ARTIST / BAND: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
SONG (MP3): The Sons Of Cain
ALBUM: Living With The Living
FILE UNDER: Alternative
INFO: Ted Leo and The Pharmacists' latest album Shake The Sheets is a triumph on nearly every level. With a fantastic producer (Chris Shaw) and a great studio (James Iha's Stratosphere in Manhattan), Ted was finally able to achieve the cleanest, biggest sound he has ever had. You might remember Ted Leo from his exploits many years back in the New York hard-core scene with bands like Citizens Arrest and Animal Crackers. More likely, you remember his inspiring role as songwriter and leader of (legendary?) DC mod-punk band, Chisel, from 1990 to 1997. You may even be lucky enough to have caught the short-lived but long remembered Sin Eaters, whom Ted fronted from 1997-1998, or his touring stint with the Spinanes during those same years. Probably, though, you are most familiar with the understated but forceful path he has been blazing as a solo artist since 1997. His songs are fragile but proud, and exalt in social and musical purpose, with inescapable melodies and tangible yet romantic lyrics that could easily draw comparisons to greats such as Billy Bragg or Alex Chilton, and somehow leave you thinking of Curtis Mayfield and CRASS...