Ted Leo is a man of the people. A vintage-back-patch, safety-pin-perforated hardcore punk at heart, he doesn’t hesitate to drop the names of anarcho-punk bands such as Flux of Pink Indians in his songs—not to mention acknowledge some of their ideals. He’s got 90s Lookout pop-punk and indie-rock genes, owing to his early-aughts releases on the now-shuttered label and his years in Chisel
. But that doesn’t mean he’s only interested in courting a punker-than-thou crowd. He’ll cover the Kelly Clarkson pop smash “Since U Been Gone” with nary a wink—or back up Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster as she tears through it
. He’ll partner with folk-rock-leaning singer-songwriter Aimee Mann because hey, why the hell not? (That duo, the Both
, makes its Chicago debut at the Hideout Block Party on Sat 9/7.) Oh, and with his band the Pharmacists (whose most recent release remains 2010’s The Brutalist Bricks
), Leo writes adroit, melodic indie-leaning pop-punk songs that would sound just as natural blasting from a dingy basement as they would soundtracking a TV car commercial (though Leo’s inner punk would probably rather set himself on fire than let the latter happen). —Kevin Warwick Mannequin Men open. Ted Leo also plays at Wicker Park Fest on the South Stage on Sun 7/28.