Telekinesis plays Philly tonight, chases 80’s vibes on new album

by Shannen Gaffney

Photo from With Guitars
Photo from With Guitars

Telekinesis, the moniker used by Michael Benjamin Lerner, (also the superpower which allows superheroes to move objects with their minds) has released a new album this September on Merge Records called Ad Infinitum. On tour with Say Hi, he plays Johnny Brenda’s tonight and spoke to us about finding new influences and staying inspired on the road.

On facing writer’s block while working on the new record Lerner said, “I tried to play the guitar but just didn’t want to do it, it was very uninspiring to me at the time. So I just put the guitar away and then tried to learn a bunch of other instruments. I didn’t really understand how drum machines and synthesizers worked before… it sort of came out of boredom in a way.”

Telekinesis – “In a Future World”[youtube]

Though being on tour can be tiring, and “impossible to get a full night’s sleep” on, Lerner keeps his head on listening to the latest Tobias Jesso Jr. album as well as Natalie Prass’. Taking inspiration from 80’s new wave groups like Blue Nile and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark is what gave way to writing the songs on Ad Infinitum.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – If You Leave


Telekinesis plays Johnny Brenda’s tonight with co-Seattle residents Say Hi!(Doors at 8pm, show at 9pm, 21+.)

Stream tracks from Telekinesis, Tobias Jesso Jr, Natalie Prass, and Say Hi below:

Telekinesis – Sleeping In

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Tobias Jesso Jr. – “Hollywood”

Natalie Prass – “Why Don’t You Believe In Me” // “Never Over You” (live)

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Oct 20 Johnny Brenda’s Philadelphia, PA
Oct 21 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
Oct 23 Brighton Music Hall Allston, MA
Oct 25 Horseshoe Toronto, Canada
Oct 26 Blind Pig Ann Arbor, MI
Oct 27 Grog Shop Cleveland, OH
Oct 28 Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL
Oct 30 7th Street Entry Minneapolis, MN
Oct 31 recordBar Kansas City, MO
Nov 02 Hi-Dive Denver, CO
Nov 03 Kilby Court Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 05 Flying M Coffeegarage Nampa, ID
Nov 07 Neumos Seattle, WA
Nov 14 Gretchen