Monday, August 10, 2009


#222, Portland, OR

I love counterculture stores in American cities. They're so cute and earnest. This shop, complete with edgy Goth font, is called "Another State of Mind," which reminds me of the ultimate punk rock band-on-tour movie by the same name. I watched the movie when I was eighteen and remember a certain level of awe watching the story unfold, as if I were watching a pioneering team of scientists discover DNA. Now I realize it was more like a bunch of kids looking for a 7-11, but still, there's a magic to it that I can only attribute to the beautiful impulse that drives musicians to go on tour.

Balthrop, Alabama didn't have to contend with quite the same set of circumstances on the road as Social Distortion and Youth Brigade (at least we didn't have to watch our school bus, er, van get towed off), but it's hard not to be moved by the sight of the roll of pennies handed to Youth Brigade drummer Mark Stern as payment from a San Francisco club owner. At the very least, we always got some free PBRs and grateful handshakes out of the deal.

One really punk rock thing we did on the road was stop at a Dairy Queen in a small town in Ohio to get us prepped for the gig that night in Athens. The DQ satisfied, but sure it would've been great to step into a time warp and find ourselves at a roadside Haagen Daas being served ice cream by Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and later, Fugazi fame. (For optimal scoop action, see clip at 1:58.) One scoop of vanilla in a sugar cone + punk ethos + earnest manifesto-that-isn't-a manifesto. Now that's what I call straight edge.

1 comment:

Julie said...

My head spins. Was that English?