Spring music prescription: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

Shawn Brackbill/myspace.com

What is it about drinking outside? What is it about lying on a lawn or a porch, drinking a beer (or other alcoholic beverage of choice) and just slowly basking and drinking the day away?

Some of my friends argue that this makes you feel like a king, or like some feudal lord watching the serfs toil in the fields. While that sounds pretty awesome, I just think it feels badass. It is the ultimate middle finger to doing work.
I was thinking about this last week, when it was awesome outside, and I yearned to just relax on Brooks Lawn and just drink the afternoon away. Of course, midterms got in my way. I hope Springfest is like last week, so we can all soon enjoy this rare pleasure. I think I’ve found the perfect band to listen to while indulging ourselves.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists have been a favorite in the D.C. music scene since they formed in 1999. Their indie Americana punk is always a summertime favorite to keep those late night shindigs going on long into the early hours of the morning.
As their name suggests, Ted Leo is the creative force of the band (and their only constant member). Their last two albums, “Shake the Sheets” and “Living with the Living,” were fantastic. I’ve been anticipating their new album for a while, and now the wait is over. “The Brutalist Bricks” sticks to Ted Leo’s roots but still strays far from the tree that blossomed at their start.
One thing they haven’t lost is their youthful and explosive style, which is saying something since they’ve been making music for eleven years.

The band jumps right into the album with “The Mighty Sparrow.” This opener wastes no time to gently introduce the listener to the album, but rather picks up where the band left off.

That said, it feels like it’s not a proper start. I always feel that the opening song of an album should be memorable; I forgot about this opener by the third track.
In fact, with the exception of songs like “Atvian Eyes” and “Even Heroes Have to Die,” the entire album fails to stand out. While it is fun to listen to right now, I feel like this won’t stick with me for very long, which is one of the reasons why it’s the perfect outside drinking album.

When drinking outside, you want to relax and live in the moment. With Ted Leo in the background you have not only catchy hooks to listen to, but a quick and easy album to listen to.

Not every band has to be a giant work of art with its complex song structure and abstract lyrics. Sometimes when you want to live in your own world for a day, you need something quick to keep the lazy fun going.