The energy at Occupy Wall Street gets into your blood, somehow. At least, it did for me; I started thinking about Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, a band I haven’t listened to in a while, but which was in my top five when I was younger and less disillusioned. Specifically, the title track from their 2004 album Shake the Sheets, a go-getter of a song that could make even the most adamant cynic feel like raising his or her fists. Maybe you’ve been feeling like you’ve been “defeated here by everything,” or have found yourself wondering when you’ll “get an hour to celebrate, find the time to breathe a sigh?” Ted Leo’s prescription is a drum beat made for boot-stomping, some nasty guitar riffs, and an order to “roll out and make your mark, pull on your boots and march, then roll on and meet me where you'll find me doing my own part.” This album may have come out eight years ago, but you couldn’t pick a more perfect time to discover it. Get angry with “The One Who Got Us Out,” discuss healthcare over “Heart Problems,” and remember what you’re fighting for while listening to “Walking to Do.” And just because we can’t be all business all the time, dance around to “Little Dawn” and let Leo tell you (about 40 times by the end of the song) that “it’s alright.” Ted Leo and the Pharmacists have released six full-length studio albums, including Hearts of Oak and Living with the Living, and if you like what you hear on Shake the Sheets, I urge you to listen to them all. There’s a place in my heart for all their work, but Shake the Sheets will always be my favorite. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists pour their hearts into this album, almost choking every song with soulful guitar work and turbulent hooks and choruses. In re-discovering the music I loved when I was passionate about making the world a better place, I re-discovered that same passion. I, for one, will probably always be ready to “pull on my boots and march,” just as long as there’s someone there to remind me that “if you do everything you can…that's more than a start.” And it doesn’t hurt if those words come with a kick-ass marching tune behind ‘em.
By the by, if going out to Amityville, Long Island isn’t too much of a hassle, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists will be playing a show there on November 13th. Tickets are $10, which, if they bring half as much energy as they did when I saw them in 2008, is more than a steal.
Image Source: http://imgs.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2009/08/20/ns-nightlifepick_0500477823.jpg
Video Source: http://youtu.be/ko35ACvQIvM
Monday, October 31, 2011
Rekindling Some Old Flames