Watch Against Me! and Joan Jett Cover The Replacements’ “Androgynous”

Slate's Culture Blog
June 11 2012 12:27 PM

Against Me! and Joan Jett Cover “Androgynous”

Joan Jett and Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!
Joan Jett (left) and Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace (right) cover "Androgynous."

Still from YouTube.

More than a quarter century ago The Replacements recorded “Androgynous,” an open attack on gender roles that promised that someday “Kewpie dolls and urine stalls / Will be laughed at / The way you’re laughed at now.” That song never felt more prophetic than it did this past weekend, when The Replacements’ descendants in the punk rock band Against Me! covered it at New York City’s Terminal 5 with guest Joan Jett—and a trans woman, Laura Jane Grace, singing lead.

It’s hard to top The Replacements’ original recording of the song from their classic Let It Be, but given the story surrounding this version—it was only last month that Against Me!’s Tom Gabel came out as transgender, and became Laura Jane Grace—this may be the most powerful rendition yet. Joan Jett, a punk rock trailblazer herself, recorded the song on her 2006 album Sinner, and both singers—not to mention all the ones in the crowd—know it well. Paul Westerberg and The Replacements couldn’t have sung it better.

Thanks to Stereogum for posting the video. For more on Grace’s decision, don’t miss Josh Eells’s great Rolling Stone story on “The Secret Life of Transgender Rocker Tom Gabel,” which is now available to non-subscribers online.

Previously
Against Me! Singer Comes Out as Transgender

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer.