Noise Pop Show Review: Versus with Telekinesis, The Love Language and The Burnt Ones at Cafe Du Nord, 2/23/2011

by Jen Robie on February 24, 2011

Using his mind to play the drums? Or sticks?

Last night was freezing, and the hot toddies at Café du Nord hit the sweet spot.  The waft of warm whiskey, lemon and clove set a tone for the evening filled with intoxicating songs, indie style.

First up, the Burnt Ones.   Their deeply aquatic sound felt like they were rattling the bones of T Rex while listening to the Pixies through the ears of Mazzy Star.   Driving the vehicle of their trio was the insatiable beat from the drum and bass.  They were able to capture the burning hot angst of teenage pants, and I could almost smell the pheromones from where I was standing.    Putting a handle on the appetite the rhythm created was the well-developed tone of the guitar, co-mingled with the vocals, to create a somewhat vulnerable sound that gives the listener a point of relation, an entry into the mind of the group.  The trio, very sweet people, have recently moved to the Bay Area from Indiana, so be sure catch a show-we want these guys to stick around.

I love, love, loved The Love Language.  I am so thankful that these songs did emerge because apparently they were never supposed to see the light of day (inspired by a bad break-up an’ all).  This music could snap anyone out of the Bay Area grays.  It is hopeful and rosy while maintaining it’s cool, a rare combination these days.  It is a cure for the too cool, because really, sometimes it’s hard! (I know, no one thinks they are a hipster- but come on you guys… look around, I know you are wearing skinny jeans right now).  The Love Language is a wonderful bridge between perceivably cool and authentically happy.  Their cascade of sound is tight and playful, the quick and searing strums of the pick match the heartfelt vocals that find themselves somewhere between Jeff Buckley and Arcade Fire.  You can tell the band has chemistry, which is always something that creates a great visceral experience for the listener.  The Love Language are big advocates of supporting local music at home in Raleigh, which has really paid off, because many of their North Carolina fans were there to support them last night.  Good vibes.

Telekinesis was like neurological sugar:  light and catchy, making it hard not to jump up and down in one place.  Michael B. Lerner, songwriter and sole band member, captures the imagination of his audience with a great pop sound that feels like the current anthem of our time.  If there were a scene in which Michael Cera was traveling through the countryside on a train, going in and out of dappled sunlight while having both deeply reflective and innocently observant thoughts, Telekinesis could be the musical score.

Versus are graduates of the 90’s, and these guys were awesome.   They have not betrayed their roots in grunge, but rather brought grunge to 2011.  It was so refreshing to hear the two brothers, Richard and Edward Baluyut together with Fontaine Toups again. Possibly because it was a sound we were used to, grew up with, or knew whether we are cognoscente of it or not.  Versus has a rock-solid goodness to it.  It is lofty easy to move to. My favorite was a woman wearing a Versus shirt, she said “I won this shirt from Richard over a Detroit Lions game in 1990.”

Ok Noise Pop, I’m ready for more- bring it.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

supermophed February 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm

I bought the tickets to see Telekinesis but ended up falling in love with the Love Language. They were so much fun and their stage vibe reminded me a bit of the Avett Brothers.

Telekineisis looked like they were playing a good set, but the sound guy F’d him up. Sound during his set was touch and go and I couldn’t catch the vibe from the band … bummer. I really enjoy his music.


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