Illegal Pete's and Radio 1190 Presents
Deep Sea Diver, The Whicker and Pine
7 S. Broadway
Denver, CO, 80209
Doors 8:30 PM / Show 9:30 PM
This event is 18 and over
Watch & Listen
No one ever talks about the fourth record.
We've all heard plenty about the astonishing debut and the "difficult" sophomore release. But let's pause for a moment to consider the role of album four in rock and roll history. A few key examples: Radiohead – Kid A, R.E.M. – Lifes Rich Pageant, Talking Heads – Remain in Light, Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, David Bowie – Hunky Dory ... you see where we're going with this. Album four is an opportunity for artists to reinvent, and frequently revitalize, themselves. The willingness to abandon familiar work habits and signature sounds can be risky, but it's often the difference between a safe, predictable career and a bold transformation that signals the beginning (to quote another pretty amazing fourth LP) of a new age for artist and audience alike.
When it came time to make the fourth Telekinesis album, drummer/songwriter/principal architect Michael Lerner found himself in a predicament that will sound familiar to anyone with even a passing interest in the lore of rock bands. In just under five years, he had released three fantastic records–Telekinesis! (2009), 12 Desperate Straight Lines (2011), and Dormarion (2013)–each more ambitious than the last. He had toured all over the world, shared stages with great bands (Death Cab for Cutie, Portugal. The Man, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo's The Both), and enthralled fans of his infectious, ebullient power pop. Newly married and happily ensconced in the home studio he'd assembled in his West Seattle basement, Lerner found himself asking the question that has haunted modestly successful bands down the ages: What do you do after the rock and roll dreams you had when you were 19 have come true? The obvious answer was to make another Telekinesis record–that was his job, after all, and he was grateful for it. So he got to work. It didn't go well. At least not at first.
"I went down to the basement," Lerner recalls, "and started playing the same chords I always play... I just felt like I'd exhausted everything I knew. I was not excited at all. I just could not make another power-pop album."
He sought inspiration in music that bore little relation to the familiar Telekinesis sound, and soon found it in the swooning, synth-driven pop of early '80s UK bands like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Glasgow's The Blue Nile (whose 1982 debut album, A Walk Across the Rooftops, Lerner had been given by Merge honcho Mac McCaughan), as well as more up-tempo numbers like Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder's 1977 disco master class "I Feel Love" and, even further afield, Drake's 2013 summer jam "Hold On, We're Going Home." Though Lerner is a drummer with a strong affinity for loud electric guitars, he found himself irresistibly attracted to the powerful atmospheres stirred up by the gorgeously inorganic sounds and simple arrangements of these wildly disparate inspirations. A new idea began to take shape, as did a somewhat obsessive collection of old synthesizers and drum machines.
Lerner dedicated himself to learning the intricacies of antiquated keyboards with names like the Roland JX-10 (the very model Angelo Badalamenti used to compose the music for Twin Peaks), the Teenage Engineering OP-1, the Moog Sub Phatty, the Elektron Octatrack, and even a Speak & Spell. "If you buy a guitar," observes Lerner, "people always say 'oh, there's a song in that guitar.' That's how it was for every piece of equipment I acquired over the last two years." Finding the songs was one thing; making sense of the elaborate technical requirements that would allow him to sync the multiple generations of machinery with digital recording software was another. There were plenty of easier ways to go about the process, sending MIDI versions of the vintage sounds and letting a computer do the heavy lifting, but that would have missed the point. There was joy in getting his hands dirty; part of the process was to invent the process. It took months of diligent effort ("pulling my hair out, for real"), but when the literal and figurative dust settled, what emerged looked and sounded like a legitimate breakthrough. The previous three Telekinesis LPs had been recorded fast, on tape, in professional studios with accomplished producers–Chris Walla on the first two, Jim Eno on the third–at the helm. This new one had been painstakingly assembled by Lerner alone, working without a map, using an entirely unfamiliar palette of sounds, and discovering an entirely different tonal vocabulary in the process. And though the total running time is a tidy 33 minutes, it had taken what seemed like forever to get there (hence the album title).
And yet, for all the new methodology and instrumentation, the DNA of Ad Infinitum is oddly familiar. The melodic hooks that have endeared Telekinesis to the world of pop music aficionados are flagrantly front and center. The pinging pong of an instrumental figure on album opener "Falling (In Dreams)" sounds almost like a permission slip for Lerner to let loose with a soaring head voice in the chorus. It's a chilling entrance to an album that soon veers into the much faster new-wave thrills of "Sylvia," the ironically technology-averse retrofuturism of "In a Future World" (which sounds like the missing link between Speak & Spell-era Depeche Mode and the birth of Erasure), and onward. The hyperactive gem "Courtesy Phone" proves that no matter how many stylistic obstacles he places in his own path, Lerner's knack for perfect power pop is irrepressible. But the high- energy dance rhythms of "It's Not Yr Fault" and the gorgeous, McCartney II-esque polyphony of "Ad Infinitum Pt. 1" are totally unprecedented in the Telekinesis oeuvre. The whole album is a relentless marriage of old and new, memory and imagination, deconstruction and rediscovery.
