Friday, February 19, 2010

The Brutalist Bricks

Ted Leo has a new album coming out. You may have heard this, I don't know. In any case, this is of course essentially the highlight of my year. There's been a few major musical events so far this year. Certainly Yeasayer's new album was pretty exciting. Unlike everybody else in the world, I *loved* it. Some other good people put out stuff too. Vampire Weekend, Spoon, Beach House. 

But being that these aren't the types of albums that turn up in bargain bins and I'm too poor to afford the internet to download them, much less BUY them, I'm stuck with the one album I bought when I still had money (the aforementioned Odd Blood).

Being that I am so poor, it's basically a return to the last few decades of the last century before the advent of the internet. When music could only be obtained by taping it off the radio, stealing your friend's CD, or buying it. And since kids were just as poor then as I am now, they were pretty goddamn picky about what they bought. They didn't go out and purchase just any album. It had to be something special by somebody they really loved. Hence my position. The Spoons and the Beach Houses will have to wait. But a new Ted Leo album is an EVENT.

Ok, maybe not really an event. A new Jay-Z album, that's an event. But it's always a special occasion when I'm gonna drop money on music and that's exactly what I'm gonna do on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010.

After all, Ted Leo is worth it. Everything the man's ever put out has been great. He's one of the most solid, consistent rockers out there in fact. And he ROCKS. While most "indie rockers" these days write music to be comatose to (Antlers, I'm looking at you, and I actually LIKE you!), Ted is like 40 and still rocks out like punk never died. He's got a sensitive, ponderous side like any man of his age, starting to write those lyrics about mortality and the like as he is now officially middle aged, but he balances it out well enough that it's not a hindrance.

At this point you may be asking yourself what the point of this rambling blog post is. Surely I'm not just posting paragraph after paragraph just to fellate Ted Leo; there has to be something I'm taking forever to get at. Well, there's really not. I'm just excited.

This is actually the first album by Mr. Leo and his band the Pharmacists that I've bought new, mainly because I had a weird way of discovering him. Several years ago, this is actually going way back now, I knew this guy that loved Ted Leo. I fucking hated that guy and his incessant talking about Ted Leo made me vow never to listen to him.

On top of that, I had this weird image of Tommy Chong's character Leo from That 70's Show fronting the RX Bandits in my head that I just couldn't shake and it totally turned me off the band for absolutely no reason.

But slowly as I learned and listened to more, I eventually came to find songs like "Timorous Me" and "Me and Mia" to be amazingly well crafted pop rock songs. Such that it became obvious I could no longer just simply be apathetic to Ted Leo's existence and curse his band whenever they were brought up.

Being me, I procrastinated for ages, but eventually I did actually listen to his albums and I fell in love. The man is a genius, blending the influences of his youth from Fugazi to the Rude Boys into a catchy combination of no-bullshit punk, acoustic driven jangle pop, roots reggae, crunchy classic rock riffage, and powerful political criticism. It's anthemic and fun, it's secretly intelligent and openly emotionally driven, and it's some of my favorite music ever made.

So to say I'm excited to lay my money down on March 9th and buy The Brutalist Bricks is a goddamn understatement. I'm ecstatic as the day approaches. I really, really can't wait. The only bigger event on the horizon for me is finally getting my chance to see the Flaming Lips live the week after my 19th birthday. That's going to be a hell of a weekend. But for the next three months?

This'll do, Ted, this'll do.

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