Rock musician Ted Leo isn't too keen on the nostalgia trip some acts are taking by basing tours around the performance of an aged, popular album it its entirety.
But that isn't keeping Leo from dipping his toe into the water just a little bit.
On Friday and Sunday at the Black Cat, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists will play their 2001 album "The Tyranny of Distance" in its entirety. The shows will be filmed for possible future release.
|If You Go|
|Ted Leo and the Pharmacists|
|Where: Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW|
|When: Doors 9 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Sunday|
|Info: $15; blackcatdc.com|
"It just seemed like a fun thing to do," Leo said during a phone interview last week. "Something I'm actually not thrilled about is the cottage industry of nostalgia tours and shows that alternative and punk bands have started doing. While we didn't want it to turn into anything like that, we did think it would actually be kind of fun to play the record straight through."
Leo and his mates aren't making the look back at "Tyranny" a long-term project. The band played the album all the way through at shows in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. After the two Black Cat dates, that's it.
"I know how amazingly loyal and loving our fan base in D.C. is," Leo said. "When thinking about trying to do one final event to mark the occasion, it was a no-brainer that we should do it in D.C. because that's where I actually made the record."
Indiana native Leo lived in the District for a number of years in the late '90s. After working on a handful of projects, he formed Ted Leo and the Pharmacists in 1999. The 2001 release of "Tyranny of Distance" was the first album to feature the band's full lineup, and was recorded in D.C.
Revisiting "Tyranny" for Leo is not some sort of rediscovery of past work. Aside from a few lineup changes, the Pharmacists have been active for the last decade.
"It was not that big a deal," said Leo, who now lives in New York. "A lot of those songs have been in our live set consistently. Everything I've done since then has largely been one rolling process. Most of the songs have remained a presence in my life."
Brendan Canty will film the two Black Cat shows. Canty is the drummer from Fugazi, produced "Tyranny of Distance" and is now an accomplished filmmaker. His younger brother, James, is the Pharmacists' guitarist.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists released their latest album, "The Brutalist Bricks," in 2010. Leo said he has a bunch of new songs, but is in no hurry to start on a new album. Until he does, he has two more nights for a little nostalgia.
"This record, for our crowd, for a lot of people, it remains one of the more important records in our catalog," Leo said.