I know of Telekinesis only from NPR. They have a couple of albums out, but I think I only know one song of theirs. And I don’t know it that well. This Tiny Desk features only two members of the band, singer-songwriter Michael Benjamin Lerner and guitarist Chris Staples.
They play four songs in 11 minutes (they are quite brief). The songs all features pretty melodies, and the singer’s gentle voice. The electric guitar is used sparingly and only to play delicate riffs. This works especially well on the first song, “Plankton.” Meanwhile the second song, “Coast of Carolina” has catchy bouncy guitars right from the beginning.
The other two songs are “I Saw Lightning” (which is very sweet) and “Rust” (which is very short). I didn’t love any of the songs and I honestly couldn’t remember them long after listening, but I found myself listening to this show a lot. And I enjoyed the songs each time. I’m curious what the songs sound like not in a Tiny Desk setting.
During the brief interview with them, Lerner says he daydreams about better places when he writes songs and that when he wrote the songs from this album, the studio smelled like Grunge never went away.
[READ: January 5, 2014] “Butter”
I wasn’t expecting another issue with five of this brief essays from writers I know (The October 14 issue had the last batch). I’m not sure how many more issues will have these type of things, and I’m not sure if will review them all. However, there were a few authors I liked in this group. Plus I’m intrigued by the food writing in these essays.
And this first one proved to be such an unexpected topic.
Akhil Sharma grew up in the United States. His older brother had been brain damaged in a swimming accident and his family took on the full responsibility of his recovery . It was pure family loyalty and that loyalty made them all pretend that taking care of him was not an awful task (even though it was). Akhil’s lunch from home often came in the bags that his brother’s medicine came in. And while he was ashamed of this, he also felt it was his duty of loyalty to not be ashamed by this.
This all tied him to the other Indian kids at the school (there were just a few at the time) who would bring in home-cooked Indian food for lunch. The white (and black) kids would make fun of them, walking by singing “Shiiit. I smell shiit.” When he once told one of the boys that he was eating snake everyone believed him.
But the real shame came when his relatives visited because they all ate American food. Especially Pizza Hut. Akhil tried to take revenge on Pizza Hut by stealing straws and peppermints and occasionally spitting in corners of the place. It was Pizza Hut with their expensive toppings (they would bring the pizza home and use their own) and outrageous soda prices (it was 1/2 ice anyway) made him resent American food.
Now when he was older he was taken to a restaurant, Per Se. He was at a party and the host of which paid some $20,000 just for the wine they drank that night. He was outraged (as am I). But the only thing he could think to take home was the fancy butter. Which he has yet to use.
I’ll bet that butter is really good.