Look up the band Telekinesis on Wikipedia. The brief entry states, “Telekinesis is Michael Benjamin Lerner, an indie rocker based out of Seattle who is currently signed to Merge Records.”
“That’s great,” says Lerner, upon learning of the description.
But his eclectic tastes defy such simple categorization. Take, for example, a Telekinesis set list.
“You can expect a cover of a Justin Bieber song,” Lerner says in a way that could be mistaken for sarcasm. But upon further questioning, it’s clear he’s telling the truth.
“I used to just be like, ‘Anything pop is not good,’” he says. “Now I think I just appreciate certain things about songs.”
This appreciation is clear on “12 Desperate Straight Lines,” the latest Telekinesis album. The songs may not reach for Bieber-level Top 40, but another artist on Merge did just win a Grammy for Album of the Year.
“Arcade Fire could’ve gone to any label on this planet,”?says Lerner. “My mom totally e-mailed me the next morning and was just like, ‘You should be so proud of yourself. You have a record coming out on that label.’”
Maybe Lerner won’t be referred to only as an indie rocker for much longer.