In House #1838: Ted Leo's Living With the Living; Apples in Stereo in Boise, SLC
The fifth full-length from the consistently interesting, always passionate Ted Leo and his band The Pharmacists dropped last week on Touch & Go, marking the band's initial release for the label. Living With the Living once again puts Leo's fiery delivery and heart-on-his-sleeve politics on display, this go around with an unexpected element or two. "Bottle of Buckie," is pure pop jaunt, bouncing along to a vaguely Irish beat before breaking out the pennywhistle for a Lord of the Dance midsong solo that actually works well. Elsewhere the band mines the dub-tones of The Clash or The Jam on "The Unwanted Things," and even brings early Springsteen into the mix on "La Costa Brava." This being a Ted Leo album, there are politics to be had as well, and Leo's been given plenty of ammunition to work with over the past few years. "Bomb. Repeat. Bomb.," as the title might suggest, is an absolute in your face to the current American government and its war, while similar themes pop up amongst the tunes "Army Bound," (which also features a mean guitar solo) and "Annunciation Day/ Born On Christmas Day." In short, the album exudes everything Leo has become known for over the years. It's passionate and diverse. It's thoughtful and indignant. In the end, it's these qualities in the music that will reward upon repeated listens, and forgive Leo the occasional tendency to overreach. Touring in support of the new release, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists play The Venue in Boise on April 20th and Club Sound in Salt Lake City on the 21st.
Also today, music from the Apples in Stereo, currently touring in support of their recent triumphant return, New Magnetic Wonder. Robert Schneider and friends showed no signs of rust after five years between albums with their new work standing amongst some of the best from their late 90's hey day. The band plays with opening act Casper & the Cookies tonight at The Neurolux in Boise before moving on to The Depot in Salt Lake City tomorrow night.
In House #1838.
Focus: New release from Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Living With the Living, plus the Apples in Stereo play Boise and Salt Lake City this weekend, and new music from Cloud Cult, The Eames Era, Arcade Fire, and more.
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, from Living With the Living:
Apples in Stereo, from New Magnetic Wonder:
Casper & the Cookies, from Oh!:
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists' "Bomb.Repeat.Bomb.":
Apples in Stereo's "Same Old Drag":
In House PODCAST #285