There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
From faux-Irish folk melodies to guitar parts reminiscent of Thin Lizzy to plodding, repetitive riffs that could have only been culled from a Lungfish tune, Ted Leo wears his influences on his sleeve. (Unfortunately, his wide range of interests also extends to the bright jangle of the Gin Blossoms.) But on Leo’s latest, The Tyranny of Distance, these obvious nods to the former Chisel lead man’s musical pedigree come across not as blatant rip-offs, but more like notes from a friend who’s hanging out all night to play you his favorite records. The excitement and sincerity are evident in his lyrics, as well. In “Timorous Me,” Leo watches a fan “sing along with every word, in the prettiest voice [he’s] never heard” and sounds not like a rock star who wants to “thank you for coming out tonight” but like a rock fan, to whom those words really mean something. Leo and his Pharmacists play with the Holy Childhood at 9 p.m. at the Black Cat’s Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $6. (202) 667-7960. (Jacob Long)