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recommended boston area events

tuesday, december 4th

kelly hogan

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 6th

conor oberst

@ converse hall, tremont st.

thursday, december 6th

jason isbell &

the 400 unit

@ the sinclair

friday, december 7th

the weisstronauts 14th

annual holiday jubilee

with guests tsunami of sound

preacher jack, & the derangers

@ the midway cafe, jp

friday, december 7th


moving mountains


@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

patrick watson

@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

the faint perform

"danse macabre"


icky blossoms

@ the paradise

sunday, december 9th

band of horses

@ house of blues

sunday, december 9th



@ the paradise

wednesday, december 12th

concrete blonde

jim bianco

@ the sinclair

thursday, december 13th

annual boston christmas cavalcade

benefit for the homeless

featuring tons of artists

(see fb event for details)

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 13th

nada surf

eternal summers

@ the paradise

thursday, december 13th

mates of state

in the valley below

@ brighton music hall

friday, december 14th

forgetters (blake from

jawbreaker's band)

& more tba

@ democracy center, harvard square

sunday, december 30th

sufjan stevens

sheila saputo

@ the royale

monday, december 31st

my morning jacket

@ agganis arena

monday, december 31st

deer tick

two gallants

@ the sinclair

monday, january 7th


@ the paradise

tuesday, january 8th


@ great scott

saturday, january 19th

mission of burma

@ the sinclair

sunday, january 20th

camper van beethoven


@ the middle east down

sunday, january 20th


@ the orpheum

sunday, january 20th

ra ra riot

@ the paradise

sunday, january 27th


@ great scott

tuesday, january 29th

kathleen edwards

sera cahoone

@ brighton music hall

wednesday, february 13th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

saturday, march 2nd

unknown mortal orchestra

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 12th

tame impala

@ house of blues

thursday, march 14th

jukebox the ghost

matt pond pa

lighthouse and the whaler

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 26th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

wednesday & thursday

april 3rd & 4th

they might be giants

@ the paradise

visit tourfilter for more shows

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Live Mp3s: Telekinesis in Cambridge, MA

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...

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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    neil halstead
    live in cambridge, ma
    on november 14th, 2008
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