He kicked around in different D.C. hardcore (or harDCore, if that's how you want it) bands for years before striking out on his own—and what a solo career it has been. He's become an indie darling with an unimpeachable pedigree and has yet to take a big misstep. His lovely '70s glam-meets-'80s punk template proves to be a giant playground for him and gives way to fiery, legendary live shows that are among the most talked-about around town. His falsetto vocals recall Joe Jackson in a (somehow) non-cheesy way; in fact, they strengthen the overall aesthetic, which is improbable but delightful nonetheless. He never stops creating, whether it be recording or producing; he is quite possibly the busiest man in show business. He somehow found time to record a digital-only release to assist in the legal bills for the RNC arrestees this past summer. Since 2003's Hearts of Oak was released, Ted Leo has become a bit more of a household name, and with each subsequent release he has seemed more and more accessible, then been lauded for it—a rarity in the circles in which he runs, which often equate success with selling out. He's a rudeboy done good and you owe it to yourself to see what all the fuss is about. With Against Me! and Future of the Left. All Ages.
Thu., Oct. 16, 5:30 p.m., 2008