Burn, Gender Binary, Burn: Against Me! Turn North Carolina Show Into Protest

A while ago, when rock’n’roll behemoths like Bruce Springsteen canceled their respective North Carolina shows in a sign of protest against that state’s anti-anti-discrimination bill HB2, Against Me! and particularly frontwoman Laura Jane Grace announced that they would play their show in Durham, but would turn it into a form of protest. And they weren’t kidding: Laura Jane Grace, who is a trans woman, burned her birth certificate on stage, smiling, saying goodbye to gender. 

In an earlier interview she also pointed out that, in contrast to Springsteen’s mega stadium shows, her cancelling the gig wouldn’t hurt the city or state financially, and only affect the fans (and, let’s be real, the members of Against Me. The band is fairly successful, but losing touring income must still hurt them.)

As stereogum reports, she also made clear that HB2 is about more than just bathroom access:

“You know, there’s been a lot of focus on just the bathroom part of HB2, but one of the other huge parts is that it takes away a transgender person’s right to sue for discrimination on the state level and that is huge. I mean, if someone else has the right to sue for discrimination and I don’t, how that is constitutional?”

https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/241056735/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Katamari Ququette

“Visit a new town/ Shake your fist/ You still have to follow all of them around.”

An artsy emo band from the East coast with an absurdly long name, featuring tempo changes, strings, and a past collaboration with an spoken word artist – how haven’t I come across The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die before? 

This would’ve been the perfect soundtrack for my time in Freiburg.

This is so good. 

(Topshelf Records)

https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/242488957/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

What’s Making Me Happy This Week III

Spraynard live on NPR’s Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

I’m at a weird point in my life where I fall for punk bands recommended on NPR shows.

Spraynard play the kind of emotional pop punk that will forever have a special place in my heart and mind. Brilliant. Check out their great album Mable on bandcamp.   

http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/157974797/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

Allison Weiss’ “Take You Back” is a sweet, simple, near perfect pop song. This is my kind of summer music. It’s also one of the great songs on No Sleep Records new (and free!) compilation Summer of No Sleep. Great companion from the first coffee at your desk to the last drink by the lake/sea/campfire of your choice. (Or if you need to detox from all those soccer chants and EDM tracks.)