Having done time in the late 1980s and throughout the '90s in influential and acclaimed bands such as punk outfits Citizen's Arrest, Animal Crackers and the mod-influenced Chisel, Ted Leo was ready to step into the solo spotlight shortly before the new millennium. In 1999, Leo released Ted Leo Rx/Pharmacists, which saw the fiery troubadour experiment with his songwriting technique to sometimes mixed reviews. The second time out of the gate, Leo found himself some actual "pharmacists" and together, the band created the five-song EP, Treble In Trouble. With a sharp, rough-edged sound that recalled Ted Leo's days in Chisel, Treble highlighted his innate ability to write earnest, romantic songs with bouncing melodies. In 2001, Leo signed with Lookout! Records, and with a slightly different gang of pharmaceutical cohorts, released the unabashedly glorious The Tyranny of Distance and followed it up with the critically acclaimed Hearts of Oaks in 2003. With accolades streaming in from publications such as Rolling Stone, Spin and Magnet, as well an appearance on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Ted Leo and crew were in high demand. In fact, the itinerary for 2003 included five tours of the United States with additional shows in Japan and the United Kingdom! All the glowing press and constant touring set up 2004's crackling, angular gem, Shake the Sheets so perfectly it almost seemed natural that alternative radio outlets and MTV championed the single "Me and Mia."