The Way We Get By: Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional Is Reading Political Books

It doesn’t necessarily seem like escapism, but The Watergate Girl just might be.

Most of us are sequestered in our homes, doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. That includes some of our favorite artists, so we’re asking them to tell us about one thing — a book, a movie, a record, whatever — that’s helping them get through this difficult time.

I just finished A Very Stable Genius. When I started it, I was a little bit aghast at the things I was learning in the book, but it’s just so fucking quaint compared to what’s going on now, and how things are being mismanaged.

So I just finished that and started The Watergate Girl by Jill Wine-Banks. It’s about the female attorney who was part of the prosecution of the Watergate case. She was an exceptional attorney and she was a trailblazer, being a woman in that field. It’s interesting to hear her talk about the roadblocks she faced, and how she dealt with them. What’s interesting to me about it reading it now — I feel like four years ago we were in this great place for equality. Things weren’t equal for women and men, and things weren’t equal for people of color, but they were really getting better. And it’s incredible to see how, especially with how the president speaks, even to female reporters, with such misogyny. It’s incredible. It holds a mirror to where we are today. It’s moved so far back again.

I’m pretty dissatisfied with the current administration, but reading something like this makes me feel better. Inarguably it was worse then, and it got so much better. It’s worse than it was at its best now, but I don’t think the mountain is as steep now. Particularly for my generation down, we’re a generation of women who thought nothing about women in the workplace — of course they were there, why wouldn’t they be? They’re totally as capable as men in any field or pursuit. That to me is unquestionable, it’s just a fact. It does make me feel better to see how hard it was to move the ball forward, the boundary lines. But as a culture we will get back there. It gives me comfort.

So those were the books I bought before this all started! But I’m also reading Brian Michael Bendis’ run on Superman, and I’m listening to music constantly, I’m playing music, I’m skateboarding. I can’t take them anywhere, but I’m working on my motorcycles slowly. Doing the things that you never have time to do, and there still seems to be no time to do!

(Photo Credit: left, Dave Bean)

As punk rock proliferated radio airwaves, Dashboard Confessional cemented their role at the vanguard of an entire music scene. Facing familiar aches with tenderness and precision, singer/songwriter Chris Carrabba rocketed the band into mainstream focus, solidifying their place as one of the biggest alternative bands of the 2000s. Crooked Shadows—the return of Dashboard Confessional and the band’s first new album in over eight years —explores Carrabba’s reclamation of those simple yet extraordinary moments in life that long stood as the unsung heroes of his songwriting, as he reflects on experiences of his own and those closest to him. The result is a deeply cathartic body of work that traverses the complications and vulnerabilities of relationships while scrutinizing the possibility of self-improvement.

(Photo Credit: David Bean)