The iJamming! Weekly Download: Ted Leo part 2
Over the weekend, I found another Ted Leo & The Pharmacists concert on my iPod, this one courtesy of NPR’s All Songs Considered Podcast. And unlike the KEXP show I wrote about on Friday, which I realize necessitates subscribing to the station’s Live Performances Podcast, Ted Leo’s March 29 show at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. is available, in full, either in online streaming or as a hefty MP3 download. It’s a better concert, too, with a rawer sound and more bite in the performance. The set is near enough the full Ted Leo experience, with a healthy offering of older material, and complete with some solo numbers for an encore; all that’s missing are the second encore cover versions. Did NPR run out of broadband space? Or has Ted “matured” and dropped them from his set? The only way to find out is to go see him in concert, shout for ‘Ghosts,’ and see what happens.
NPR has also kindly archived (for streaming or download) a 15-minute interview with Leo from its influential All Things Considered show – which may prove a more palatable introduction for some than jumping straight into one of his highly intense live shows, especially as it offers numerous studio samples from new album Living With The Living. Talking to Melissa Block, Leo talks of how his music is influenced by 60s R&B, 70s Reggae, and Celtic folk melodies, but how his politics comes from Bruce Springsteen, Phil Ochs, Curtis Mayfield, Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye, and that same triumvirate of British political punkers I mentioned in my last post.
Still, and for all that he rages against the machine, he understands that didacticism can wear down even the hardiest of souls. A highlight of Living With The Living is the song ‘La Costa Brava,’ with the lovely line, “Everyone needs a Sunday somedays.” It is, he tells Melissa Block, directed at himself.
“We can sometimes get so caught up in the fights that we’re all fighting from time to time, it really would behoove to take a step back, take a breath and understand what it is about the beauty of the world that makes us want to continue these fights.”
Amen to that. We all need a Sunday somedays – even if we choose to spend it (among many other things) catching up with our Podcasts.
NPR’s All Songs Considered page for Ted Leo & The Pharmacists streaming (Real Player or Windows required)
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists live at the 9:30 Club, Mar 29 2007
Ted Leo interview from All Things Considered