Chris Walla on How a Misread David Bowie Reference on Wikipedia Became the Title of Telekinesis' New Record

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I just got off the phone with Death Cab guitarist Chris Walla--who's currently in Austin enjoying SXSW--after having a chat about the new Telekinesis record, 12 Desperate Straight Lines, which Walla produced. I'd been wondering about the album's interesting title--turns out it came out a bit by accident. Said Walla:

This last year I sort of rediscovered the Bowie/Visconti records--Low, Lodger, and Heroes--from the late 70s, and I sort of completely fell back in love with those, and they have kind of completely informed everything I've been working on for the last year. I was reading through the history of those records and bouncing around from fan sites and blogs to Wikipedia and back again. When I was looking at Lodger, the Wikipedia entry for Lodger, there was something about the original name for the record was . . . 10 Divergent Lines . . . or something like that . . . and I misread it. [I looked it up--the Wikipedia entry says the original title of the record was Despite Straight Lines]. Right, and somehow I read Desperate Straight Lines. And I was thinking of the Telekinesis record, and sort of topically and everything else, I just sent it to Michael, and I was like, what if it's called 12 Desperate Straight Lines? So it's not really a Bowie reference. I guess it points at that. But yeah, that's where it came from.

Of Walla's hand in naming the record, Michael Benjamin Lerner recently told me, "I named the first record Telekinesis! with an exclamation point, so I probably should not be naming records."

Check back with next week's issue for more of my chats with both Walla and Lerner.

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