12 Personally Pivotal Albums

My band Sister Rat was booked to play with The Worriers in October of 2017. When the schedule got shifted to the next city over, the person booking the show changed, and she wanted to book her friends to play, and we were going to end up playing first, on a show booked with five bands/artists. Almost every show my band had played was cursed in some way. I’m not complaining. It’s par for the course for a transgender musician, and being an all-girl punk rock group, one that played mostly doom shows, we ended up getting criticized quite a bit or men treated us like we were (their) children, or we’d just hear bizarre, nasty comments whispered in ears after sets while trying to enjoy the headlining bands.I was hoping for better at this gig. I was surprised that we were getting bumped for a nü metal band. I was really sad that morning, and so Xoe got angry and called the woman who booked the alternate gig, and railed into her good. I wouldn’t want to be on the other line, that’s for sure. We ended up getting bumped up later in the evening. We had to leave the comfort of our college town and play the city for a lot of strangers. Now it’s going to be weird for everyone involved. I gravitated to Chrissy Tashjian of Thin Lips that night. She has great energy and her Philadelphia take-no-crap vibe was comforting, reminding me of my wife. Talking to her made my night fun, because I always like to make new friends, that’s the whole reason I got into this punk thing. The singer from Worriers had their nose in their laptop all night. I figured they were nervous and so I introduced myself an got on with it. After the opening acts, which were nice, but in my opinion not as solid a line up of just the three bands, it was our turn to play. Now, the record store we were playing, a small shoebox room in a charming row of shops in Kansas City, wasn’t really supposed to be putting on shows. It was donation only, and I don’t think too much about that, but they didn’t have three mics for our band, so we shouted all the vocals without them. Sister Rat never sounded heavier thank that night. We were playing so fast and tight, like a fully-realized three piece punk band should. We sounded like a Profane Existence band. I was a little shocked, because I never really knew what to make of our band. It was a really exciting night for me. There was no winning that audience over, we’d be happy to go back to good ole Larrytown. Think Lips were fantastic fun, I wasn’t real familiar with Worriers, so I didn’t expect to fall in love with them. I love Lauren’s singing voice, and after listening to Survival Pop, I realized I was connecting deeper to the lyrics than I maybe ever have before. There aren’t a lot of trans women making the exact kind of music I want to hear; a touch of dark and brooding folk mixed with a modern pop punk sound. Near the end of their set, Lauren said some really nice things about transgender family. It made me feel connected to people. I felt less alone, and I get to wear that feeling again whenever I spin this wonderful LP. I want to be truer to who I am. I want to sing more. I want to write more honestly about my experiences. I hope that this album shapes and influences me now, because I know that change is good, and it doesn’t always happen at your first puberty. Recommended to people who might like this style of rock music.

FFO Bambix, Sinead O’Connor, Against Me!

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