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Ted Leo - How do you live with the living?

I've been listening to the upcoming Ted Leo & the Pharmacists album Living With The Living, coming out on March 20th (pre-order) and can't remember the last time I had this kind of initial reaction to an album from a band I knew as well as I know TL&P.

It's exactly what I would have expected.

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists were never pretentious. I think of the band's sound, and the straightforward power-chord-based guitar, the impossibly fast vocals, everything that screams "Ted Leo" - everything is still there. What's different? The introductions lack the more low-key draws of 2004's Shake the Sheets that built to the climax of a first verse, which inevitably led to an overwhelmingly energetic chorus. As a result, the songs are more monotonous, and feel less like the build up to an explosion. Sure, the content of the lyrics is more sophisticated - "Sons of Cain" attempts a grand metaphor, comparing Cain's journey to Ted Leo's own personal journey to sing out. He gets away with it, but there's a sacrifice: the catchy factor.

I don't mean to drag down the album. While not nearly as good as I'd like it to be, it's not a disappointment - a rare phenomenon for successful bands not built on experimentation. So I say, download it, buy it - you'll get what you were listening for, but not much more.

(MP3's finally taken down by request)

Tour dates:
3-1-07 & 3-2-07 San Francisco, CA
3-4-07 Stanford, CA
3-28-07 Philadelphia, PA
3-29-07 Washington, DC
3-30-07 Carrboro, NC
3-31-07 Atlanta, GA
4-01-07 Orlando, FL
4-02-07 Miami, FL
4-04-07 Baton Rouge, LA
4-05-07 Houston, TX
4-06-07 Dallas, TX
4-07-07 Austin, TX
4-09-07 Tempe, AZ
4-10-07 San Diego, CA
4-12-07 & 4-13-07 Los Angeles, CA
4-14-07 San Francisco, CA
4-16-07 Portland, OR
4-17-07 Seattle, WA
....there are more tour dates posted in the mid-west, you'll have to look them up yourself......

The band's website

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Meanwhile, Barack Obama was in Cleveland yesterday, and I went to see him. His stump speech was good, nothing out of the ordinary, although very populist in nature. Plus, I GOT TO SHAKE HIS HAND!
Nothing will shake my resolve to work for McCain in the primaries, though....

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4 Responses to “Ted Leo - How do you live with the living?”

  1. # Anonymous m

    McCain?? You gotta be kidding me. Heres to having better taste in music than in politicians!  

  2. # Blogger Kate

    Maybe I'll explain this later. I'm campaigning for McCain in the PRIMARIES because if anything, the past two presidential elections have demonstrated that the Democratic party is really bad at choosing presidential candidates. John Kerry, the veteran who came home from Vietnam and bashed the troops (and in a time of war?), over someone with a clean slate and yes, less experience, like John Edwards? Al Gore, the most dull politician on the face of this planet?  

  3. # Blogger Jim

    McCain? He needs all the help he can get. I hear he's firing staff because hes running out of money. Besides that, he's more into this war than Bush is.

    I agree, stick to music.  

  4. # Blogger Kate

    I'll try explaining again - I'm politics major, working on campaigns is what I do. I'm an independent and I can't pick a Democrat to work for so I figure why not work for a Republican (who I really admire) in the primaries, then re-align myself based on which one of the two party nominees I think would do the best job as President?

    I think we need to get out of Iraq, so you can guess which party I'll probably end up working/voting for.  

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