Thursday, March 22nd, 2007
Sons Of Cain
The thing about a new Ted Leo record is that you’re probably never going to be surprised by what you get, but you’re also very unlikely to be disappointed – unless of course you were hoping to be surprised. His latest effort, Living With The Living, picks up not far where Shake The Sheets left off – the world is still frakked, Ted’s still mad about it – but since that was one of my top albums of 2005, I’ve no problem with that.
The opening track (technically track two but “Fourth World War” is just a radio static intro) “Sons Of Cain” is Leo at his fieriest, the tonsil-shredding “hey”s of the outro making you really hope, for his sake, that it was a first-taker. From there, and for the remaining 14 tracks, Leo covers familiar ground with his distinctive brand of jangle-punk with dashes of Celtic, reggae and soul influences (with varying degrees of effectiveness). It could be argued that a few tracks could have been cut to make it a tighter, more concise album but complaining about too much Ted Leo is like complaining about too much… something that it’s not possible to have too much of. I’m sorry, I’m on cold medication and about as sharp as a rubber ball.
But really, the best thing about a new Ted Leo record is the fact that it will inevitably be followed by a new Ted Leo tour. The man and his band are unquestionably one of the hardest working and hardest rocking in the biz, and after catching them three times in 2004, I’ve only seen them once since and that was over a year ago at SxSW 2006. Way too long, so I’m pretty stoked for their May 2 show at the Mod Club.
Leo discusses his politics with Chart, the inspiration behind “Bomb. Repeat. Bomb.” with The Georgetown Voice and you can stream the album in its entirety over at Spinner.com. Update: Thanks to Eric for pointing out this AV Club interview with Ted, as well.
Stream: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists / Living With The Living
MP3: Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – “Bomb Repeat Bomb (1954)”
MP3: Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – “The Sons Of Cain”
MySpace: Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
Hold Steady news: Pitchfork reports that the band will release a live, 5-song EP on April 17 entitled Live At Fingerprints, named for the CA record store where it was recorded. It’s an acoustic set and the CD will only be available at stores that are part of the Think Indie organization – technically only in America but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen other releases with the same distribution at Soundscapes in Toronto. And if not, I’m sure any of the participating stores would be happy to sell you one online. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Daily Collegian and The Phoenix chat with keyboardist Franz Nicolay, who appears to have drawn the press duties straw for this tour. The band have also released their second video from Boys & Girls In America – far straighter than the one for “Chips Ahoy!” but stick around to the end, there’s still a guffaw in there.
Bloc Party have got a sold-out show at the Kool Haus this Sunday evening but if you’re not one of the lucky 2000 in attendance or simply need a little more BP in your diet, hit up MTV Live for free tickets to their performance in the Yonge & Davenport studios Monday evening at 6PM. That’s going to be crazy. Guaranteed. And since they’re going to be hanging out in Toronto an extra day, NOW asks Kele Okereke about his favourite Hogtown haunts and he tells The Toronto Sun that Toronto is one of their favourite cities to play. The Toronto Star caught up with Okereke at SxSW to talk about the new record. Finally, AmpCamp has got a b-side from the single for The Prayer available to download. Update: Also been informed that there’s an afterparty this Sunday night following the show – Okereke will be playing DJ and it’s possible/likely that others from the band and opening acts will be in attendance. It’s happening at The Social, check out the flyer for more info.