Laura Jane Grace talks about her new album, 'Hole In My Head' : World Cafe : World Cafe Words and Music Podcast The musician, and founder of punk band Against Me!, talks about her latest solo album.

Laura Jane Grace confronts past pain on 'Hole In My Head'

Laura Jane Grace on World Cafe

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Set List

  • "Keep Your Wheels Straight"
  • "Mercenary"
  • "Hole in My Head"
  • "Birds Talk Too"
  • "Baby, I'm an Anarchist!"

Trepanation, or trepanning, is a surgery that involves boring a hole into the skull. One of the oldest known surgical procedures, it was used as a medical intervention but also in ritual, to help free people from demons or, even, turn someone into a warrior.

Perhaps, that's why the phrase Hole in My Head was such a powerful one for Laura Jane Grace. Founder of the punk rock band Against Me!, Grace is transgender, and a few years ago, she underwent a facial feminization surgery.

The title of her new album, Hole in My Head, comes from a question her daughter asked her before she underwent the procedure. So there's a literal element to it, but Grace has always written raw, urgent, often autobiographical songs with the intensity of someone who needs to release the pressure — or, sometimes, the demons — inside her head.

And as one of the first highly visible punk musicians to publicly transition — and to go on to be an activist for transgender people — you could argue that Grace is also a sort of warrior. In this session, she talks about her life, her music and her new album, Hole in My Head. Plus, you'll hear her perform songs from the album live.

Watch the full session above, or you can tune in to audio version down below:

This episode of World Cafe was produced and edited by Kimberly Junod. The web story was created by Miguel Perez. Our engineer is Chris Williams. Our programming and booking coordinator is Chelsea Johnson and our line producer is Will Loftus.

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