Thursday 24 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Ted Leo and the Pharmacists...

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists experiment with a shaky foundation to cement the solid 'Brutalist Bricks'

Joe Wertz October 7th, 2010

Touring for the first time as a solo act, Leo remembers a show he booked "at a pizza place in Norman." It's probably good that he's forgotten the venue's name.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists with Kevin Seconds and Broncho
9 p.m. Wednesday
113 N. Crawford, Norman
$14, $16 under 21

Ted Leo spent the first half of the '90s fronting indie-punk and hard-core outfits like Chisel and Citizens Arrest. As the decade wound down, he started work on a solo side project, which eventually sailed under his own flag, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.

Touring for the first time as a solo act, Leo remembers a show he booked "at a pizza place in Norman."

It's probably good that he's forgotten the venue's name.

Leo showed up with the two other groups he was touring with, but neither an audience nor a PA system ever showed up. The girl who booked the show was making frantic calls on a pay phone when the guy who was supposed to bring the sound system showed up. He didn't arrive for soundcheck; he came for an armful of pizzas to bring back to a house party, which was already raging with tunes supplied by the missing PA system.

"He was like, 'You guys can come play at my party if you want,'" Leo said. "I thought, 'You know what? I'm already too old for this. Fuck you and your party.'"

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists are back in Norman tonight for a 9 p.m. show at Opolis.

In March, the outfit released its sixth studio effort, "The Brutalist Bricks," which came together in the three-year album gap that followed "Living with the Living."

Leo said the band initially started recording many of the "Brutalist" songs for Touch and Go Records, which released the previous album. In 2009, the label downsized, leaving Leo and his fellow musicians caught in the flux.

"If we'd been recording at home, it wouldn't have been a big deal," Leo says, "but it started in a studio, so we kind of had to finish it there."

Neither Leo or any of his bandmates had enough money to finish the album on their own, so The Pharmacists concentrated on playing shows, which included performing many of the tracks in limbo. There, the songs evolved, Leo said, as the guys refined and "edited" the songs onstage.

"What we'd recorded in the past wasn't even an accurate depiction of the record at that point," Leo said, "so it just made sense to go in and do it again."

Despite the long, convoluted path from idea to album, "Brutalist Bricks" sounds more immediate and urgent than "Living with the Living." Combined with its bonus EP, "Mo' Living," that's roughly two dozen tracks, but it was "meant to be long," Leo said.

But the drawn-out writing, editing and arranging process, when combined with a relatively short, "hit-and-run" studio stint where they re-recorded the songs for Matador Records, "Brutalist" afforded The Pharmacists more time than usual to play and tinker.

"Even though this is a more concise album, it involved a little more experimentation," Leo said.

top photo/Matias Corral
bottom photo/Shawn Brackbill
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5