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With Strike Anywhere, From Ashes Rise, and Paint It Black. Thursday, April 29, at the Grog Shop (early show).

When Dave Laney of Milemarker started bringing "fast punk songs" into practice, the rest of the group thought the material warranted a new band name; hence the birth of Challenger.

The group's first collection of Hüsker Dü-influenced songs, Give People What They Want in Lethal Doses, was released back in February, but a winter automobile-bicycle collision featuring Laney as lead casualty resulted in a surgically installed metal plate where his collarbone used to be, thus delaying the band's first nationwide tour.

Now that Laney's rehab is almost complete, the group will hit the road with the blessing of, the anti-Bush campaign organized by NOFX. The tour encourages concertgoers not only to register to vote, but also to examine more free reading material than is found on a men's room wall.

"I don't think a band is a good place to get all your political ideas from," says guitarist Al Burian, "but when I encountered bands that were talking about substantive issues or seemed to have a political aspect to them, it encouraged me to think about it more, to inform myself about it more. I like music a lot, but I also think it's kind of important to be engaged in the world you live in."

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