Last year, on March 8th, Ted Leo was playing in Ann Arbor, at a show I really wanted to see. There was something more important to do, however, and instead of catching Ted live, I saw my son enter life, a little early but more than ready. Not long before the delivery, my wife asked to hear her favorite TL song, “Me and Mia,” and the lyrics were just right: “Do you believe in something beautiful? Then get out and be it.” Maybe this is a good message for today, too, considering Blacksburg. It seems to me that the families of the victims, the students, those in grief and mourning need all of us to be more beautiful, to be better. I haven’t heard the new Ted Leo/RX album Living with the Living yet, but I’m hoping its filled with the powerful songwriting found on “Me and Mia” or “Ghosts” or “Biomusicology” — honest, straightforward and necessary examples of compassion, anger, hope, righteousness.
Shan’s original post: 04/22/05
This one’s unabashedly from the “New to Me” file. When I first heard of Ted Leo/Pharmacists about a year ago during a two-month stay in Washington D.C., I stayed away because the name sounded too much like some yokel cover band. But everyone around me seemed so pumped that the band was headlining the free concert at our humble film festival that I wandered by to check them out…and was duly impressed. Ted Leo serves D.C. well even if he doesn’t live there anymore, calling on a falsetto’d agit-prop style that may remind you of D.C. indie godfather Ian MacKaye, yet the Pharmacists wrap Leo’s personal-to-political vocals in a pop-inflected shell that’s closer in sound to Capital City vets Unrest and Velocity Girl. The songs aren’t coming to 3hive from straight out of the proverbial wrapper, but there’s plenty of it for the taking (and more on their website), and if it’s new to you too then all the better.