's 2010 Matador debutThe Brutalist Bricks
was another lap around the field for the seasoned indie-rock veteran. But the run might be getting lonelier with every few feet, as the singer-guitarist belongs to an increasingly rare breed.
Leo has done it all. In the late '80s, he was the vocalist for NYC hardcore bands Animal Crackers and Citizens Arrest. And then in the '90s, he sang and played guitar for ahead-of-its-time mod-rocking outfit Chisel. The 2000s saw Leo rise as an indie elder statesman with his still-running eponymous-plus-The Pharmacists solo project, which makes its return at Churchill's Pub October 30.
The Pharmacists trade punk's reactionary angst for a more nuanced, coded political subject matter, backed up by power-poppy, vocally driven indie-rock.
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That last part -- punchy, superclean tone, bass-drum-guitar indie rock -- is practically a thing of the past. Indie as a descriptive term denoting a specific style or aesthetic has been completely supplanted by hipster. And if you can find a straight-up rock band, it's likely to be playing some kind of retro style or soaking everything in reverb. Add Leo's penchant for political content -- however pseudo-poetically obscure it may be -- and you've got quite the sincere anomaly.
Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, presented by Sweat Records, along with Pujols and Deaf Poets. Sunday, October 30. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 29, for $12 via sweatshopmiami.com. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.