Against Me! singer Tom Gabel made rock 'n' roll history this year by coming out as transgender. Now fronted by the newly minted Laura Jane Grace, Against Me! plays the same great, angry, poppy punk, newly invigorated with purpose. Tonight they kick off MusicfestNW with a bang. NED LANNAMANN Also, read our article on Against Me!
Joyce Manor's new "full-length," Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired, is a bit of a grower, which is weird considering it clocks in at just 13 minutes, making it significantly shorter than the band's already meager debut. But what it lacks in its predecessor's anthemic immediacy, it makes up for with irresistible weirdness: Frontman Barry Johnson offers his best Morrissey impression in "See How Tame I Can Be" and the deliberately lo-fi "Drainage" sounds uncannily like one of those Evan Dando hotel-bathroom demos. An unrecognizable cover version of "Video Killed the Radio Star" tops them both in terms of unexpectedness. Joyce Manor have outlived "fad band" accusations and are still the life of the pop-punk party. MORGAN TROPER