Tag Archives: Against Me!
Tags: Against Me!, Atom Willard, Brooklyn, Inge Johansson, James Bowman, Laura Jane Grace, New York City, Pat Tabb, Photos, Rough Trade NYC, Shape Shift with Me, Williamsburg
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Punk music comes from all over the country (and the world, really), but in the case of Against Me!, it hails from Florida—first Naples and then Gainesville. Seventeen-year-old Tom Gabel began the band as a solo project but would perform live with others. Four years later, in 2001, Against Me! became a full band playing high-energy shows with the addition of another guitarist, a drummer and a bassist. Since then there have been a number of changes, periodically concerning personnel—although the singer-songwriter and folk-inflected punk have remained central—but the band garnered a considerable amount of attention when Gabel began performing live as Laura Jane Grace two years ago. Their sixth album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues (stream it below), out earlier this year, deals with gender transition. The A.V. Club calls it “the strong, strident sound of a heart-on- sleeve artist owning her newfound epiphany,” going on to add, “Grace may be changing, but so is everyone. What could be more universal than that?” But the fact remains that regardless of being fronted by a man or a woman, Against Me! (above, playing “Fuckmylife666” on Late Show with David Letterman) are a band not to miss. See them play Webster Hall tomorrow night. Tony Molina and Big Eyes open the show.
Formed nearly 30 years ago, the post-punk band the Cult first gained popularity in their native England before doing the same in the US several years later. As can be expected of a group that’s been around this long, there have been multiple lineup changes and even a couple of breakups and reunions—but frontman Ian Astbury and guitarist Bill Duffy have remained constants throughout. But rather than perform as a nostalgia act, the Cult (above, doing “Honey from a Knife”) continues to make new music, including the recently released Choice of Weapon.
Against Me!, out of Gainesville, Fla., has gone through some interesting changes since Tom Gabel founded the group as a punk-rock solo project in 1997. The band eventually became a four-piece playing high-energy shows, but Against Me! (below, performing “The Ocean”) has since garnered mainstream attention as Gabel has begun performing live as Laura Jane Grace. No matter whether a man or woman fronts the band, Against Me!, opening for the Cult at Terminal 5 on Friday, is not to be missed.
The Revival Tour – The Bowery Ballroom – March 30, 2012
On Friday night, the Revival Tour graced The Bowery Ballroom with two packed shows (early and late) featuring an amazing lineup of NYC locals Kayleigh Goldsworthy and Jenny Owen Youngs, Dave Hause of the Loved Ones, frequent Lucero collaborator Cory Branan, Tommy Gabel of Against Me!, Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio and In the Emergency Room, and Hot Water Music’s Chuck Ragan—also known as a solo artist and founder of the tour. (Additionally Jon Gaunt and Joe Ginsberg, on fiddle and upright bass, respectively, anchored the lineup.)
In keeping with the ideals of the tour, which was conceptualized from folk music’s openness and sense of camaraderie and years of on-the-road experience that often lead tourmates to collaborate at some point, each show began with all of the musicians playing together and then diverged into a loose hierarchical lineup that better allowed each singer’s voice and style to show. Although both Goldsworthy and Youngs have notable followings of their own, Goldsworthy’s performance of her song “Tennessee” was most memorable from the female voices. Considering that she’s cute as a button in a refined rock and roll way, I’m sure she won over many new fans on Friday.
Hause and Andriano have two of my favorite voices in punk rock and are great songwriters in their own right. However, on this night, I believe their talents were placed in a shadow by the sheer personas that are Branan (Southern and drunken), Gabel (upbeat and anarchistic) and Ragan (bearded and gruff). Andriano’s rendition of Alkaline Trio’s “Radio” (performed with Ragan) became a loud crowd sing-along, but the rest of the audience’s energy seemed spent on the latter three performers. Ragan’s performance of the slower-paced “Rotterdam,” a love song for his hard-working and often-missed wife, wonderfully capped his portion of the night. At 3 a.m., the late show ended as it had begun, with a packed stage and laudable musical camaraderie. —Kirsten Housel
Tags: Against Me!, Alkaline Trio, Bowery Ballroom, Chuck Ragan, Cory Branan, Dan Andriano, Dave Hause, Hot Water Music, In the Emergency Room, Jenny Owen Youngs, Joe Ginsberg, Jon Gaunt, Kayleigh Goldsworthy, Lucero, Review, Revival Tour 2012, the Loved Ones, Tommy Gabel
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Punk music comes from all over the country (and the world, really), but in the case of Against Me!, it comes from Florida—first Naples and then Gainesville. Seventeen-year-old Tom Gabel started the band as a solo project but would perform live with others. Four years later, in 2001, Against Me! became a full band with the addition of another guitarist, a drummer and a bassist. The lineup has changed over the years, but new albums, folk-inflected punk and touring have continued, which brings Against Me! (above, playing “Ache with Me” for RollingStone.com) to Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday and Webster Hall next Tuesday.