Author: Joey Marz
“Groundbreaking.” “Experimental.” “Avant-garde.”
These are some of the many buzzwords commonly used to describe and sell alternative music. And it makes sense that they are – one who is seeking out this kind of music is sick of the “familiar,” the overproduced, overly calculated Top 40s trash that fills 99% of the airwaves. It’s natural to desire the mental stimulation and subverted expectations provided by musical trailblazers taking risks.
But does “familiar” have to be excluded from an engaging musical experience?
Familiar can suck. But familiar can also be pretty awesome.
Plopping onto your bed after a long day of hard work.
Tasting the first bite of a sandwich from your favorite restaurant.
Receiving a hug from a loving parent or best friend.
These experiences bring us joy not because they’re novel and exciting, but because warmth and comfort can be found in the familiar.
Effluxion, the newest album from Seattle, Washington’s Telekinesis, is this kind of familiar.
Telekinesis is the musical pseudonym of multi-instrumentalist Michael Benjamin Lerner. Lerner’s music tends to be of the short, sweet, indie-rock pop song variety that wouldn’t have felt out of place on an episode of The O.C. After experimenting with synthesizers on his 2015 album, Ad Infinitum, Effluxion sees Lerner return to his analog roots, playing all of the very “real” instruments on the record. It’s a fun collection of songs, with tracks like “Feel It In Your Bones” even being danceable – not in a out-in-the-club-sippin’-that-bub kind of danceable, but more of a hanging-out-at-a-house-party-wearing-a-sweater-and-looking-down-a-lot sort of danceable.
I’ve seen Telekinesis live twice before, and both shows were a very entertaining mix of kinetic musicianship (Lerner tends to take on frontman duties while simultaneously playing drums) interwoven with lighthearted banter (such as Lerner lamenting writing such difficult drum parts for a song which he is also expected to sing). It’s the perfect kind of performance to beckon in the warmer weather and longer days which have recently been re-introducing themselves to Madison. With support from singer-songwriter SONTALK, Telekinesis’s performance this Sunday at the High Noon Saloon promises to be familiar in the best way possible.