1. Chris Walla & Michael Benjamin Lerner

1/10

The 2009 self-titled debut from Telekinesis, aka Michael Benjamin Lerner, was one of SPIN.com's faves of the year, a bubbly collection of punchy power pop, mixed with a few sweet ballads.

Lerner just wrapped sessions for the follow-up (expected by early 2011) in Portland, Oregon, with Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla producing -- he handled the first album, too. The 23-year-old sent SPIN.com some of his favorite photos from the studio, and talked about making his second record.

"This is Chris Walla and I," says Lerner. "He produced and engineered this record. We had the most amazing time making this album. He is absolutely one of the most talented and fearless people I have the pleasure to know. I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to make records with him."

Compiled by Peter Gaston

2. Chris Walla & Michael Benjamin Lerner

2/10

The 2009 self-titled debut from Telekinesis, aka Michael Benjamin Lerner, was one of SPIN.com's faves of the year, a bubbly collection of punchy power pop, mixed with a few sweet ballads.

Lerner just wrapped sessions for the follow-up (expected by early 2011) in Portland, Oregon, with Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla producing -- he handled the first album, too. The 23-year-old sent SPIN.com some of his favorite photos from the studio, and talked about making his second record.

"This is Chris Walla and I," says Lerner. "He produced and engineered this record. We had the most amazing time making this album. He is absolutely one of the most talented and fearless people I have the pleasure to know. I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to make records with him."

Compiled by Peter Gaston

3. Studio Shenanigans

3/10

"Chris had this little Fuji mini instant camera in the studio. It took these little credit card sized photographs, like the one pictured above. It was totally point and shoot, and I got into the habit of picking it up every once in a while and making the most ridiculous faces, and placing them in random places in the studio for Chris to find. It was pretty hilarious."

"We also used the Oblique Strategies cards* a lot in the studio. And this one happened to be up at the console, and happened to fit the photograph pretty well."

Editor's Note: Oblique Strategies cards were developed by legendary producer/musician Brian Eno and painter Peter Schmidt. The cards contain short messages intended to help guide artists of all kinds through the toughest parts of their creative process. Read more about them here.

4. Kendra the Engineer

4/10

"This is Kendra, house engineer at Jackpot! studios. I had this long running theme song for her called 'cable nightmare' that I would sing every time she went to patch something in at the patch bay. Judging by this picture, she was not amused."

"Kendra is so super rad, and she also recorded one of my favorite records of the year so far, which is the new Quasi record. Kind of ruling."

5. Walla's Fender Mustang

5/10

"Pictured here is one of my favorite bass guitars in the whole world," says Lerner. "It is Chris Walla's Fender Mustang Competition Stripe guitar. And it absolutely rules, and it's all over this new record."

"We were both really heavily influenced by the bass sound of this band called Flin Flon, which is Mark Robinson's (Teenbeat Records / Unrest / Air Miami) old band. The bass is so dirty and fuzzy, and there is a lot of that on this new record."

"We ran the bass through old guitar amps a whole lot of the time. It was fun! But, not for the amp pictured here. It blew up when we tried that."

6. The Thermals Come to Play

6/10

"Pictured here is two-thirds of the Thermals. [Singer-guitarist] Hutch is absent from this picture because he had to leave before we took it, but he was there too."

"The Thermals sang some seriously amazing gang vocals on a couple songs. This was kind of a big highlight for me. They were our tour buddies in Europe last Fall, so we became really close on that trip."

"But, I am still in constant awe of them. They are one of my favorite bands making music right now, and I can't really believe that they sang on my record. The 19-year-old version of me was totally freaking out! Like totally freaking out. Hooray for the Thermals! Their new record [called Personal Life, out Sept. 7] is going to rule."

7. Hitting the "Jackpot"

7/10

"We made this record at Jackpot! studios in Portland, Oregon. It's a fantastic place, and it was super fun to spend some time in Portland," says the Seattle native Lerner. "It is such a wonderful city."

8. Funny Faces

8/10

"Chris joined in on the funny faces at some point. There were probably 10 photos like these strewn about the studio at any one time. Kind of ridiculous."

9. Analog 4eva

9/10

"We recorded this album on 24 track 2-inch tape, which is sort of becoming an obsolete way of making records," says Lerner. "I really enjoy being on tape because it makes you commit to ideas in the moment."

"When you are recording on computers, you can have multiple takes in folders, and go back and choose your favorite. I don't think there is anything wrong with that method, but I prefer the option of not having too many options."

"Plus, Chris is a wizard with the tape machine. We did lots of backwards tape, and lots of vari-speed. Things that you can only do on an analog tape machine. It's super, super fun."

10. Goodbye Portland!

10/10

With recording wrapped, Lerner says he's asked Walla to mix the album, too. Lerner tells SPIN.com that it will likely have 12 tracks, and the album title will be a play off the number 12.

"I won't say the title of the yet because the master isn't complete and there isn't a final title yet," Lerner says. "But Chris Walla had this amazing idea which had to do with the number of tracks... and there's this thing about Bowie and Eno working in Berlin that has something to do with the number 12 so that will probably end up having something to do with the title of the record, too."

Telekinesis -- with new touring members Cody Votolato of the Blood Brothers/Jaguar Love on guitar and Bob Mould/Bob Pollard sideman Jason Narducy on bass -- hits the road with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin on Aug. 31 in St. Louis. Four dates on the West Coast supporting Merge Records labelmates Superchunk follow in October, with two of those shows also featuring shoegaze legends Teenage Fanclub.

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