By chance I happened to be in State College for a week, bringing me to the underground hookah-drenched lair of Chronic Town last Thursday for a night of punk rock in the form of Ted Leo and The Pharmacists. Playing their first show as a full band in over a year according to the front man himself, they gave a heavy dosage of rock to a semi-subdued, yet jubilant crowd. Leo circled his corner of the stage like a boxer punching forth with his Gibson and punkish utterances. James Canty’s guitar, Chris Wilson’s drums, and Marty Key’s bass provided background sonic thunder. Leo pondering the club’s name and whether anyone actually referred to it as Chronic Town (not a whisper from the audience gave him an answer) and the sound men thinking the show was over when Leo was calling for an encore were odd moments indeed, but they could not damper the delight Leo and his fellow Rx practitioners showed at being on the stage together again. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below; the band plays a free show tonight at Morgan’s Pier.
Tonight we’ve got an incredible double header at Morgan’s Pier. Indie punk stalwarts Ted Leo and the Pharmacists will play with newcomer Waxahatchee for the low price of free (though you must be over 21 for the event). Ted Leo and the Pharmacists released their incredible sixth studio album The Brutalist Bricks back in 2010 and it’s just as catchy as ever, featuring a musical combination of punk, rock pop and dub. Waxahatchee, the solo project of Kate Crutchfield joins the band to bring an acoustic punk element to the event. Her second album, Cerulean Salt, was released in March to critical acclaim and continued in her off-kilter folk-rock stylings from the past. It’s a combo you really don’t want to miss. Click here for more information and check out some songs from the bands below.
While righteous indie-punk torchbearer Ted Leo has been making the tour rounds sans-Pharmacists lately (either solo basement shows, like we saw at Nacho House back in November, or solo theater gigs opening for Aimee Mann), a round of full band shows has been announced today via Matador Records, and it includes a date at Morgan’s Pier on July 31st.
While this also answers a question that’s been on our minds as summer approaches (Q “Will Morgan’s Pier be hosting live music again?” A “Yes, evidently!”), it’s not clear as of yet whether this is a free show (as all of last summer’s were) or a ticketed gig. [UPDATE 4/18: It is a free show. Woohoo!] Either way, Ted and the RX always slay in concert, so this one’s bound to be a treat. Below, check out a video (dang near ten years old) of the band playing “Mia and Mia” in the First Unitarian Church basement.
Popped! is at the Liacouras Center at 1776 N. Broad Street on Temple’s campus. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Lineup for Popped! is:
Nikki Jean 11:25am
Patty Crash 12:15
Black Landlord 12:40
Zee Avi 1:05
Mates Of State 1:35
Sun Airway 2:55
Budos Band 3;35
Charles Bradley 4:15
Titus Andronicus 4:55
Foster The People 7:00
Girl Talk 8:00
Pretty Lights 9:30
Today’s Philly F/M Fest highlight is the two stage Riot Fest at Festival Pier. Gates open at 11:30. Purchase tickets here.
Riot East Stage
12:00 p.m. – The Heels
12:40 p.m. – Brothers From Another
1:40 p.m. – Population Zero
2:40 p.m. – The Holy Mess
3:40 p.m. – The Menzingers
4:40 p.m. – Samiam
5:40 p.m. – 7Seconds
6:40 p.m. – Suicide Machines
7:50 p.m. – Hot Water Music
9:10 p.m. – X (plays “Los Angeles”)
Riot West Stage
12:20 p.m. – Lionize
1:10 p.m. – The Claw
2:10 p.m. – Larry And His Flask
3:10 p.m. – Shot Baker
4:10 p.m. – Weston
5:10 p.m. – Excitebike
6:10 p.m. – Naked Raygun
7:10 p.m. – Plow United
8:30 p.m. – Dead Milkmen
9:50 p.m. – Descendents
Meg Baird + Glenn Jones, Watery Love at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15, 21+, $10); Andrew Lipke And The Azrael Quartet at Tin Angel (10:30 p.m., 21+, $10); Ted Leo And The Pharmacists + Dry Feet at Johnny Brenda’s (1:30 p.m., all ages, $15); Black Landlord at Milkboy Philly (9 p.m., 21+, free); Revolution, I Love You (record-release show) + Penrose, Panic Years at World Cafe Live (8:40 p.m., 21+, $11)
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists have announced a fall tour, continuing an already busy year on the road. Leo & co. were just in Philly this past weekend, performing The Tyranny of Distance (their first album as a full band) at the XPoNential Music Festival. They seem to enjoy the city, seeing as the tour will kick off here with a pair of dates on Friday, September 23rd and Saturday, September 24th at Johnny Brenda’s. The 21+ Friday night show will take place at 9:15pm and cost $15; tickets go on sale Friday at noon and will be available here. The Saturday show will be a rare all-ages matinee at 1:30pm; tickets also go on sale Friday at noon and will be available here. Opening the matinee will be Philly surf-punk trio Dry Feet. Below, a video from Ted’s performance at the XPoNential Music Festival this past Saturday.
