This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ted Leo's got the prescription...for rock!

Ted Leo is the manz. There's really no other way to put it. Dude rocks so hard that it almost defies description. Both times I've seen him live, he owned the stage so hard the club owner must have been sweatin'.

'Course, when a talented songwriter holds the Clash, Elvis Costello, the Jam, and Thin Lizzy in equal esteem, good shit is bound to happen. Leo's razor-wire take on mod-punk is some of the most consistently thrilling rock music happening today. Ted Leo is the pudding-ensconced proof that writing great songs and playing guitar like your heart is about to explode is a hell of a way to cultivate a dedicated following.

Other than some regrettable bedroom recordings he released after Chisel broke up, Ted's been like Robin Hood, hitting the mark every time. Even on borderline filler like "Annunciation Day/Born on Christmas Day," his strong tenor and forceful delivery carry the tune. Along with his backing band The Pharmacists (hence the awful joke in today's title), Leo rocks harder than just about any other six-string-slanger out there today. His new record, Living With the Living, is the fourth classic in a row for the scrawny man with the huge voice.

I have a feeling that I'm going to speak of being able to see groups like Ted Leo & the Pharmacists and Against Me! with the same kind of awe that people use when speaking of being able to see the Black Flag or the Screamers. He's touring on one of the single best catalogues in rock, and Living more than adds a ton of classics to the bunch. "Who Do You Love?" and "Bomb.Repeat.Bomb." are taut rockers that sound great in a beat-up car stereo, while the astoundingly good "A Bottle of Buckie" explores a tender moment. It makes me think of drinking fortified wine on a half-finished Civil War fortifications with a good friend while the lights of Front Royal twinkle like stars. The give and take of "La Costa Brava" gives way to the hardcore-cum-Pogues turns of "Annunciation Day," which in turn sets up the credible stab at dub reggae, "The Unwanted Things." (Trust me, the sequencing of this thing is bomb.)

One of the many highlights, "The Lost Brigade," holds a place in my heart. The first time I heard it, I was curled up with Andrea, and we drifted off to a peaceful sleep while Ted crooned "every little memory has a song" over and over and over and over's rad.

Easily one of the best records of 2007. If you're not down with Ted Leo, you ain't shit.

A Bottle of Buckie:

La Costa Brava:

The World Stops Turning:

The Lost Brigade:


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