Sunday, April 21, 2013

Song Of The Week: 4/21/13

Song: "Walking Is Still Honest" (stripped down version)

Artist: Against Me!

Album: "Crime" EP

Year: 2001

According to Against Me! lead vocalist and chief songwriter, Tom Gabel/Laura Jane Grace, "Walking Is Still Honest" is about the time when he moved out of his mother's house. When you're young, you kind of take for granted the protection of being under your parent's care. You tend to think you don't need them and that they don't know everything but when you get out on your own, you kind of start to appreciate the things or advice they gave you to help you when you get out in the world. You find that maybe they did know a little something about surviving and you have greater appreciation for what they did for you. A more rocking version of this song appeared on the band's 2002 album "Reinventing Axl Rose". Against Me!, from Naples, Florida, formed as a band back in 1997. It began as nothing more than a vehicle for frontman Tom Gabel to get his solo material out there. In 1997, Gabel released "Against Me!", which was a cassette demo. In 1998, drummer Kevin Mahon joined Gabel for the "Vivida Vis!" demo. 2000 saw the release of a self-titled EP. In 2001, Against Me! released the "Crime" EP, which was their first widely distributed recording. That same year, they also released the "Acoustic" EP. In 2002, the band signed with No Idea Records and released their first full band effort, "Reinventing Axl Rose". In 2003, the band joined the well respected punk label Fat Wreck Chords and released their second full length album, "The Eternal Cowboy". This album would reach number 36 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart, thanks in part to singles "Cavalier Eternal" and "Sink Florida Sink". To capture the band's 2004 Spring tour, Against Me! recorded the DVD "We're Never Going Home", which was released that same year. In 2005, Against Me! released "Searching For A Former Clarity". This album was their first to chart on the Billboard 200 and spawned hit singles like "Don't Lose Touch" and "From Her Lips To God's Ears (The Energizer)". 2006 saw the band release the live album "Americans Abroad!!! Against Me!!! Live In London!!!". By 2007, Against Me! signed to major label Sire Records and attained the services of famed producer Butch Vig for their next album, "New Wave". This album reached number 57 on the Billboard 200 charts and Spin Magazine declared it the album of the year. The album was boosted by the singles "Thrash Unreal", "White People For Peace", "Stop!" and "New Wave". In 2008, the band released the digital only EP "New Wave B-Sides". The band would release more demos and unreleased material in 2009 with the album "The Original Cowboy". These demos were taking from "The Eternal Cowboy" sessions. In 2010, Against Me! released their fifth studio album, "White Crosses". Singles such as "I Was A Teenage Anarchist", "White Crosses" and "High Pressure Low" helped this album reach number 34 on the Billboard 200, the highest charting album of the band's career to date. 2011 saw the band release more demos and unreleased material with the albums "Total Clarity", whose songs were taken from the "Searching For A Former Clarity" sessions, and "Black Crosses", whose demos and acoustic renditions were recorded during the "White Crosses" sessions. The band also released the two song 7" "Russian Spies/Occult Enemies". Continuing what was a busy year for the band, Against Me! formed their own record label, Total Treble Music and well as their own recording studio in Florida, Total Treble Studio. In May of 2012, Against Me! founder and vocalist, Tom Gabel, came out as a transgender and officially changed his name to Laura Jane Grace. He said he had been suffering with gender dysphoria since he was a child. He, or should I say she now, has said that coming out will not affect the future of Against Me!, in fact, the band is currently working on their sixth album which will be titled "Transgender Dysphoria Blues". Currently, Against Me!'s new album should hit the shelves in the very near future. As I said, the band have been working on the new album since February of 2012, so it's most likely almost completed. Butch Vig was once again tabbed as the producer on the record.

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