Friday, March 26, 2010

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists @ Congress on Sunday!

Touring in support of his excellent new album, the uncompromising Ted Leo will make his way to Tucson this Sunday for a gig at Club Congress. It's been about two and a half years since Leo last played in town, but that show stands out as one of the best of 2007 and few performers can bring such a combination of flat-out energy and professionalism.

Check out my review of The Brutalist Bricks, Leo's latest effort, in the Tucson Weekly:

Whichever fountain Ted Leo draws his energy from has an endless and remarkably consistent stream, rich in the sort of intensity that passes easily from singer to audience.

The Brutalist Bricks is more of his signature brand of surging, thinking-man's punk rock, with soaring melodies to counterbalance the cranked amps and pummeling drums.

Opening track "The Mighty Sparrow" starts with a buzzing guitar and Leo shouting, "When the café doors exploded, I reacted too, reacted to you." Leo instantly has the listener in his grasp.

"Mourning in America" is among the best of Leo's politically oriented songs, turning Reagan's famous campaign slogan on its head as scalding criticism of the country's "long manipulated and the willfully dumb."

But Leo offers up more encouragement than criticism: "I'm so sick of cynics, and I want something to trust in" ("Ativan Eyes"), "A little goodwill goes a mighty long way" ("Bottled in Cork"), and, "I know I've been missing, but I feel the change we've been waiting on" (on "Bartolomeo and the Buzzing of Bees").

Except for a couple of detours—the dubby "One Polaroid a Day" and the dreamy "Tuberculoids Arrive in Hop"—Leo sticks to his strengths, with unwavering passion. This is a rush of an album, brisk, forceful and righteously energetic.

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists - Even Heroes Have To Die
Ted Leo and The Pharmacists - The Mighty Sparrow

Fri 26 Pomona, CA The Glass House
Sat 27 West Hollywood, CA Troubadour
Sun 28 Tucson, AZ Club Congress
Tue 30 Dallas, TX House of Blues
Wed 31 Austin, TX The Parish Room
Fri 02 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
Sat 03 Tallahassee, FL Club Downunder
Sun 04 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
Mon 05 Carrboro, NC Cat's Cradle
Wed 07 Philadelphia, PA First Unitarian Church
Thu 08 Washington 930 Club
Thu 08 Washington 9:30 Club
Fri 09 New York, NY Irving Plaza
Sat 10 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club

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