When Sire Records signed the Gainesville, Florida quartet Against Me! in December, fans began taking sides, many choosing to lambaste the band as sellouts. Others stood by the band, calling the traitors "elitists." Some of us were reminded of Joe Strummer's admonition about fucking nuns, while others suggested that signing with Sire -- the label home of Madonna, My Bloody Valentine, Seal, and the Smiths -- is as classic as Rolling Stone's 1997 revelation that Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha drove a Ford Explorer.
All of this comes two years after Against Me! released a DVD parodying the majors that were courting it. Just four years ago, singer-guitarist Tom Gabel sang, "'Cause baby, I'm an anarchist, you're a spineless liberal . . .When it came time to throw bricks through that Starbucks window, you left me all alone." Let this be a lesson to the kids: Be careful of the rhetorical corners you paint yourself into when you're a young, smart-mouthed punk. One day you might have money (often more useful than integrity).