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LIVE REVIEW: Telekinesis And The Love Language At Casbah

Cody Votolato of Telekinesis
Cody Votolato of Telekinesis
Matt Carter

The package tour of Telekinesis and The Love Language hit Casbah last Friday, showcasing indie songwriters from opposite ends of the country with their live touring bands. Both bands played to an admiring packed audience, proving that by booking artists somewhat obscured in today's music, The Casbah still has their fingers quite firmly on the pulse of emerging independent music.

The Love Language is the project of songwriter Stuart McLamb of Raleigh, NC and features his brother Jordan McLamb on drums. Combining bitter sweet memories of past relationships with bouncy rock sensibilities, The Love Language presents subject matter that listeners are sure to identify with. Allegedly born from the heartbreak of a past relationship of Stuart Mclamb, The Love Language's real spectacle is the impersonal liberty McLamb has taken in order to retell each ardent story. The majority of the live band contributed backing vocals in a fun jaunty exchange supported by Missy Thangs on keyboards. With two guitars between McLamb and lead guitarist BJ Burton, the interplay can take the form of a shimmering wall of sound, with a clean edge not heavily relying on distortion. Within each tune off the latest album Libraries we see McLamb's detailing of loss, regret, reconciliation, and ultimate ascension. After wrapping the tour with Telekinesis at the end of March, The Love Language will play Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April.

Slightly less emotionally complicated and more straightforward is the sound of singer songwriter Michael Benjamin Lerner, who plays under the moniker Telekinesis. Based out of Seattle, Lerner is known for his upbeat and easily digestible rock tunes. Playing all the instruments on the album 12 Desperate Straight Lines, at first glance you may think Lerner is of the persuasion who lives life behind his electric guitar and hires a drummer and bassist. Yet, on this particular tour Lerner has chosen to play drums and sing vocals, displaying an accomplished musicianship and versatility in writing the songs. Although openly admitting that he was currently sick that evening, Lerner's songs rarely faltered as a result of his strained vocals chords. Songs like “Dirty Thing” and “Car Crash” unfolded into irresistible sing-a-longs as Lerner sat holding a jovial rhythm on the kit. Ex-Blood Brothers guitarist and touring Telekinesis guitarist Cody Votolato was at his energetic best in support of Lerner on stage. The same stage where Votolato's older brother Rocky Votolato had played the night before. Overall fans were humbled by Lerner's dedication to playing despite his ailment and freely offered him whiskey as a cure-all in between songs. Telekinesis will continue their national tour through March, ending March 23 in Salt Lake City.