Unplugging: Fates change, things look up and the Internet keeps going strong

Posted by Lily Angelle, MXDWN

Music is always changing. Fads come and go, bands break up, and some things stay the same for years and years.

This week, MXDWN has noticed that just like music itself, the artists behind the music change, as do their fates and the technology that accompanies their music.

Against Me! transgender front man Tom Gabel recently explained to Rolling Stone Magazine his plans to make the full transformation to a woman. After coping with gender dysphoria for years, Gabel has chosen to take action to begin living as a woman, which will entail taking hormones and receiving electrolysis treatments.

As hinted in an Against Me! song, “The Ocean,” Gabel will soon go under the name Laura Jane Grace, and will stay married to her wife, Heather. Not taking the transition process lightly, Gabel has reportedly planned to live a full year as Laura before considering sexual-reassignment surgery. She’s also given up alcohol, wanting to be completely conscious and mentally sound for the transition process. In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, Gabel details her history with gender dysphoria, logistics of transitioning to a female and the future of Against Me!

A couple months ago, several major torrent sites were shut down, making the future of file sharing bleak. Megaupload.com’s founder Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitzs' website shutdown resulted in his arrest. Following a recent New Zealand court hearing, things could be looking up for Kim Dotcom, as he has regained about $750,000 in assets.

After authorities seized many of Kim Dotcom’s items, including a hefty car collection, it seems that the controversial website founder’s luck is looking up.

The New Zealand High Court unfroze one of his bank accounts with $300,000 and returned one of his $250,000 Mercedes. This good news comes only shortly after it appeared Dotcom would be facing up to 20 years in jail for money laundering, racketeering and copyright infringement.

However, the recently unfrozen funds will likely be allocated legal fees, any civil claims and his recent order of extradition to the U.S.

In other Internet news, Fleet Foxes front man Robin Pecknold recently announced via Facebook that he’ll be scoring a film titled The Internet – A Blog Cats WTF Universe. The film is directed by Robin’s brother, Sean Pecknold, who has directed several Fleet Foxes music videos. Pitchfork describes the film as “an existential crisis experienced by one of the best LOLcat caption writers in the world.”

An interesting bridge between Internet memes and the film medium, The Internet will feature live action, cartoons and even some 3D animation. Currently, the film is trying to raise $15,000 for funds, but the affiliates of the film have announced they’ll give a free version of the completed project to all donators.

AllHipHop reported earlier this week that a huge collection of unheard J. Dilla material has been found by a record store owner, Jeff Bubeck, in Detroit. While cleaning out an abandoned storage unit, he discovered hundreds of lost tapes and rare, unheard tracks made by the late J. Dilla, a popular producer and songwriter.

J. Dilla was diagnosed with Lupus, a rare blood disorder, and passed away in February of 2006. One of his most noteworthy albums, Donuts, was written on his deathbed and released only three days before his passing. Critics and fans alike regard Donuts as a final gem, however, with the recent findings, perhaps fans can expect new material from the celebrated artist. Jeff Bubeck claims to have found 7,000-8,000 records, notebooks, notes and other handwritten material from J. Dilla. Bubeck easily could have sold his findings, as he had tons of sale offers, but he rightfully handed the musical treasures over to J. Dilla’s mother, Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey.

After an interview with The Guardian that hinted at the possible end of Blur and Gorillaz, front man of both influential groups Damon Albarn has given fans hope in yet another interview, this time with Metro. In regard to Blur’s upcoming Hyde Park performance, Albarn told The Guardian that the highly anticipated performance would most likely be their last. This time around, Albarn told Metro, "We want to put on a great performance but nothing’s been said between us about the beginning or the end."

Although the ambiguity of Albarn’s claims are obviously a tad hazy and open for interpretation, his recent statements about the future of Blur and Gorillaz has surely rekindled optimism and hope amongst fans. In regards to Gorillaz, Albarn told Metro, “When Jamie Hewlett and I have worked out our differences, I’m sure we’ll make another record.” Of course, nothing is set in stone, but it seems that Albarn has no plans to halt either projects.

Unplugging In Brief:

Tom Gabel of Against Me! Announces That He’s Becoming a Woman Named Laura Jane Grace – Against Me! tells Rolling Stone about his plans to transition to a woman.

Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom Wins Back Assets – File sharing website founder is has won back assets after a New Zealand court hearing.

Robin Pecknold to Score The Internet – A Blog Cats WTF Universe – Fleet Foxes front man, Robin Pecknold, is helping out his brother Sean by scoring his upcoming movie that features an LOLcat caption writer.

J.Dilla’s Mom Gets Hundreds Of Her Son’s Lost Items from Record Store Owner – After a Detroit record store owner discovered lost tapes, notes and other artifacts from the late J. Dilla, he rightfully gave them to J. Dilla’s mother.

Damon Albarn Denies the Possible Demise of Blur and Gorillaz – After an interview with Metro, Damon Albarn has set the record straight about the future of his projects.