Traffic jams: against me! – “I was an anarchist teenager”

Against me!  singing

Things in the world are a little… messy right now. I try to stay pretty positive in light of all the headlines, scientific studies and the rest of everything. I don’t know about you, but even though it’s Wednesday, getting to Friday hasn’t been enough lately. And the pattern of things took me back to that band of my early adult years, Against Me!

I was first introduced to Against Me! by an ex-boyfriend back when I was in middle school. I was started on their album New wave, or my early anguish-20s myself decided that I could really somehow relate. Their sound also vibrated with all the music I listened to and the many concerts I spent hours at in the late 2010s. I was addicted.

The crowd in Lansing in 2010 with Against Me!  on the scene.  Oh my god, that was almost 15 years ago.

The crowd in Lansing in 2010 with Against Me! on the scene. Oh my god, that was almost 15 years ago.
Photo: Lalita Chemello

I would eventually see Against Me! in 2010 in this little venue above a bar in downtown Lansing, MI (the name escapes me now) and the energy – I don’t know if that was the lyrics, or who’s now the presence and energy of Laura Jane Grace on stage –but man, that was one hell of a memorable sight. The band were touring on their recently released album at the time. album, white crossesand it is that scrapbook who had a significant influence on my mind, my soul and presence until today.

On this particular album is this song, “I Was a Teenage Anarchist“, which is not only catchy with the recorded version having that “ah ah ahhhh ah» little ditty at the beginning, but which is only a JAM (very intentional pun). Although my angst may have been slightly misplaced in my early twenties, today the lyrics have honestly even more senses and sensations. Me, at the ripe old age of 34, I still feel like an anarchist teenager… looking for a revolution (and maybe have a little need to set the world on fire).

If you’ve never heard a lick some music from Against Me!, and listen to bands like New Found Glory, Frank Turner, The Gaslight Anthem… you’ll definitely get into their music. I found myself sing or hum this album in my head all week – partly for the beat and the tunes, and a lot because of what this music has meant to me in the current state of the world.

Occasionally, you just need a little anthem to feel a little less helpless – maybe bring you a little more inflamed for taking action. Maybe this action is as simple as getting through the commute, your workday, a week or a few days, just life.


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