Free At Noon Flashback: Ted Leo brings The Pharmacists along for a revved up, reflective set

Ted Leo | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Things I was not expecting when arriving at work today: that it would be snowing by mid-day. That Jersey indie rock vet Ted Leo would have his longtime band The Pharmacists in tow for today’s Free at Noon set. That I would be screaming along to “Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone?” while attempting to shoot photos and not bump into the people around me too drastically. (Sorry, everyone.)

It’s true, Leo’s been on the road with this remarkable group of players — multi-instrumentalist James Canty, saxophone player and vocalist Adrienne Berry, drummer Chris Wilson, guitarist and singer Ralph Darden and bassist Marty Violence — since September, in support of his new record The Hanged Man. And the album is his first released under his own name, versus the standard “and the Pharmacists” credit…so the billing I read versus the performance I saw should not have totally caught me unawares. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Aimee Mann and Ted Leo at Colonial Theater, Darlingside at Musikfest Cafe, Jon McLaughlin at Ardmore Music Hall

Aimee Mann and Ted Leo
Aimee Mann and Ted Leo Christmas Show | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN |

Singer-songwriter vets, collaborators in The Both and good buds Aimee Mann and Ted Leo bring their fall tour to the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville tonight. Unlike their holiday extravaganza that hit Union Transfer a few years back, this show is simply two exemplary songwriters with new music under their belts; Mann released her latest record Mental Illness in the spring, while Leo dropped the excellent LP The Hanged Man in the fall. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Ted Leo is playing a priest in the new short film Main Blessings

Ted Leo in Main Blessings | courtesy of Femme Flash Films

Indie rock legend Ted Leo has taken up acting, and will appear in a forthcoming short film by Philly filmmaker Abigail Bruley. Perhaps this shouldn’t come as such a surprise, as the film evidently has music at its heart — Main Blessings promises to showcase some Tom Petty appreciation alongside its dark comedy, drawing on Petty’s “You Don’t Know How It Feels” for some lyrical inspiration. Leo appears as “Father Ted,” a jaded priest who is visited by the film’s recovering alcoholic protagonist Lars, played by fellow musician and R5 Productions founding member Josh Agran. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at Union Transfer, Ms. Lauryn Hill at BB&T, Bastille at The Fillmore, plus more

Ted Leo | photo courtesy of the artist

Ted Leo is back and bringing his trusty crew, the Pharmacists, with him to Union Transfer tonight. This past week, Leo smashed his seven year hiatus with the new record, The Hanging Tree, which was funded through the generosity of his fans via a successful Kickstarter campaign. Watch his latest video for “Can’t Go Back,” below, then find info on tonight’s show here. Continue reading →


Ted Leo reinvents himself as a suave crooner in the “Can’t Go Back” video

Ted Leo | still from video

Jersey indie rock fave Ted Leo returns this fall with The Hanged Man, his first record in seven years and a pretty tidy summation of everything he’s done in his career.

As Kickstarter backers who got an early copy of the album know, it runs the gamut from abrasive anger to contagious joy, from the hooky power pop of The Pharmacists to the introspective folk of The Both. Lyrical themes are less rooted in the political furor of his past work and more in reflective introspection as Leo sings about getting older and realizing the changes in the world that come with age, but also feeling solace in that. And then there’s stuff we’ve never heard him do before. Continue reading →


Ted Leo announces new album and Union Transfer show; shares “You’re Like Me”

Ted Leo | via Consequence of Sound

Ted Leo is back, and this time, he’s flying solo. Switching things up from serving as frontman for Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, and as the other half of The Both with Aimee Man, Leo has announced an album titled The Hanged Man, which will be available on September 8th via him, Kickstarter, and his generous fans.

Yep, you heard me — no label here. Leo evaded corporate music land by entirely funding The Hanged Man through a Kickstarter campaign back in February. Now we’re seeing the fruition of those efforts with the first single off the album, “You’re Like Me.” Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ted Leo at Underground Arts, Family Volleyball at Goldilocks Gallery

ted leo
Ted Leo | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

We’ll take Ted Leo any way we can get him, whether it’s with Aimee Mann in The Both, with his band The Pharmacists or, like tonight, solo. XPN welcomes the Indiana-born musician to Underground Arts, where he’ll open for Husker Du frontman Bob Mould. There have been hints that a new Pharmacists album could be released this year, which would be the band’s first new material since 2010’s The Brutalist Bricks. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here.

Continue reading →


Not Your Parents’ Christmas Show: Aimee Mann and Ted Leo bring tongue-in-cheek cheer to Union Transfer

Aimee Mann and Ted Leo Christmas Show | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller |
Aimee Mann and Ted Leo Christmas Show | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller |

Call me a grinch, but I was so ready to hate this show. Whatever, don’t judge me. Christmas crap just isn’t my thing, and despite all the talent due to be onstage Friday night at Union Transfer for The Aimee Mann and Ted Leo Christmas Show, when I found out from the two guys standing next to me (who by the way had come from New York to be there, having just seen the same show at The Town Hall the night prior) that this was gonna be upwards of 80% Christmas-themed-and-related music – christ, I was really starting to question my own judgment in deciding I wanted to cover this.

I mean this is what happens when your childhood idol writes “Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time” and it gets forcibly funneled and shoe-horned into your consciousness year over year at every store you walk into from Halloween to Martin Luther King Day. Yeah, I am mad, bro.

What the hell though – two songs into Mann’s and Leo’s set, I realized I was actually enjoying it. Continue reading →


Just announced: Ted Leo opening for Lee Fields & His Expressions at Make Music Philly on June 21st

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

This just in: Ted Leo has been added to the Make Music Philly day closing concert on Saturday, June 21st at Penn’s Landing with Lee Fields & The Expressions. The second annual Make Music Philly day will make its mark on the City of Broetherly Love on the first day of Summer all over the city with free musical events. Leo was last seen here in Philly recently when he and Aimee Mann, The Both, headlined Union Transfer, and did a Free At Noon. The show is all ages and free. Go here to view the schedule of events for the day. Below, listen to a new song by Lee Fields & The Expressions and a classic from Ted Leo.