Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Grog Shop's 25th Anniversary
Obnox, Falling Stars
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd
Cleveland, OH, 44106
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is all ages
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Ted Leo is one of the finest songwriters of our generation, even if it’s not entirely clear what generation that is. Starting in New York Hardcore with Citizen’s Arrest, making the ‘90s safe for power-pop and Weller-esque hair with Chisel, then singing our turbulent lives like we were smarter than we were with The Pharmacists, and most recently providing equal parts sweetness and solace with Aimee Mann as The Both, Ted never let us down. And now,
seven years after The Brutalist Bricks, he has a new solo album. And it’s wonderful.
The songs on The Hanged Man, recorded at a home-studio-in-transition in Wakefield, RI, with Ted playing almost all the instruments, are some of the finest and most finely wrought of Ted Leo’s career. Ted describes the time working on the album as one of “personal desolation that felt fallow but was actually very fertile” and, indeed, lyrically, The Hanged Man is suffused with hope of sorts but crushingly heavy. The concerns addressed, whether personal trauma or the national disaster we’re all currently existing in, matched with the range and vitality of the songcraft is inspiring, even uplifting.
The Hanged Man offers the sharp bursts of skinny tie pop-punk fury one would expect from Ted—and even these feel streamlined like never before—but they are offset with an adventurousness in both tone and structure. The intention was to upend expectations but, on songs like the bookends of “Moon Out of Phase” and “Let’s Stay On The Moon,” the intention never gets in the way of the result. There’s no strain of effort in songs that are unlike anything Ted has done previously. The Hanged Man is a career high, born through industry soul sickness, nausea-inducing crisis, and a talent that feels like secular grace.
Not a lot of comparisons can be made to Lamont 'Bim' Thomas' mighty Obnox project:
5 years, 15 records, the perfect wedding of soulpunk heaviosity with the treble blare
and lo-fi layers of gunk traditional to so much Ohio history (which Obnox itself is an
essential element in these days).
His latest release, Boogalou Reed, is out on 12XU now.
The Spring of 2017 will mark the release of Falling Stars first album, Stranded in the Future. The album is the culmination of two years of writing by Cleveland rock and roll veterans Chris Allen (Rosavelt/The Boys From the County Hell) and Tim Parnin (Cobra Verde/Sweet Apple) in Allen’s garage studio. The results of those sessions is an 11 song blast of two guitar rock that enters new landscapes outside of the duo’s acclaimed past.
Stranded in the Future was recorded at the Fidelitorium Studios of Mitch Easter who also engineered. The album was produced and mixed by Don Dixon, who also played bass on the album and will be a part of the live band. The veteran duo of Dixon and Easter produced and recorded some of 80’s best pop rock records including REM’s Murmur and Reckoning.
On drums was veteran drummer Rob Ladd (Alannis Morissette/Don Henley) rounding out the lineup. The album was mastered by Greg Calbi of Sterling Sound whose credits include a laundry list of rock legends from John Lennon to Bob Dylan to classic albums such as Springteen’s Born to Run and Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes.
$16 adv / $18 dos