Here’s what the to-do list on Ted Leo’s refrigerator looks like right now:
1. Tour relentlessly with the Pharmacists for seven months
2. Reunite with former hardcore band Citizens Arrest after 20 years
3. Contribute regularly (and hilariously) to Tom Scharpling’s “The Best Show on WFMU”
4. Campaign for PETA
5. Play Churchill’s on Oct. 30th
That’s right, politico-punk dynamo Leo and the Pharmacists are coming to Little Haiti to play Churchill’s as part of a 13-stop tour extension that includes shows in Pensacola, Gainesville, Tallahassee, and Tampa, according to Pitchfork. (Apparently, Leo’s also found time to figure out Florida.) The news is extra exciting because it will be Miami’s first time seeing former drummer James Canty, who joined the Pharmacists for their 2008 EP Rapid Response. Canty is the former drummer of legendary DC hardcore band Nation of Ulysses and brother of former Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty.
Leo released The Brutalist Bricks early last year (his first with Matador Records), a strong album that played out like an athlete’s triumphant comeback. After 2007’s disappointingly boring Living with the Living (during whose tour Leo last visited Miami, at the now-defunct Studio A), folks began to question the 40-year-old’s ability to continue to make brainy punk cool. Brutalist Bricks shut us all the hell up as it proved to be one of his strongest albums ever, showcasing his signature alchemy of hardcore, mod-punk, and folk, even mixing in some sparse industrial rises.
Even though one bad album probably didn’t warrant the doubt, it was important to know (rather than believe) that Leo — a sweating, breathing vault of musical stylings whose catalog includes hardcore, oi! punk, ska, mod, post-punk, pop punk — wasn’t finished. Brutalist Bricks put the faith back in Leo’s faithful, but his Churchill’s show should make ‘em fanatics again and convert any non-believers to the light.
Update: The show is $12 in advance — they will eventually be available at sweatshopmiami.com — and $14 at the door. The opening acts are Pujol (from Nashville) and Miami’s Deaf Poets.