Against Me! and Opinions on Blur

After coming out as a trans woman in 2012, lead singer Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! candidly addressed her experience in the punk band's critically lauded album Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Against Me! joins Jim and Greg for a performance and an honest conversation. Later, a review of the new album from Britpop heroes Blur.

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Music News

Sad news: singer Ben E. King has died at age 76 in New Jersey. After being discovered in a luncheonette in 1956, King scored a string of hit singles as a member of The Drifters and then as a solo artist. With the unique blend of grit and smoothness in his voice, King bridged the gap between the doo-wop and soul eras – he's the rare artist who's charted in four different decades. He'll forever be remembered for his 1961 solo hit "Stand By Me," but Greg also loves his moving performance with The Drifters on the Doc Pomus-penned "Save the Last Dance For Me."

Last month we also lost Jack Ely of the Portland garage band The Kingsmen, who sang lead on their immortal 1963 cover of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie." Rumors spread that Ely's indecipherable singing might be covering up dirty lyrics, outraging then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and even prompting an FBI investigation. The more prosaic truth may have been that Ely's singing was slurred because his braces had just been tightened. While Ely may not be a household name, without those three chords, there would be no punk rock as we know it.




Against Me!

The punk band Against Me! formed in Gainesville, FL in 1997 by then lead singer Thomas Gabel and guitarist James Bowman. The band took the aesthetics and ideals of punk rock and filtered them through the lens of classic rock, indie rock and folk to create a sound all their own. Against Me! landed a major label deal with Sire Records but then things began to change. They were dropped by Sire, the band began to break apart and Thomas Gabel began a gender transition to Laura Jane Grace. Laura Jane has documented her transition in the band's 2014 critically lauded album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. She and the group sat down with Jim and Greg late last year to discuss the evolution of her personal and musical life. The band also played songs from their 2014 record, to which Jim and Greg both gave a Buy It rating.

reviewThe Magic WhipThe Magic Whip available on iTunes

Blur The Magic Whip

After a 12-year hiatus, English rock band Blur returns with its new album, The Magic Whip. Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn formed the group in 1989 where they gained success in the UK. While critics always embraced them, they never quite achieved commercial success in the U.S. outside of the track "Song 2." Greg likes the record and appreciates its honest lyrics and overall strength. He believes this effort is better than the members' solo work. The Magic Whip exceeded his expectations and he gives it a Buy It. Jim considers himself a Blur superfan. He argues that there are a few really great songs but the rest range from lukewarm to bad. Jim thinks Blur is starting to slow down a little but still gives the record a Buy It.


Featured Songs

  1. Ben E. King, Stand by Me, Stand by Me (Single), Atco, 1961
  2. The Drifters, Save the Last Dance for Me, Save the Last Dance for Me (Single), Atlantic, 1960
  3. Richard Berry, Louie Louie, Louie Louie (Single), Flip 321, 1957
  4. The Kingsmen, Louie Louie, Louie Louie (Single), Jerden 712, 1963
  5. Against Me!, True Trans Soul Rebel, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, Total Treble, Xtra Mile, 2014
  6. Against Me!, Unconditional Love (Live on Sound Opinions), Transgender Dysphoria Blues, Total Treble, Xtra Mile, 2014
  7. Against Me!, Paralytic States, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, Total Treble, Xtra Mile, 2014
  8. Against Me!, Osama bin Laden as the Crucified Christ, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, Total Treble, Xtra Mile, 2014
  9. Against Me!, Up the Cuts, New Wave, Sire, 2007
  10. Against Me!, Black Out (Live on Sound Opinions), Transgender Dysphoria Blues, Total Treble, Xtra Mile, 2014
  11. Against Me!, The Ocean, New Wave, Sire, 2007
  12. Against Me!, Transgender Dysphoria Blues (Live on Sound Opinions), Transgender Dysphoria Blues, Total Treble, Xtra Mile, 2014
  13. Against Me!, Dead Friends, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, Total Treble, Xtra Mile, 2014
  14. Blur, Go Out, Go Out (Single), Parlophone, 2015
  15. Blur, Song 2, Blur, EMI, 1997
  16. Blur, I Broadcast, The Magic Whip, Parlophone, 2015
  17. Aphex Twin, MARCHROMT30a Edit 2b 96, Syro (Bonus), Warp, 2014
  18. The Drifters, Answer the Phone, Answer the Phone (Single), Atlantic, 1965
  19. Django Reinhardt, The Charleston, Midnight in Paris (Soundtrack), Madison Gate Records, 2011
  20. Magma, Zombies, Udu Wudu, Seventh, 1976
  21. Doris Day, Secret Love, Secret Love (Single), Columbia, 1953
  22. The Who, Won't Get Fooled Again, Won't Get Fooled Again (Single), Polydor, 1971

Footnotes Ben E. King Ben E. King obit Jack Ely obit“Louie Louie”scandal Against Me! Laura Jane Grace Transgender Dysphoria Blues Review