Wednesday, May 9, 2012


The past few weeks have been a roller-coaster of emotions, with the deaths of Levon Helm and Adam Yauch. Every time one of our musical heroes die, we take time to mourn their passing. It's just so surreal; we don't know them personally, but when they're gone we feel that a vital part of us disappears too. And that's how I felt when Clarence died last year. Death is inevitable, but we move on. We preserve their legacies by continuing to listen, and pass their music on to future generations. At the end of the day it is our responsibility to pick up the flags of the fallen and carry forth their work.

On another note: this morning came with a rather unusual piece of news....Tom Gabel, the lead singer of the Florida punk band, Against Me! has come out as transgender [link]. Now other than owning only two of their records, I don't know much about the band like I do with The Gaslight Anthem. But to my ears they are a superb-sounding band and they play fucking powerful and meaningful music, plain and simple. So I guess what he sang on The Ocean (from 2007's New Wave) must have been about his life and what he was and is still going through.

Already the community has been flooded with comments in regards to this, many of which supportive and respectful, and there are others insulting and rude. Initially I didn't know what to make of it, but of course I'm not condemning or anything; I got no right to do so. Brian Fallon's little heartfelt blog post [link] put things into perspective. It's true that the majority of us will never understand the feeling of living in the wrong skin. It's really unlike coming out of the closet gay or lesbian, which is not that simple either. But this is an entirely different thing. I am inspired by Tom's courage. Here's wishing him all the best in his transition into Laura. I'll continue listening and buying the albums.

copyright (c) 2008, Ryan Russell