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Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!

Against Me! by Drew GurianAgainst Me! poses for a portrait before playing a Red Bull Sound Selects Presents show at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ USA on 4 September 2015.

We've been listening to Against Me! since they broke out of the Gainesville scene with Reinventing Axle Rose, 13 years ago. I remember seeing them at the First Unitarian Church in Philly in 2003. Then in 2012, former frontman Tom Gable came out in a Rolling Stone interview that he would be transitioning to a woman. The punk community basically took it in stride. Laura Jane Grace became a voice for transgendered people years before the nation started having the dialogue we are having now - and the band continues to make great music. Additionally, Against Me! is one of Ann's all-time favorite bands and she had the opportunity to shoot them last year in DC.

On Friday of Labor Day weekend, I interviewed Laura Jane and covered Against Me!'s Red Bull Sound Select show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, where her story is extremely relevant. It was the same day their new live album 23 Live Sex Acts dropped. The story recently ran on Asbury's music scene site Arcade-Radio.com with photos by Drew Gurian.

"Paddle Against the Flow" book

It’s been about seven years that I have been contributing to Huck Magazine. From a feature on gender identity and sexism in punk music to the Superstorm Sandy rebuilding efforts, an interview with a photographer from the 1961 Beatnik riot, to wooden surfboards and snowboards, I have always enjoyed the subjects I get to cover. Huck recently released Paddle Against the Flow a creative bible that “features lessons on life – original artwork and words of wisdom – from inspiring individuals previously featured in the magazine, who we love and admire. It's a celebration of independence, freethinking, creativity and collaboration.”

Shepherd Fairey Photo by Ann Marie CoenQuotes from my feature on Shep Fairey were used in "Paddle Against the Flow." This was during his installment in Asbury Park.

For the book they selected quotes from my interviews with influential street artist, Shep Fairey and Fugazi/Minor Threat frontman, Ian McKay. Needless to say, both of these guys were pretty inspirational to me. It also features tidbits from Mark Gonzales, the Beastie Boys, Spike Jonze, Kim Gordon, Judd Apatow, and many others. The book is available through Huck, Amazon  and you can find it now in Urban Outfitters too. 

Against Me! and Gaslight, DC

Ann Coen PhotoBrian Fallon, Gaslight Anthem, Ann Coen

Ann got to shoot the first real portraits of New Jersey's The Gaslight Anthem back in 2008, on the eve of The '59 Sound release at our friend Matty and Jana's house. On September 10, 2014, The Gaslight Anthem kicked off their tour in support of their latest Get Hurt with Against Me!. Matty and Dogwig Printing had just printed all the tour merch for both bands. Ann made the drive with them to the 9:30 Club in DC, met up with the Gaslight and Against Me! crews and then Ann captured some of amazing moments from the night. Click the images below for the full gallery.