Monday, August 13, 2007

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists @McCarren Pool, Aug. 12th

Sunday marked the first time ever I made it to one of the free Sunday pool parties at McCarren Park in Brooklyn, and the weather was perfectly sunny and warm for my debut. After checking out people flop around on the slip 'n' slide and grabbing some gratis beers courtesy of The Music Slut while Birds of Avalon played in the background, Julie1 and I headed pretty easily to the front of the crowd for a band I had been dying to check out for years now, The Thermals.

I have had their music on all three of my iPods -- and whenever I have my iPod in shuffle mode, and one of their songs comes up, I always go, Damn, that's a good song...who is that? And lo and behold, it's The Thermals. I love their distinct lo-fi, no frills punkish sound, and finally seeing/hearing it in person delighted me to no end. Here were three people wheeling out their rock, but not relying on gimmick or thrills to capture the crowd. Plus, chicks on bass rock!

After The Thermals wrapped up their swift set, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists took the stage as headliners. I had seen Ted and his band (Jersey boy represent!) previously only once in an abbreviated gig almost two years ago at Irving Plaza as part of a benefit, so this time I got to check them out full blown, up front and center.

Ted got the crowd hopping with his fantastic blend of punk, pop, rock, reggae, and even bits of Thin Lizzy. A few years ago, Julie1 introduced me to him by making me buy Tyranny of Distance, and I have been a convert ever since. We were trying to pinpoint what about TL is appealing, and we decided it's his earnestness in playing his music that we dig. Perhaps that's what made the pairing of The Thermals and Ted Leo so fantastic -- both bands rock out without using coordinated outfits or laser light shows. Maybe that's why I found Ted's random cover of the day -- Daft Punk's "One More Time" -- so cheeky.

Check out my Flickr for some more shots!


m said...

ted leo sure loves to show us his pearly whites.

Anonymous said...

amazing show!! birds of avalon was good too. your pics are always great. i see a new career for you...