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 →
The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns to (relative) normalcy tonight at 11pm on XPN. Shortly after the July edition of Making Time RADio with Dave P, listen for a full two-hour show that, let’s face it, will be anything but normal. We’ve got a few new releases to spotlight, namely Broken Social Scene‘s rousing Hug of Thunder, the return of Chaz B. as Toro y Moi on Boo Boo, and Beach House‘s career-spanning set of B-Sides and Rarities. Also in the mix, new singles from Ted Leo, Widowspeak, Frankie Rose, L.A. Witch and more! Preview some of the new tracks below…
Ted Leo is joining his millennial counterparts and saying a big fat no to corporate music, announcing a Kickstarter campaign for his new record with his band The Pharmacists. After parting ways with Matador, Leo doesn’t want to stop doing the thing he knows and loves: making music. Continue reading →
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.
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 →
The 2nd annual Make Music Philly took place this past Saturday. Under mostly sunny, blue skies, and gorgeous first day of Summer weather, the City of Philadelphia was the stage for several hundred music performances. The day started off at Love Park with a percussion play along with the Philly Drum Project and ended with a harmonica play along led bu John Colgen-Davis of the Dukes of Destiny followed by a concert featuring Ted Leo and Lee Fields & The Expressions.
There’s no doubt that the big event this Saturday is Make Music Philly. Free concerts all over the city all day — what else could you ask for? Join XPN and kick off the day 10 a.m. at Love Park with A Play Along Percussion Party with Philly Drum Project. Audience members are encouraged to bring their own percussion instrument to join PDP in the party. There are a ton of shows around the city that you can catch from dawn till dusk, but make sure to see XPN Presents Ted Leo, Lee Fields & the Expressions & Play Along Harmonica Event w/ John Colgan-Davis at 6:30 p.m. at Penn’s Landing. Bring along a harmonica to join in on Colgan-Davis’ set. For a full list of events and showtimes today, check out the Make Music Philly website here.
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.
Making their second stop in Philadelphia in two weeks, The Both rocked the second half of NonComm’s first Free at Noon doubleheader alongside Jessica Lea Mayfield. Every member of the audience was pleased as Aimee Mann and Ted Leo switched off lead vocal duties throughout the set, and as they cracked a good many jokes between tunes. The set featured various Ted Leo guitar solo’s, and was capped off with their track Milwaukee, having been introduced by calling Philadelphia “…the Milwaukee of New York City… that being cooler and a little bit cheaper.”
When Aimee Mann and Ted Leo took the stage Saturday night at Union Transfer as The Both, they started chatting away. Their banter throughout the night ranged from Quaker meetinghouses to Jeb Bush to Paul Stanley of Kiss. They actually had to stop themselves so they could start playing music. This familiarity, paired with their vast live experience, put them at ease with a crowd and made for a glorious night of music. Playing all 11 songs from their self-titled debut plus selections from their respective catalogs, Mann and Leo were a true delight.
Though coming from seemingly different musical spheres, Mann and Leo paired nicely. Switching off lead vocal duties, with Leo leading on songs like opener “Gambler” and Mann beginning “You Can’t Help Me Now,” they expertly interwove their voices. Their spacing on stage, with the great divide between them filled by drummer Matt Mayhall, allowed for frequent encounters in the middle, more in line with a guitar-and-bass handshake than punk jamming. But that makes sense, as Leo’s harder sensibilities are more muted with The Both.
It certainly didn’t hurt that Mann and Leo showered love on Philly itself. Before “Save Me,” Mann regaled the crowd with the odd tale of playing the song during the Liberty Medal ceremony for Hilary Clinton at the National Constitution Center last year. And they seemed very happy to remember opening Boot & Saddle and filming part of the video for the catchy “Milwaukee” there. And before they broke into the tune, they even riffed on a Philadelphia-centric rewrite.
Two other highlights were of differing calibers. There was the humor in someone calling for the Leo song “Bottled in Cork” and Mann and Leo deliberately misunderstanding the request. They first claimed to hear the call for actor Bud Cort, but that devolved to the more playful “Butt Court.” (And, for the record, when they did play “Bottled in Cork,” it rocked.) The encore kicked off with another grand gesture as The Both launched into “Voices Carry,” the 1985 ‘Til Tuesday tune that was Mann’s first major success. In introducing the song, she shared her excitement for Leo’s falsetto. It certainly worked as the penultimate song before their wonderful Thin Lizzy cover, “Honesty Is No Excuse.”
Nick Diamonds and Evan Gordon of Islands opened with a bizarre set of songs by Islands, The Beatles, Wilco and Sinead O’Connor. The Both will return to Philadelphia for a Free at Noon concert at World Café Live on Thursday, May 15.