Ted Leo Returns!

Man it has been way too long since Ted Leo’s name has been featured on this site. He’s long been silent his last new music coming in 2014 via his collaboration with Aimee Mann, and his last album with The Pharmacist coming a whopping 7 years ago. Well we are pleased to share news today that Ted is back and flying completely on his own with a new solo album entitled The Hanged Man. The entire album was recorded in a home studio, with Ted playing the majority of the instruments. He’s even self-releasing this sucker after a successful Kickstarter campaign. What would an album announcement be without a song right? Check out the new rocking track called “You’re Like Me”. Ted is back!

Pre-order The Hanged Man now. It’s out on September 8th.


Here’s That New SAVAK Song

SAVAK-BestOfLuck-cvr-3690x3690-768x768With former members of the Obits and Holy Fuck you might be led to think of this song in a certain genre, but what really got me was how SAVAKlook back at great British pub rock; you’ll definitely hear some of that influence lurking in this single. It’s an old sound, revamped to fit into the modern landscape, landing somewhere between Nada Surf and Ted Leo. Their debut album, Best of Luck in Future Endeavors, will be released on May 27th, with a handful of SXSW shows also thrown in the mix for those attending the fest.

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Fresh Cut from The Jet Age

jetageI’ve enjoyed the previous works from the Jet Age, so it’s good to see the band at it again, prepping a new effort, Destroy.Rebuild. Listening through the first single, I can definitely hear some of the Washington D.C. influences, at least in so far as lead singer Eric Tischler’s voice goes; it’s part Q and Not U, part Leo. Musically, the song owns this subdued guitar progression that works it’s way in and out, only to be interrupted by crashing bits of guitar noise turned way up in the mix.  It’s a good way to start out your Thursday…in my eyes anyways. Their new effort will be out at the end of August.


Download: Jet Age – It Cuts Both Ways [MP3]


You Already Love Bob Collins

11263981_837624092974427_2364401972923408431_nIt’s been a really great resurgence month for The Dentists, with two of the band’s songwriters unleashing new tunes/albums. First there was Treasures of Mexico, and now we’ve got Bob Collins and the Full Nelson.  He’s releasing his new record, Telescopic Victory Kiss, and though slightly different, it hits as beautifully as one would expect.  It’s a power-pop gem of a tune, mixed in with a little bit of an Elvis Costello or Ted Leo approach to how things are delivered vocally.  I’m pretty sure you’ll have this playing for the rest of the day.  Look for the album to see a release next week via Jigsaw Records.

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Show Preview: The Both @ the Mohawk (8.13)


Date Wednesday, August 13th
Location Mohawk
Doors 6:30 PM
Tickets $22 from Mohawk

I’ll be the first to admit that I vastly overlooked the first release from The Both, the album of work from Aimee Mann and Ted Leo.  The self-titled record took me by surprise, and perhaps I didn’t give Mann enough credit.  It’s a spot-on album of great pop tunes, from two great songwriters, and I know that Ted will definitely be bringing his showmanship to the stage (I’ve yet to catch Aimee).  I’m not even sure if the duo will continue writing together, so you’ve got to be there to catch them while you have the chance. And, opening the show will be Lemuria, who won us over with their album, The Distance is So Big.  This is a night worth every dollar.



Show Preview: Aimee Mann and Ted Leo @ Paramount (9.27)


Date Friday, Sseptember 27th
Location Paramount Theatre
Doors 7:00 PM
Tickets $40-$50 from Austin Theatre

When I first started talking about this show, RayRay was giving me a hard time because he thought Aimee Mann was just typical chick rock; homeboy is wrong.  For one, she’s worked with artists from Geddy Lee to Matthew Sweet, not to mention her role in the Independent Music Awards. And, accompanying her on the evening will be my man-crush, Ted Leo, who has a very valid history of his own.  I’m not sure how the night will work, as I know the two have been playing joint sets as The Both, but perhaps we’ll get a little bit of both on the evening.  Sure, prices are a tad steep, but have a feeling it will be a sepcial evening for all in attendance.


The White Wires – WWIII

Rating: ★★★★☆

When I first picked up this new gem from The White Wires, I took the label (Dirtnap Records), the album photo, and then I jumped to conclusions.  I figured it’d be some sort of garage rock record; I figured I dig it.  In a sense, it does both things, but WWIII is far from just your average garage rocker; it’s got a lot more pop sensibility and natural energy, giving listeners much more than, if they’re like me, bargained for on this listen.

“All Night Long” blasts in with your typical garage fair, or so it seems.  Guitars trade off from the speakers, jagged and distorted, but then Ian Manhire enters the fold.  He’s got a polished vocal, allowing his natural fondness for pop to shine through with his lyrics.  It’s a quick start, but in seconds you’ll be pogoing about your home.  That sort of sentiment continues with “It’s Been a While,” a track that features a rolling drum beat, accented by heavy-hit cymbals, and staggered guitar licks.  The chorus uses backing vocals to provide that extra bit of hook. But, WWIII isn’t just a blend of garage rock and pop-punk; it uses power-pop goodness to mix it up.

“The Magic” might not be the best song from The White Wires, but after three straight tracks of upbeat rock n’ roll in your face, it gives you a second to breathe in the power of a good power ballad.  Guitars twinkle, bass fuzzes out and everything else wraps together to create a wonderful tune I can’t wait to see the group play live. However, the calming effect of the sequencing only lasts briefly here, with the band eager to get back to what they do best–rocking your face off.

I like the youthful attitude that’s present throughout the entirety of WWIII, giving you a license to just enjoy the record without having to think too much.  “Let’s Start Over Again” is the perfect song to fit this sentiment, with lyrics in the chorus that reflect the simplicity of the song’s title.  In doing so, the band has created anthemic choruses that are perfect for the live show, letting fans jump about and sing along in frivolity. Then it moves right into the bubbling bass work of “And Then You Told Me,” which features the band providing you with a sharp-edged swinging sensation.  It sort of reminds me of a teenage Ted Leo, free of all the political heroics and legendary status.

Sure, I only filled the review with mention of a handful of songs, but you could easily use every track on WWIII as a lead single.  Only one song reaches beyond the 3 minute mark, keeping things tight and joyous in a short space.  It propels the record, but it also caters to durability for The White Wires.  You’re not going to get bored listening to this record (I promise!), and you’re going to find something to get you going on every track.  Take elements of pop punk, garage rock, power-pop, even power ballads–throw it in a blender with a gritty attitude, vibrancy and solid recording–you’ll end up with the perfect recipe for a great listen, and a great album from this Ottawa trio.


Download:The White Wires – All Night Long [MP3]

Show Pics: Chaos in Tejas – Ted Leo (5/31)

Chaos in Tejas is that thing when you get ready for a show by not showering.

It is also that thing where randomly selected indie-punk-pop acts get thrown on stage in between hardcore and punk bands. In this case, The Mohawk featured Nathan’s man-crush, Ted Leo, had a set between Japanese thrash by Reality Crisis and old-school punk from The Mob.

To further confuse my ears, I stopped in for a bit of Big Freedia‘s set at Club DeVille.

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