i saw the sign

April 8, 2011

Sometimes I get to a point in life and find a little clue that tells me that I am supposed to be there in that exact moment doing exactly what I am doing even if I questioned the action that got me there in the first place. Last weekend, I encountered a small, music-related (but nonetheless eerie) version of these Celestine Prophecy-type observations thanks to some Sunday errand-running at the mall, a well-endowed Hot Topic and a bag of band stickers that has moved with me 5 times.

First, the bag of stickers, which was purchased off of Interpunk back when it was still relevant. Holding four Northstar stickers, a Northstar pin and a Jawbreaker sticker, it has sat among my CD jewel cases for the last 6 years, gathering dust and hoping one day to be put on a binder or the wall of a Wahoo’s Fish Tacos.

But alas, I could not part with my Northstar goodies (only because the band went defunct back in 2004 and every time I try to search for any remaining swag on ebay/google/etc, all that comes up is Wu-Tang Clan and vinyl-siding companies) and so all of it just sat there as a reminder of the pop-punk past that abandoned me.

Flash forward to the now, 2011. Pop-punk is decisively out of fashion, usurped by bands that pair neon splatter paint and leopard-print hair extensions with screamo aesthetics and lyrics about partying (or at least getting “crunk”). I haven’t stepped foot into a Hot Topic since the great Tucson Mall anxiety attack of ’05 and then for some reason the Lakewood Mall Hot Topic beckoned. I don’t know what I was looking for (more friends’ bands’ shirts on the wall?), but I ended up finding it in the boxes of re-issue vinyl hiding under the new Yellowcard and All Time Low CDs.

There, I found what that dusty old bag of stickers had foreshadowed all those Interpunk years ago: Northstar + Jawbreaker looorrve.

That’s right. Northstar’s Polyanna and Jawbreaker “Unfun” on vinyl, neither of which I knew were available on vinyl in the first place and neither of which I ever thought I would find at a Hot Topic (the current home of Lil Wayne, Pirates of the Caribbean, Invader Zim and Rainbow Brite t-shirt/accessories collections).

In addition to being a little breadcrumb of positivity as I find my way through the forest trail of life, this experience raised a whole new set of questions about the music consumer and mall experience:

Does this mean that Hot Topic is actually a go-to place for musical recordings now? Where else can I buy Emily the Strange knee socks and the first Fugazi record? Should I have felt bad for the store manager who was an old punk rock guy wearing a Sublime-patch laden mechanic’s shirt? Or is he just living out the post-postmodern dream where it all comes full circle and he can be both The Man working for a corporate mall store and simultaneously anti-The Man by filling it with Minor Threat and Rancid re-issue vinyl and selling all the 90s stuff at half price? Should I add the Lakewood Mall Hot Topic on Facebook and Twitter for news on the latest releases?

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One Response to “i saw the sign”

  1. Ash said

    Travis Peacock is the man responsible for the music, you should thank him. 🙂

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