Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers lay out their cards on Bought to Rot | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers lay out their cards on Bought to Rot

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A Chicagoan since 2013, and a charismatic, influential figure in punk music for nearly 20 years as the leader of Against Me!, Laura Jane Grace has more recently become a role model and inspiration for many with her frank writings about her struggles with addiction, brushes with the law, and perhaps most importantly, her experiences of gender dysphoria and coming out as a trans woman. Grace began sharing that journey in an in-depth profile in Rolling Stone in May 2012, and in the autobiographical lyrics of Against Me!’s 2014 album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. In a 2016, she penned a memoir with Noisey editor Dan Ozzi titled Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. Her songwriting is always candid and compelling, and she’s honed it sharply over her career; a setting as intimate as the Hideout—where she’s playing tonight with her new project, the Devouring Mothers—is bound to highlight that even more. The Devouring Mothers are a trio with Against Me! drummer Atom Willard and sound engineer Marc Jacob Hudson, and this show (the first of a three-part unofficial Chicago residency that includes shows on 11/8 at Cobra Lounge and 11/29 at Lincoln Hall) marks the release of their debut album on Bloodshot, Bought to Rot. In these songs, Grace’s brash authenticity has a one-on-one quality; listening to them is like sitting down at a table with a compelling storyteller who lays out all her cards and wins you over even as she challenges you, with songs such as “I Hate Chicago” (spoiler alert: she doesn’t really). On Bought to Rot she’s truly become one of those people whose mere presence reminds you what it’s like to feel at home.   v

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