Weekend Music: Miley Cyrus and Laura Jane Grace

Transphobia and trans identity has been a hot button issue lately. I’m not going to weigh into any discussion because I’m really not in a position to comment on it all. I’m straight, white and male. What do I know about struggles with identity?

What I do know, is sweet jams.

This particular sweet jam is all about trans identity and features the much maligned Miley Cyrus, who I think is pretty great to be honest. I’m not a fan of her music but she caused controversy by yelling into a really big ass on stage at some awards show one year, and also has a charity whose mission statement is “to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations“. So that’s all pretty awesome really.

To launch the foundation Miley did a bunch of backyard recording sessions (although I suspect a lot of the recording was done in the studio, they all sound a little too crisp) and invited other musicians along to play with her and her band.

One invitee was Laura Jane Grace, The singer from punk band Against Me!. Like many fans I stopped paying attention to Against Me! when they infamously “sold out” and put out two pretty mediocre albums (by their standards). Then after a sex change (Laura Jane was once Tom Gabel) and going back to an independent label Against Me! put out an album called ‘Transgender Dysphoria Blues” that won back many old fans, myself included. I recently saw them play here in Melbourne and they were every bit as good as I remember. It was interesting to note a clear divide in fan eras – large portions of the crowd were only singing new or old songs and the audience was far more diverse rather than just beards and denim vests. Which made for a fun show.

Anyway, I digress. Here is Miley, Laura Jane, and doing their version of True Trans Soul Rebel.

I’ve also put below a song they both did with Joan Jett, covering legendary Replacements song “Androgynous”. I’m also a big Joan Jett fan and have vivid memories of rewinding and rocking out to “I Love Rock N Roll” on VHS when I was a kid. So I had to include that.

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