Tag Archives: Against Me!

My 14 of 2014

December 25th. I think the time for me to write my list of 2014 albums has finally arrived, even though I’ve been delaying this moment to the max.

I feel a bit frustrated because I’ve been so busy I haven’t been updated my album of the week section much, perhaps because I always like to develop the post a bit, add some story behind or develop my enthusiasm so I can sell the product in the best way, so to speak.

2014 in terms of album releases has been fabulous, and I’ve discovered many bands and discographies I had never been into before, which now I follow passionately. The two main reasons for a very eclectic list have been RockZone Magazine, which has placed names I wasn’t acquainted with right in front of my eyes, and since I’m more involved in the mag I felt the curiosity to dig into that stuff, and of course my beloved forum and the awesome people I have the luck to discuss about music and lots of other funny shit on almost a daily basis.

The problem here is that in a month I’ve written down a couple of lists and I’ve changed orders and modified/added records, because there’s so much stuff I haven’t managed to listen to I’m still discovering awesome things, which means that list could change in a month, but this list defines what I like the most lately.

Hope you find it interesting enough as to dig into the albums.

RYAN ADAMS / BEAUTY & RUIN

Sharing the throne like father and son, it couldn’t be any other way.

ryan adams ryan adams

 My fave messy hair boy has turned the screw magnificently and has delivered one of his most remarkable works up to date. I was a huge fan of The Cardinals era, and the last works left me a bit cold, but with Ryan Adams, breathing the essence of Tom Petty, has truly jumped to an upper level. More rock, more groove, and more livid. I think of ‘Trouble’, ‘Kim’, ‘am I Safe’ to start with, but I should mention all the songs as they are all absolutely terrific. As a complement, Adams previously issued a 16 minute ep named 1984, which was an excellent homage paid to 80’s American punk. 2014 has meant the rise of Ryan Adams at all levels, as he’s constantly playing life, issuing different singles and nonstop creating.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2014/09/09/ryan-adams-is-finally-here/

bob mould

Bob Mould is one of the biggest discoveries this year. I had barely listened to Hüsker Dü in the past, and this guy, thanks to Beauty & Ruin, has opened the doors to his universe. Another workaholic and singular character, very close to Ryan Adams nowadays, and with an immense talent. Songs such as ‘Low Season’, ‘I don’t know you anymore’ or ‘The War’ really make me vibe.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2014/10/19/album-of-week-42-beauty-ruin/

ANTEMASQUE

antemasque album

Cedric and Omar are back in track and this time they’ve got rid of lots of ornaments and progressive style to deliver straight and energetic songs so easy to assimilate, you get hooked in a nick of time.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2014/11/08/album-of-weeks-44-45-antemasque/

DO TO THE BEAST

do to the beast

The Afghan Whigs have assured their comeback releasing and impressive album which is not the continuity to their previous work but the starting point to a new promising future. Elegance and uniqueness are their trademark and once again they’ve proved they should be among the greatest bands on earth.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2014/04/10/album-of-week-15-do-to-the-beast/

INTO THE MAELSTROM

bigelf

Not being into prog, Into the Maelstrom is so expressive and grandiloquent, the result is a record with overwhelming songs. It’s like an intense trip to the vast corners of the land of the future, it opens your mind to a different experience and the ride is magnificent.

TILL MIDNIGHT

chuck ragan

Strong folkie tunes full of passion and intensity. Not the typical mild songs but rough ones as if it was a shot of bourbon you had. Harsh, hot, painful and glorious. Absolutely delightful, the more you listen to it, the more you love it, the more you want to fall in love with someone with Till Midnight as the most suitable soundtrack to live that with.

MÖNGOL HÖRDE

mongol horde

Frank Turner is not just a folkie boy. He’s got balls and he loves hardcore, and this project seems to be the perfect outlet for anger, rage and frustration. not many people around me are aware of this treasure, which contains absolute anthems.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2014/06/30/album-of-weeks-24-26-mongol-horde/

GREAT WESTERN VALKYRIE

rival sons

If Rival Sons had kept on tryinf emulate Led Zepp I wouldn’t be talking about this record, but these guys seem to have found a marking point to find their own style and sound and have delivered an outstanding album.

EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT IN THE END

weezer

First Weezer album which hooked me immediately. Very teenager melodies mixed with brilliant guitars, great structures with wonderful chorus, have this time caught my attention.

TRANSGENDER DYSPHORIA BLUES

against me transgender dysphoria blues

Emotionally speaking probably this album should be on top for all what Laura Jane Grace and Against Me! have meant to me this year. I’ve learnt about dysforia, I got the chance to interview Laura, and attend one of the greatest live shows this year. I have nothing but great words and it’s awesome to find such a great confession and statement on this album.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2014/03/20/album-of-week-12-transgender-dysphoria-blues/

WASTED YEARS

off

Punk and mayhem. What else do you need sometimes? OFF! deliver that shot of energy and rage you need which prevents you from blowing this world.

BACK FROM THE ABYSS

back from the abyss

My boys made it good again. Excellent album which confirms years of hard work have been worth the effort. There are outstanding anthems and songs are well built and developed. They seem comfortable with what they’re doing and it’s finally reflected on this album.

III

mariachi el bronx

If I had been told I’d be listening to mariachi few years ago I’d still be laughing but I’m currently doing it and the punk guys from California dressed in killing suits have stolen my heart. Viva Mariachi El Bronx!