Keb’ Mo’ has been added to the lineup for the XPoNential Music Festival the weekend of July 22nd-24th. Keb’ will be playing a special solo acoustic show on the River Stage on Saturday, July 23rd. Keb’ will be playing a full band show at at Longwood Gardens on September 17th, however you’ll be able to see him on the bill that day at XPo Fest with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, Booker T, Sun Airway, Dar Williams, Artist To Watch Givers, Hezekiah Jones & Andrew Lipke, and David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket. Keb’ has a new album called The Promise coming out on August 2nd. Tickets to the festival can be purchased here.
Soul and R&B legend Booker T is playing Saturday, July 23rd, at WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival along with Ted Leo And The Pharmacists, Givers, Sun Airway, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and others. Booker’s new album, The Road To Memphis, is produced by Questlove of The Roots and features members from The Roots. Below, a new video for a song, “Progress,” which features Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket. The XPoNential Music Festival is July 22-24th at Wiggins Park, Camden NJ. You can buy tickets to the XPoNential Music Festival here.
This just in: A partial lineup for 2011 XPoNential Music Festival—WXPN and Camden County Board Of Freeholders’ annual three-day festival (running from Friday, July 22, to Sunday, July 24, at Wiggins Park on the Camden Waterfront)—has been announced. So far, the confirmed list of performing acts includes Ben Folds, Booker T., Shemekia Copeland, North Mississippi Allstars Duo, Ted Leo And The Pharmacists, Hayes Carll, Ra Ra Riot, Carbon Leaf, and Jukebox The Ghost; local acts include Susan Werner, Sun Airway, Johnny Miles And The Waywards, David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket, Nicos Gun, Hezekiah Jones, Andrew Lipke, Matt Duke, Kuf Knotz, and Kingsfoil.
Tickets to the XPoNential Music Festival are available now for members only, and start at less than $12 a day (for a three-day pass purchased in advance). Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, May 16th. Go to XPN.org’s support page (or call 1-800-565-WXPN) to become a member; if you pledge $24 per month, you’ll receive a pair of weekend passes, two festival t-shirts, and an XPN membership that gets you free beverages and artist meet-and-greets all weekend long.
Ted Leo—the hardest-working man in indie-rock—turned more than a few heads late last month when he posted a massive missive on his website about the promises and perils of making money off one’s art. It wasn’t the first time in history that a musician debated profiting from his hard work—but it might have been the first time someone did so by publishing a rambling, 3200-word monologue that touched on everything from writing for late-’90s fanzines to working with Lookout! Records’ press department to booking tours from pay-phones on the side of the road. By the end, Leo came to the conclusion that 1) money=good, and 2) the best way to make some money was to get into the musical theater business; he then announced that, the following week, he would reveal the new project, which he had already completed. (Cue one giant “WTF?!” from the Internet.)
The good news is that it was all just a big joke, and you won’t be seeing “one of those half-assed musicals that’s going to cheapen [his] music and embarrass everyone involved” (such as Green Day’s American Idiot Broadway musical). The better news is that the “completed project” is actually the video for “Bottled In Cork” off this year’s The Brutalist Bricks, which—in addition to being pretty funny video for a pretty amazing song—featured Philly-born comedian Paul F. Tompkins. The bad news is that, well, we kind of wanted to see The Brutalist Bricks: The Musical. Instead, we’ll just have to settle for a set of catchy indie-rock pulled from the eight top-notch albums and EPs he’s released under the Pharmacists moniker in the last decade. Ted Leo performs with Screaming Females (who celebrate the release of their brand-new album, Castle Talk, during tonight’s show), Women, and Dry Feet at 7:30 p.m. at The Ox.
Avoid the “Filed Under” tag at the bottom of this post unless you want to spoil the surprise. Either way, we suggest you watch the whole thing, as Ted Leo can write a better pop song in his sleep than most musicians can in their entire career.