Monday, March 8, 2010

Late again, but you’ll forgive me, because I’ve got Ted Leo

Wow, today kind of got away from me, but I do have a couple of reviews up in various places.
Let’s go with Ted Leo (and leave my slavering at the mouth review of the Soft Pack for tomorrow, stay tuned), whose Brutalist Bricks is pretty freaking great and a dead certainty for top ten for me at least.

Ted Leo, one of the last socially-engaged punk rockers standing, has the unenviable challenge of rallying “the long-manipulated and the willfully dumb” (“Mourning in America”) to the cause of justice. The brutalist bricks are flying in his sixth full-length, tossed by an angry mob that should, in its own interest, be on the other side. Though images of suicide bombing, torture and the end of the world flit through his songs, it’s the people themselves that seem the scariest. And yet, paradoxically, the complexity of this worldview gives his songs an added punch. There are no unadulterated good guys in the ravaged world he holds to account, no hard truths, no absolutes, and that, in some way, makes his principled stance more touching. “We strive to survive, causing the least suffering possible,” he sings in “Ativan Eyes,” and it’s a modest manifesto, a kind of last stand against selfishness gone epidemic.

More, including my rant on Tea Party America…

“The Mighty Sparrow”

“Even Heroes Have to Die”

I’m interviewing Dosh tonight, wish me luck!


Ian said...

Good review; I guess I should finally give him a try. I love "Me and Mia" but am mostly ignorant of his work.

jenniferpkelly said...

Thanks Ian. Ted definitely seems like one of the good guys.