Wednesday, 9 October 2013

REWIND: Against Me! - 'Reinventing Axl Rose'

Today's 'Rewind' track will be another one from my '1 To Z' series, where (very) gradually I am featuring every single band and artist in my collection, in alphabetical order. I play two or three tracks on my weekly radio show The BPS Broadcast every Monday night, and following on from AFI, I featured the Florida punk band Against Me! This is the title track from their 2002 album 'Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose', but this band's singer has undergone quite a radical reinvention of their own. In 2012 Tom Gabel publicly came out as transgender, beginning a transition to living as a woman and taking the name Laura Jane Grace. Gender dysphoria is the theme of the band's sixth studio album, 'Transgender Dysphoria Blues', a concept album about a transgender prostitute, which is expected out early 2014. Not too sure what many of their old fans will think of that. The rest of the band were obviously a bit uncomfortable with it too, considering that half of the members left earlier this year. 

I could have never guessed that such a bizarre turn of events would happen to this band, and it's difficult to see exactly how Gabel can remain singing the same songs in the same band while also living as a completely different person of an entirely separate gender. I'm not saying it's wrong in any way, I'm just saying that surely Against Me! should come to an end along with Tom Gabel. I got into the band during my "punk years" of the mid 2000's, and got hold of this album around the same time as their contrasting 'New Wave' LP of 2007. I've not actually played the whole record in a long time, but the other day I had to scan through loads of Against Me! albums in order to pick a track for the '1 To Z' feature, and this one stuck out...



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