Read Kill Me Loudly: A Memoir of Gender Dysphoria, Music, and Addiction by Laura Jane Grace Free Online
Book Title: Kill Me Loudly: A Memoir of Gender Dysphoria, Music, and Addiction|
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The author of the book: Laura Jane Grace
Edition: Three Rivers Press
Date of issue: January 12th 2016
ISBN 13: 9780804140461
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 12.11 MB
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Growing up a suburban punk rock teenager, I remember the horror and betrayal I felt the first time Against Me’s radio hit single “I Was a Teenage Anarchist” came through the speakers of my crappy Mercury Sable. I felt the knife twist in my heart with every chord, every word, as my one time hero Tom Gabel reminisced about a rebellious punk rock past. “Do you remember when you were young and you wanted to set the world on fire?” Gabel wailed in an overly catchy chorus, the nail in the coffin in my mind. No way could my beloved Against Me keep their place in my heart if they were turning their backs on their roots. No way could the band that gave me my highschool anthem, “Baby I’m An Anarchist”, ever redeem themselves in my eyes. In my rage I couldn’t fathom what would cause the once chaotic and destructive band of my youth to trash the punk scene that had followed them devotedly from local Florida wannabes to chart topping rock stars.
Two years later Gabel came out to the world on the pages of Rolling Stone magazine as Laura Jane Grace. Suddenly the lyrics of the song took on a whole new meaning for me.
“I was a teenage anarchist, but then the scene got too rigid.
It was a mob mentality, they set their rifle sights on me.
Narrow visions of autonomy, you want me to surrender my identity.
I was a teenage anarchist, the revolution was a lie.”
Grace’s struggle with the confines and rigidity of punk rock, and with her identity as a male figurehead of that scene put a lot of Against Me’s music into perspective. The lyrics took on new depths, the songs new layers of emotion. With the release of her subsequent albums, and now with her new book Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock's Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout, Laura has stopped hiding from the world.
The book reads like a conversation with a dear friend. She holds nothing back, letting readers into her most private thoughts and feelings. She shares journal entries from her years on the road with Against Me. Some of these stories are funny, some tragic, all absolutely addicting. She never minces words when speaking her mind about bandmates, family members, and most importantly; herself.
Grace’s candor is a breath of fresh air. So many celebrity memoirs read like an ideal wishlist of who a person wants to be. They present themselves in the best light, only letting the reader see their most carefully crafted flaws. Grace suffers from none of this egoism, instead putting all of her narcissism, selfishness, stubbornness and anger right on the page. She is painfully honest about her lifelong struggle with anxiety and substance abuse, letting you into her world so completely that you finish the book feeling as though you’ve known her since you were kids.
To those interested in music, punk rock, and the up close and personal lives of bands on tour this book has everything. From crazy tour stories, to bar brawls and arrests, to what it’s like to be a little punk rock band from Gainesville Florida signing a million dollar record deal. For Laura Jane Grace, Against Me has spanned over 15 years of her life. She leaves no stone unturned, telling the sometimes grisly tale of the bands progression from day one. Fan’s like myself will finally get to see how it felt to be on the other side of the bands “betrayal”. The loss of punk cred was not lost on Laura Jane Grace and she conveys her shame, anger, and frustration as transparently as possible.
To those interested in Laura’s journey from Gabel to Grace the book does not disappoint. She paints a poignant picture of a girl struggling from a young age to be free. That doesn’t mean she was never a hormone fueled teenage boy, or a handsome rock star lead singer, or a punk kid trying to fuck shit up. But she was always there. Seeing the way Grace comes to life when she can finally be herself is satisfying and refreshing. The pages filled with self-loathing, depression, anxiety and rage as she tried to suppress her feminine side and accept life as a man are painful and heartbreaking to read.
On a personal note Laura Jane Grace has always held a special place in my heart. Those you don’t love can’t hurt you, and while my naïve feelings of betrayal at the hands of my favorite band seemed important at the time, I’ve since come to recognize how important it is for a band’s music to reflect the journey of its members. Laura’s public journey has been groundbreaking and profound for so many people. I am unbelievably proud to have grown up with her music and to now watch as she takes the world by storm.
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