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Against Me!

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Gainesville, Florida (1997 – present)

Against Me! is a band originally from Naples, Florida, and later relocated to Gainesville, Florida. They are known for their heavily -influenced sound and energetic live shows (Spin named them one of the 25 greatest live bands in 2006). Their first full-length album, released on No Idea Records in 2002, was the highly-acclaimed Reinventing Axl Rose. In December 2005, they signed to Sire Records, and released their major label debut, New Wave, on July 10, 2007. June 4, 2010 saw the release of their fifth studio album, White Crosses.

Laura Jane Grace (birthname Tom Gabel) started Against Me! in 1997 as a solo act at the age of 17. She would only occasionally perform with support from drummers and/or bassists. This period in the band was marked by playing guerrilla shows in a college apartment complex laundromat, emphasizing the D.I.Y. sentiments of their work. Laura self-released one demo tape, officially entitled Against Me!, but more commonly known as Tom’s Demo. While copies of the cassette itself are extremely rare, internet file-sharing programs have helped to circulate the songs amongst fans.

Another demo cassette was released the following year on Misanthrope Records, with a slightly more complete band, titled Vivida Vis. Only five hundred copies of this album were made, but file-sharing once again popularized it. Perhaps the most well-known song on the record, “Shit Stroll” is still routinely requested by the audience at Against Me! shows. The band rarely, if ever, obliges these requests.

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