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?


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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