Episode 48: Ted Leo

From highly-influential albums like 2001's "The Tyranny of Distance" and 2003's "Hearts of Oak" to his collaboration with Aimee Mann in The Both to the charming, seemingly effortless covers he's laid down in salute to Tears For Fears, The Pogues, Split Enz and more, it's abundantly clear that Ted Leo loves the art of songwriting. Through his kinetic guitar work and a voice that reaches for the rafters, he can jump remarkably from a protest motif to waxing nostalgic, or the 2 Tone movement to power pop, often within the same song. And while it's been a long seven years since his last proper album with the Pharmacists, that doesn't mean one of indie-rock's brightest and most passionate performers hasn't been busy. Announcing that he's honed nearly three albums worth of new material since 2010's "The Brutalist Bricks," the timing was right for a Kickstarter launch earlier this month to fund his upcoming full-length sans label structure. While admitting he had some fears about crowdfunding, Ted's fans and fellow musicians came out in droves to support him when the news dropped, crushing the original goal and then some in less than 24 hours. On today's show, Ted discusses the Kickstarter process, his days as a DJ at school dances as well as on Notre Dame campus radio, some favorite record stores to dig in, a few punk rarities in his collection, his favorite Pharmacists album cover, recording a show direct-to-acetate at Third Man Records in Nashville, whether or not his records with the Pharmacists will be reissued, what keeps him happy and motivated in today's political climate and much more. Follow @tedleo on Twitter, and through March 24th, you can pre-order the new album over at tedleo.com! PLUS we spin a new jam from Boston band Sinnet, who are friends of the show and need your help through PledgeMusic to get their next LP pressed to vinyl. Go to sinnetsongs.com for more info!

SPONSORS: Pinwheel Records at 1722 W. 18th St. in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood; Vinyl For A Cause, promoting charitable good, one record sale at a time; Flipbin: the handy as hell, flip-thru, now-playing, keep 'em close, flip/play/display storage for your favorite vinyl records. Use promo code EMERGENCY to save $10 off your order, for a limited time!

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James Laczkowski