*** Please don’t judge by the cover.

GIGANTOID

gigantoid

It’s true there are not anthems in this albums in the way Fu Manchu used to do, but the riffs are incredible, heavier songs and this road spirit will always be present, and the trio does never fail me.

***

There are many other albums I’m discovering which probably would deserve to be included, but at this poin this is my list and the way I feel right now.

Still, I made this playlist with a selection of songs of my personal soundtrack of this year, which might be of your interest.

Against Me! and Vitoria.

Few months ago I commented so hooked I was with one of my favorite album releases up to date, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, what a great surprise that discovering Against Me! had been, and my fascination for Laura Jane Grace, and her circumstances, struggles and late gender change choice.

I don’t think there’s a better way to reaffirm your passion for a band than to culminate the learning cycle with a live show, and I was lucky Against Me! decided to visit Europe to introduce their last work, and even luckier when a headlining show was scheduled in Vitoria, just one day before Azkena Rock Festival took place.

mary joe against me

I love attending shows in different cities and at new venues, because not only the quality of sound differs a lot, but also the vibe of the audience.

This time I was attending the show with bunch of people who I’m acquainted with at the forum I regularly participate on, so the experience of seeing this band with people I don’t usually hang out for geographical reasons, sharing the same passion I have, or even more, was a great motivation for me.

Before the show we were having some drinks, getting more acquainted with “new” friends (we already knew quite much of our lives for so many years sharing this common space on the net). Some of them were huge fans of Against Me! and some others were just in the mood to discover something new. I think everybody ended with their expectations fulfilled as the show was the blast.

I had already heard of the venue many times. In fact Jimmy Jazz sound techs were involved in Siberia fest last year, and I had the memory of a great quality in sound and much professionalism. I liked the venue right away with a fine stage, and as soon as I heard  The G.A.S Drummers, the second supporting band, playing I knew it was going to be great.

with laura jane grace

Some time before the show while accompanying a friend to the ticket office we could meet Laura Jane Grace. She was really tall, but looked very nice, and she was smiling all the time. it was a pleasure to greet her. She also agreed to take a picture with us immediately. She seemed very relaxed and glad about the way things are going on this tour. After this meeting I was ready for the show.

I think it lasted approx. one hour and a half. To be honest I wasn’t checking the time because I was very excited, and as soon they jumped onto stage and starting with ‘Fuckmylife666’, followed by‘Cliché Guevara’ and ‘New Wave’, the audience got crazy.

against me

I don’t have any previous show as a reference to compare, but the band looked in perfect shape, and sounded pretty solid. The work of Atom Willard on drums was brilliant, the voice of Grace was excellent, and the energy and passion of the band members was contagious. The setlist was quite balanced going over all their career and playing not so common songs such as ‘Miami’, for instance, and didn’t forget hits such as ‘New Wave’, ‘I was a Teenage Anarchist’ or ‘Pints of Guinness Make you Strong’. Really, it was a party, and I was thrilled.

against me2

I reckon it’s never too late to discover a band, yet it’s even better if it’s still active and you get the chance to enjoy a live show, as it’s happened to me this time. I’m glad and grateful, and I’m looking forward to seeing Against Me! soon.

ALBUM OF WEEK 12: TRANSGENDER DYSPHORIA BLUES

Against Me! has burst onto my life intensely. Not only thanks to their last record, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, but also because of the fascinating leader, Laura Jane Grace.

To be honest few I knew about this band, only that they had an album named Reinventing Axl Rose, with, obviously, Mighty Axl on the cover, and a couple of songs heard. You know, sometimes you can’t cope with everything and have to set your priorities. Against Me! Wasn’t one, even though some friends had told me I had to give them a chance.

against me transgender dysphoria blues

With the release of the new album, the right time to start digging arrived. The impression caused by Transgender Dysphoria Blues was very positive. A pretty intense 10-track album, a straight declaration of principles, with lots of released energy, revelations and deep lyrics full of message. Solid composition and compact sound, and very very powerful.

The case of Laura Jane Grace is terrific. She was born Tom Gabel, and ended up leading a quite respected and popular band. After lots of years of inner struggle, having wife and kid, two years ago he discloses his change into HER. Tom is now Laura Jane, and will go on leading Against Me! No matter what it takes.

The more details I got acquainted with, the harder my crush on her was, up to the point that, giving so much thought to the impact of her decision on his/her female fans, I decided my monthly text for Rockzone March issue would talk about her. The thought of his fans in shock after discovering Laura Jane was no longer Tom, and their teenage crush fallen to pieces, was very inspiring. On one hand your concept of someone changes completely, and on the other the fact that he proved great balls going under treatment and making it public. Very brave.

laura jane

Her guts, her story, her suffering…everything in Laura Jane is inspiring, and now I only wish some day I get the chance to talk to her.

Recently  I’ve been dissecting one of the most likely to 5 albums of 2014 (sorry, I cannot tell yet), so obsessed, I’ve been listening to the same record nonstop for 5 days, until Tuesday, when the mailman finally brought me my copy after  long delay. Today I’ve spent my evening with Transgender Dysphoria Blues. 28 minutes of emotional release, passion and rock. This album easily gets under your skin, as if the poison of a mosquito was, getting hooked right away. I’ll have to wait until mid June though to get the chance to enjoy them on stage.

Don’t want to start with forecasts yet, but I got the feeling I will talk about this album again at the end of the year. totally dig it!