Ted Leo

Ted Leo & Opinions on Shamir

After a seven year gap, veteran rocker Ted Leo has expanded his sonic palette with his latest solo record, The Hanged Man. Written in the wake of emotional and financial turmoil, the album is perhaps his most personal work to date. Ted Leo joins Jim and Greg in front of an audience at the Goose Island Tap Room for an interview and intimate solo performance. Plus a review of the new album from eclectic Las Vegas singer-songwriter Shamir.

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Ted Leo

This week, Jim and Greg are joined by singer-songwriter Ted Leo in front of an audience at the Goose Island Tap Room in Chicago. Leo gained fame in the early attention with his tuneful yet political approach to punk rock with his band the Pharmacists. But it's been seven years since Leo's last album. In that time, he formed a successful collaboration with Aimee Mann as The Both (who were Sound Opinions guests in 2014). But his family also suffered emotional and financial crises, which inform his ambitious new album, The Hanged Man.

The album's expansive sound is the product of being able to tinker alone in his new home studio in Rhode Island. No longer on a label, Leo crowdfunded the album through Kickstarter and released it himself. Ted Leo discusses how his personal turmoil affected his music and how his fanbase gave him a lift. He also gives an intimate solo performance of songs from The Hanged Man.

reviewRevelationsRevelations available on iTunes

Shamir Revelations

Singer-songwriter Shamir is back with a new album called Revelations. While his debut Ratchet sported a lot of house music and festival hooks, Revelations is a much more mid-fi effort that mixes genres like folk, soul and rock. Jim finds the record to be a shocking departure but in a good way. Shamir is singing about what's on his mind: racism, sexism, gender, sexuality, etc. He articulates his thoughts wonderfully with a sonically interesting blend of musical styles. Jim is a fan of Revelations and gives it a Buy it. Greg agrees, and loves that Shamir is asserting his independence and uniqueness as an artist. He also loves Shamir's allusions to other artists he admires, like the Ronettes and the Pixies. Greg finds this album to be inspired and interesting, and gives it a Buy It.

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Jim

“Flew a Falcon (Nut & Bolts Version)”Richard Barone

This week, Jim chose what he calls a "perfect power pop gem" for his desert island jukebox pick. He selected Flew a Falcon (Nut & Bolts Version) by Richard Barone. Barone was the frontman of New Jersey power pop band The Bongos. Jim says Flew a Falcon is about a teen "realizing that there are incredible forces inside you, and you don't know what to do with them". The song is also a nostalgic pick that reminds him of his days sneaking into to the rock club Maxwell's in Hoboken as an underage fan in the 1980s.

Featured Songs

  1. Shamir, Her Story, Revelations, Father/Daughter, 2017
  2. Ted Leo, Gray Havens, The Hanged Man, self-released, 2017
  3. Ted Leo, Let's Stay on the Moon, The Hanged Man, self-released, 2017
  4. Ted Leo, Used to Believe, The Hanged Man, self-released, 2017
  5. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The One Who Got Us Out, Shake the Sheets, Lookout!, 2004
  6. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Cold Finch and the Red Oak Tree, The Tyranny of Distance, Lookout!, 2001
  7. Ted Leo, Anthems of None (Live on Sound Opinions), The Hanged Man, self-released, 2017
  8. Ted Leo, Lonsdale Avenue, The Hanged Man, self-released, 2017
  9. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Me and Mia, Shake the Sheets, Lookout!, 2004
  10. The Both, Milwaukee, The Both, SuperEgo, 2014
  11. The Both, You Can't Help Me Now, The Both, SuperEgo, 2014
  12. Ted Leo, William Weld in the 21st Century (Live on Sound Opinions), The Hanged Man, self-released, 2017
  13. Ted Leo, You're Like Me, The Hanged Man, self-released, 2017
  14. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Anointed One, Hearts of Oak, Lookout!, 2003
  15. Ted Leo, Moon Out of Phase, The Hanged Man, self-released, 2017
  16. Ted Leo, The Future, The Hanged Man, self-released, 2017
  17. Ted Leo, The Little Smug Supper Club (Live on Sound Opinions), The Hanged Man, self-released, 2017
  18. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?, Hearts of Oak, Lookout!, 2003
  19. Shamir, Games, Revelations, Father/Daughter, 2017
  20. Shamir, Straight Boy, Revelations, Father/Daughter, 2017
  21. Shamir, Cloudy, Revelations, Father/Daughter, 2017
  22. Shamir, Float, Revelations, Father/Daughter, 2017
  23. Shamir, Blooming, Revelations, Father/Daughter, 2017
  24. Richard Barone, Flew a Falcon, Nuts and Bolts, Closer, 1983
  25. DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ayah, Telephone, Back For More, self-released, 2011
  26. Twilight Singers, On the Corner, Dynamite Steps, Sub Pop, 2011
  27. Twilight Singers, Get Ready, unreleased, n/a, 2005
  28. Led Zeppelin, Kashmir, Physical Grafitti, Swan Song, 1975
  29. The Honeydrippers, Sea of Love, The Honeydrippers, Es Paranza, 1984
  30. Italian Beaches, Resolve, Lady Parts!, Desperate Spirits, 2017
  31. Darrin Hacquard, Louise, Signs & Wonders, Questionable, 2017