I figured that I would throw a nice Joe Frazier left hook, and try to catch some people off-guard. I mostly listen to and talk about hip-hop and its related (dancehall, ghettotech, grime, Miami bass, etc.), but there are so many layers to Pound for Pound. Like an onion, but we won't leave you crying or give you bad breath.
Anyway, Ted Leo is an iconic figure in the American punk scene. He has been doing his DIY thing for close to 15 years with various bands, putting out raw, political music with its roots in punk, pop and rocksteady that has gained him a loyal following. His hard work and talent has him knocking on the door to the mainstream with his new band, the Pharmacists, evidenced by his performance on the Conan O'Brien show tonight, Friday February 11th. I know that this will leave alot of fans anxious and upset, fearing that they are going to lose their hero to the masses. But, remember, a boy can't eat good press and respect. Plus, the notion of lots of people hearing these songs from a committed leftist warms the heart. Don't be scared, punks and indie kids, as I doubt that Leo would ever forget where he came from and who got him there.
Go here to the Left off the Dial site and check out all they have to offer on Ted Leo. In fact, there is so much there that I won't bore you with too many facts.
Instead, I will tell you that I came to his music recently, through a recommendation by a good friend whose musical opinion I trust immensely. I was fortunate enough to attend his recent Philly show at the First Unitarian Church, thanks to R5 Productions. It was a good show, full of energy and quick, catchy songs. His recent CDs are even better, with a great sense of rhythm and songwriting for someone reared in the punk movement. The music reminds me of Billy Bragg, the British punk-pop genius. Both men wear their hearts on their sleeeves, singing of the struggles and joys of life, love and politics. This is beautiful and inspiring music, which is about all you can ask for, right?
Check him out on Conan tonight, buy his CDs, go to his web site. [For T.A.]