Thursday, 6 June 2013

Telekinesis at Il Motore

Telekinesis  |  Il Motore


Once again, I made my way down to Il Motore  on May 11th to watch a rock n’ roll concert. It’s such a nice place in such a nice area. I do not usually find myself going that particular way, so it is always a nice treat to take the Orange line down (or up? Sideways?) to the Jean Talon station and soak up the beautiful view of rowhouses and independent businesses as I exit from the metro and walk toward that particular venue. There were a couple of differences from what I experienced the last time I was there, namely that there were more microphones on stage (they belong to the band, I presume) making for a much clearer listening experience, and that the crowd was more indie-style as opposed to the punkers that I encountered before. Not surprising, considering the music that was played on this night. It then follows from that fact that the energy of the show was much more calm and low-key; everyone was simply there to chill and take in the music. The bands I saw were two American groups from Seattle: Deep Sea Diver, followed by Telekinesis. 

Deep Sea Diver are a group fronted by Jessica Dobson, who has played guitar for a number of groups such as The Shins, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and a number of others. Their music is marked and made unique by a vast amount of sonic experimentation; passages are often peppered with delay (as well as heavy chorus and others) effects on either the guitars or the vocals. There are a lot of walking basslines, breezy synthesizers, and the drumming is either occupied with a tribal or jazzy feel, depending on the part of the song. Jessica’s voice has a soothing effect on the listener, which contributed to the overall chill nature of the show. Recommended.

Telekinesis initially took my attention in that their vocalist, Michael Benjamin Lerner, also plays the drums for the band. While he is neither the first nor the last drumming front man, I am nevertheless always impressed when the lead vocalist of a rock group sits behind the kit. He excels at both duties. Michael has a firm control over his voice’s timbre and pitch, and packs a lot of power into his singing. His drumming is inventive and innovative, as his beats and fills rapidly evolve from one section to the next in what can be described as a linear progression. Another element that struck me was the bass. The bassist had a good, well-defined tone, and I liked his hummable bass lines. The set flowed well, as the band wasted no time after songs before they moved on to the next. I liked that, halfway through the set, Michael decided to take time to answer questions from the audience. Most of the questions were those of “who made the design on your bass drum” (it was his sister) or “how’s Seattle” but one guy asked him what his favourite drugs were, to which he replied that he preferred Tylenol and other over-the-counter medications. That same guy then announced that he had Viagra for sale, which creeped Michael out enough that he decided to end question time and finish the set. It was a good show. 
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