Thursday To-Do: Ted Leo and Pharmacists | Rock Candy

Thursday To-Do: Ted Leo and Pharmacists

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TED LEO AND PHARMACISTS
7 p.m., Vino's. $13 adv., $15 d.o.s.

Ted Leo is just one of those guys who was born with the touch. The man has hooks in his genetic makeup, effortlessly managing to write songs that, at worst, are still better than most everything else floating around and, at best, perfect, three-minute bursts of ecstatic, amplified rock. The Specials-referencing, falsetto-hooked "Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?" is a micro-course in how to write a seamless rock song; "Me and Mia" is one of the most thrilling youth anthems released in the digital age (even if "me and Mia, Ann and Ana" is about — yikes — bulimia and anorexia) and "Parallel or Together?" can be either a call to arms for young axe-slingers to get to work or a disillusioning wake-up call, saying, "Hey, you'll probably never write anything nearly as great as this, bucko."

Simply, he's American indie-rock's Elvis Costello, a reedy charmer of a punk in button-ups with a knack for hookcraft unlike anyone since, well, maybe since Mr. MacManus himself. Leo and Pharmacists are set to be supported by The Moving Front, whose new album, "Everyday Dissonance," has been the talk of the town since its release two weeks ago. And on a bittersweet note, the night marks the final live outing for The Reds, the essential Little Rock power-pop trio that's bowing out after more than five years on the local circuit.


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