Ted Leo showed up for Indie Rock Karaoke on December 3rd at Studio B with a set of both old and new R/X material - the new from the forthcoming unnamed record five - the old, his standards and classics: "Where Have all the Rude Boys Gone?," "Timorous Me," "Heart Problems," "Army Bound" and "Hearts of Oak" - the latter also melted the crowd's feet of oak, along with the complimentary vodka (I don't remember the brand, but if you're going to promote something, the drinks need to taste slightly better than mint leaf soaked in cleaning fluid).
Ted Leo's vocals have always ventured into the high falsetto range (especially for someone playing in front of such a loud band); here they held up, but I thought newer songs relied on them less. Material seems to focus more on rhythm and less on melody. I think Ted described one track as "dancehall meets death metal" - forever in Fred Perry, he seems a little more like Mark E. Smith every day..
The band took a break and the evening's emcee , the always entertaining Andrew W.K., gleefully instructed on how to properly sing karaoke by "destroying the ego," then proceeded to demonstrate on a "Louie Louie" punctuated by haymakers and headbangs. The audience karaokers were treated pretty mercifully - anyone who made at least a reasonable attempt was awarded with applause and accolades, with the audience singing along loudly to most everything. Highlights include the first two peformers ("Search and Destroy" and "When Eagles Dare" - the first a spot-on Iggy Pop, the second, a karaoke regular dressed in his Aquaman costume with a plastic trident prop), the impecable Minor Threat and Stiff Little Fingers renditions, and the two guys who, on "Me and Mia," took the guitar from R/X guitarist James Canty and played the chords too. I think only one person actually got booed.
Ted Leo returns, solo, to NYC for a visit to the Market Hotel tonight, Monday December 15th. Opening will be Patrick Stickles ("lead singer of TITUS ANDRONICUS") and CALE PARKS ("from Aloha & White Williams").
In case you haven't been to the Market Hotel before, it's magic requires that it remain somewhat "under the radar," so in order to ensure that no lines form outside the door (thus attracting unwanted attention), they will be selling tickets starting at 6pm, on the day of the show (today) only at Goodbye Blue Monday, 1087 Broadway, Bklyn. They will not be taking money at the door, you must go to Goodbye Blue Monday to get a ticket (it's only 3 blocks away)... - TedThis will be the second time Ted and Patrick shared the Market Hotel stage this year. More pictures and all dates (including a benefit in CT on Tuesday night) below...
Ted Leo - 2008 Tour Dates:
12/15 - Brooklyn, NY - Monday @ Market Hotel | TED LEO SOLO: w/ Cale Parks. All Ages.
12/15 - New York City, NY - Rave HD Television Network | Television Performance: Ted Leo/Rx on the Beautiful Noise Concert Series on RAVE HD part of the VOOM HD Network.
12/16 - @ The Space | TED LEO SOLO: Benefit for Manic Mike - Proceeds to Yale New Haven Smilow Cancer Hospital. Doors:7pm; Show:7:30pm. Suggested Donation: $5-$20. All Ages. Hamden, CT - Tuesday -