Ted Leo (SOLO)

Ted Leo (SOLO)

AB & The Sea, Kevin Seconds, Angel Island

Thu, February 24, 2011

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Bottom of the Hill

San Francisco, CA

This event is all ages

Ted Leo (SOLO)
Ted Leo (SOLO)
When Ted Leo won the 2010 Shorty Award for Best Twitter Feed in the Music category, he defeated some strong competition, including Justin Bieber and Britney Spears. What vaulted New Jersey native Theodore Francis Leo over such juggernauts? Many voters cited Leo’s natural humor and conversational tone, which veered from quips encouraging vegans to opt for Tofucharist at their next communion, to commentary on watching Battlestar Galactica, to lashes at his intern.

While many musicians would crap out self-promoting blurbs and bland observations, Ted Leo was articulate and goddamn funny. What does his road commentary have to do with his live show, you ask? Why should you be sure to see him at Bottom of the Hill? Because the guy’s a goddamn national treasure, that’s why.

It’s rare these days to find an American songwriter tackle political issues with such ferocity and specificity. The UK has Billy Bragg and Frank Turner, but who do we have? We have Ted Leo. This show is a solo acoustic set. The raucous shows with the full Pharmacists band are cathartic, sure, but the acoustic setting is where those barbed lyrics really emerge.

Leo’s trio of acclaimed albums for the sadly defunct Berkeley label, Lookout!, will surely be represented: The Tyranny of Distance, Hearts of Oak and Shake the Sheets. We’ll likely hear a few brisk numbers from his most recent disc, The Brutalist Bricks. And yes, there’s a chance we’ll hear a song or two from his as-of-yet unfinished musical about the history of US involvement in Guatemala, Red Bananas.

For a taste of his sharply observed words, look no further than the first lines of the new album’s opening, “The Mighty Sparrow”: “When the café doors exploded, I reacted too / I reacted to you / Papers in the wind a-waltzing, I was dancing too / My mind danced to you.” It’s a powerful start to a strong record, and another victory for the tenacious punk journeyman. And when Ted Leo wins, we all win.

KEVIN SEAL
AB & The Sea
AB & The Sea
AB & the Sea founders Joe Spargur and Koley O’Brien started out in the sun-kissed lakeside community of Winneconne, Wisconsin. The extent to which Lake Winneconne influenced their songwriting is difficult to estimate, but by the time Spargur and O’Brien drove their van to California two years ago, their optimistic brew of major key harmonies and hand claps had become pure California AM gold. Chris Chu of the Morning Benders helped produce their debut album, Boys and Girls, at SF’s Different Fur Studios.

KEVIN SEAL
Kevin Seconds
Kevin Seconds
Like Ted Leo, Kevin Seconds is a journeyman road warrior. In the 30 years since the start of his first band, the hugely influential hardcore punk band 7 Seconds, he has worked on a legion of side projects, including Mustard, Drop Acid, and Ghetto Moments. But his passion in recent years has been for his acoustic-based solo work. Bay Area stalwart Asian Man Records released his new album, Good Luck Buttons, which includes solitary, hard-strummed songs like “No Good Eggs” as well as harmonica-aided full band tracks such as “Hello Square One.”

KEVIN SEAL
Angel Island
Angel Island
The frontman for Angel Island, Justin Goldman, has one of those voices that feels right at home taking on spidery melodies about heartbreak. One part Andrew Goldfarb (the Slow Poisoner) and one part Brett Anderson (Suede), Goldman’s voice leads the charge on churning potboilers like “Kicking & Screaming” as well as more uptempo, tambourine-driven fare like “What It Means, Where It All Comes From.” Recommended if you like the sounds of their Shit Krystal labelmates, Billy & Dolly.

KEVIN SEAL
Venue Information:
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107
http://bottomofthehill.com/