Among all the random, unforeseeable invocations of Minneapolis’ ragtag rock legends the Replacements – from Jon Bon Jovi’s infamous slam of them to the classic teen film “Heathers’” idolatrous use of Westerberg High – today’s new posting with Miley Cyrus, Joan Jett and Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace will likely rank near the top.
The unlikely musical partners covered the ‘Mats’ 1984 favorite “Androgynous” in a video and single to promote Cyrus’ Happy Hippie Foundation, which lends support to homeless and LGBT youths. The video is featured exclusively at The Advocate’s website, where a link to donate to the cause is also posted.
It’s obviously a perfect song for the matters at hand, as it stepped out from the homophobia of the early-‘80s with such lines as, “She don't need advice that's sent at her / She's happy with the way she looks / She's happy with her gender.”
All three singers’ support of LGBT causes is well-known. Cyrus’ mere knowledge of the Replacements, however, might come as a surprise. Jett certainly knows them well, since she recruited frontman Paul Westerberg to help write her 1991 song “Backlash” and later dueted with him through “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)” for 1995’s “Tank Girl” soundtrack.
A punk-rock kid, Grace undoubtedly is a longtime fan, too, but the song also now serves as a personal anthem following her recent coming-out as transgender. This is one of several ties the Florida rocker has made with the Twin Cities music scene of late. She sings on transgender-rock pioneer Venus de Mars’ new acoustic album, “Flesh and Wire,” and brought de Mars’ band All the Pretty Horses on tour last year. And now comes word that Grace will bring Against Me! to Minneapolis on the Fourth of July to headline her old cohorts Dillinger Four’s D4th block party outside the Triple Rock.