse - Working in a record store in Seattle when The Clipse - ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ came out was kind of amazing. It was all we would play for a while. It’s basically a hip hop record, all about selling cocaine. And it’s not
even masking it at all. It’s literally all about that. And Pharrell produced it. ‘Ride Around Shining’ is one of the most terrifying songs I’ve ever heard.

D is for… David Bowie - Chris Walla got me way into ‘Low’. It’s kind of a super fucked up record, but it’s totally genius. There are some crazy sounds on it, that we really tried to achieve on ‘12 Desperate Straight Lines’. ‘Sound And
Vision’ is a highlight track. It’s kind of the vibe we were going for on some of the sounds.

E is for… Emitt Rhodes - Emitt was one of the first homespun 8 track recorders of the 70’s. He wrote and recorded everything himself at home on an 8 track tape machine. It’s kind of bonkers how good these songs are, and also how well played they are as well. They really were way, way ahead of their time.

F is for… Fleetwood Mac - ‘Tusk’ is the record for me. I think if you ever wanted to hear what drugs sound like on tape, listen to ‘Tusk’. It’s all paranoid and coked up. ‘The Ledge’ is one of the most fucked up songs ever to be put out on a
hit record. It’s insane.

G is for… Guided By Voices - It has to be! ‘Alien Lanes’ was a recent discovery for me and it had a huge impact. I love the way they just do verse, chorus. Done. Like, 1:30 in length - perfect. Give the people what they want, Pollard.

H is for… Harvey Danger - ‘Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone’ is a classic Seattle indie rock record. Enough said.

I is for… ISAN - ISAN is an electronic duo on our European label, Morr Music. They make this really unique electronic glitchy sparse stuff but it’s really beautiful and there’s so much space. ‘Plans Drawn In Pencil’ is my favourite
record of theirs.

J is for… Jesus And Mary Chain - Take perfect pop songs, and put a fucking ton of noise and distortion all over them. Jesus And Mary Chain does it best.

K is for… Kraftwerk - I have been a big fan of Kraftwerk for a long time, ever since my dad got me into T’he Autobahn’. But, seeing them live a few years back really capped my obsession. I never thought four dudes standing staring at
computer screens could be so incredibly entertaining and amazing.

L is for… The Love Language - We just toured with these guys, and they are the bestest, nicest people, and their new record ‘Libraries’ is unstoppable.

M is for… The Magnetic Fields - They are easily one of the most polarizing bands for me. I love them some days, and I can’t stand them others. But, when they hit a home run, it’s a serious home run.

N is for… Nada Surf - ‘Let Go’ by Nada Surf is one of my favorite records of all time. Desert Island status. I think it’s perfect, and I’m so happy to know it.

O is for… OMD - ‘Dazzle Ships’ by OMD was a HUGE influence on ‘12 Desperate Straight Lines’. The radio noises on that record were totally the reason for the samples at the end of ‘You Turn Clear In The Sun’. It’s a shame
that this record lost OMD some fans, because it kind of rules.

P is for… Pearl Jam - Duh.

Q is for… Queen- I just recently got into ‘Night At The Opera’. It’s one of the densest records I’ve ever heard. It has been ruling my world for a few months now.

R is for… Radiohead - ‘Kid A’ was a turning point for me. I saw them in Seattle on that tour, and it changed my life. That was the moment I realized I wanted to try to be a musician.

S is for… Simon And Garfunkel - ‘Bookends’ is a record that came out of nowhere for me. Chris Walla recommended it and it’s rad. It’s got ‘America’ on it, which is one of the best songs ever, ever, ever.

T is for… Television - ‘Marquee Moon’ remains one of the best records ever. Insane guitar heroics and the drums are incredible.

U is for… Ugly Casanova - It was a side project for Issac Brock from Modest Mouse. I think I enjoy it more than Modest Mouse, which is wrong probably.

V is for… The Vaselines - Scottish bratty punk.

W is for… Why? - Yoni Wolf is a super genius. I got way into his record ‘Oaklandazulasylum’. It’s like hip hop, then it’s not - super smart.

X is for… XTC - One of the most influential bands ever. ‘English Settlement’ is a fucking mammoth record.

Y is for… Yummies - Super weird band that I know absolutely nothing about. Just that they have a song called ‘Patty Cake’ and it’s amazing.

Z is for… The Zombies - ‘Odyssey and Oracle’ is a milestone record. It really captures that time and space and it’s really complicated but sounds so simple. I am smitten with it fully and completely.