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Sheet Shaker

Any music writer will tell you 1979 was a great year for punk and new wave. By that standard, brainy and tenacious Ted Leo is a music critic´s wet dream. He sings like Joe Jackson (only with a better falsetto), has the lyrical eye of Paul Weller (only from an American perspective), and rocks with the intensity of London Calling-era Clash. In the Pharmacists, he´s even got a great ¨and¨ band, like Graham Parker´s Rumour or Elvis Costello´s Attractions. The Washington, D.C., singer/songwriter´s latest record, Shake the Sheets, is gutsy and clever enough to favorably stand up to such comparisons. It´s also a worthy successor to the acclaimed one-two punch of 2001´s The Tyranny of Distance and 2003´s Hearts of Oak. No one else in Leo´s generation is doing this kind of stuff right now, so make sure you get a dose when you have the chance.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists perform with Toronto's Metric at 10 p.m. Friday, November 18, at the Pawn Shop Lounge, 1222 NE Second Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-373-3511.

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Lewis Goldberg