While artists like M83 and Blood Orange (among many, many others) have made fruitful use of vintage sounds and production techniques in recent years, Ad Infinitum is a different animal. It's less like a time capsule and more like a time machine. In the movie version of the story, Lerner would stumble on his way down the stairs, hit his head, and wake up in 1983, and the only way he could get back to the present day would be to make a record using available instruments. Then he'd wake in 2015 to discover he'd been in his basement studio all along. And the record he'd made in that strange dream state would turn out to be Ad Infinitum, the most ambitious and assured Telekinesis release to date.
Deep Sea Diver
“Wide awake, and I’m chasing after you”—exclaims a breathless Jessica Dobson, singer and multi-instrumentalist of Seattle’s Deep Sea Diver. The lyric is one that best encapsulates the front woman’s bravado and fearlessness which dominates Deep Sea Diver’s forthcoming sophomore LP, Secrets—Out February 19th on their own High Beam
records. In their desire to explore dualities, Deep Sea Diver urgently and deliberately move you from rock experimentation to dreamy soundscapes, Kraut-esque drum and bass grooves to angular danci-ness, and full fledged orchestration to bare bones simplicity. Dobson has the voice and authority to tie it all together, and turn it into a cohesive unit that soars yet remains beautifully delicate and intimate. Live, the band has received acclaim for their festival-ready power and presence, Jessica’s larger than life guitar hooks, and their cascading layers that build upon each other until they reach their explosive peak.
In late 2013, Dobson put in her notice to former Shins boss, James Mercer, in order to give full attention to her own
musical vision. Mercer agreed, saying “I’ll miss you, but I give you my full support. You’ve gotta pursue Deep Sea
Diver”. While much was gleaned from the experiences in her many years spent playing with top tier musical outfits
(Beck, the Shins, Spoon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs,) something was brewing that demanded a sort of dedication and alertness that couldn’t be fully engaged while moonlighting as a side-woman for those greats. “Good thing too," noted
Stereogum, "because Jessica is an incredible front woman.”
Recorded with Darrell Thorpe (Radiohead, Beck) and Luke Vanderpol at the Bank in CA, Jessica and band
(comprised of husband Peter Mansen on drums, Garrett Gue on bass, and Elliot Jackson on guitar and synth) have
together created an album that is colorful, energetic, and varied—with an emotional depth and pulsating charge that
demands the listeners full attention. As she and Mercer sing together on Creatures of Comfort, “I’m in my own
world”, the listener is brought in, and very content that this is the world that she has chosen and invited others into.
Secrets is an album you will not want to keep to yourself.
The Whicker and Pine
We were all raised singing hymns and listening to oldies... Dylan, Holly, Withers and The Beatles. The Motown sound stood out to us and 3 minute pop/rock songs filled our ears with sweet choruses and catchy hooks. These days, those same ears are filled with The Decemberists, The Head and the Heart, The Oh Hello's, Pedro the Lion, Bon Iver, Wilco and Ryan Adams.
When asked “why we play music” One common answer comes to mind... We play because we love to, because there is a chance to connect over the most common and easily expressible language: Music, and we are grateful for those of you who love it as much as us. We are simple people who live simple lives, and if we end up playing in only our garage, to just our families and friends? We will still play these songs. Though, we would prefer it if you would join us.
Jon moved to Denver from Seattle in 2010, luckily he brought his love for Folk/Americana with him. Jon has shared the stage and drew inspiration from friends The Head and The Heart, The Fleet Foxes and Hey Marseilles. Phillip Miller used to make Jon's coffee in Seattle. When Phil moved to Denver it seemed like a natural choice to have him start playing bass. Anna Brawner sings, is from Kansas City, and 9/10 times will be wearing high heels on the stage. Anna spent some time in Nashville making friends with awesome people which helped her fall in love with music. JD Raab plays guitar, he used to play drums and still does in a number of other projects around Denver. David Barnes plays drums for us now, he is in the middle of a serious love affair with Glen Fiddich. Rounding out our sound is Zach Capshaw who is also a Colorado native, he plays the Rhodes and other things with ivory keys.