Another State of Mind

Back in 1984, when it was neither profitable, nor especially safe, to be a Mohawk-wearing punk rocker, the tour doc Another State of Mind showed a softer side of hardcore -- the positive, politically conscious one.

Video 101

Another State of Mind (1984)

D: Adam Small and Peter Stuart II; with Shawn Stern, Mike Ness, Ian MacKaye. Back in the days before the Offspring -- and currently Sum 41 and Blink-182 -- were all over MTV, and before Nirvana changed the entire pop music landscape with "Smells Like Teen Spirit," it was neither profitable, nor especially safe, to be a Mohawk-wearing punk rocker. Punks were outsiders, who only felt comfortable around other like-minded rejects and freaks. Adam Small and Peter Stuart II's tour documentary Another State of Mind follows the completely DIY tour of trailblazing punk upstarts Social Distortion (before Mike Ness wanted to be Johnny Cash) and the Youth Brigade as they try to complete the tour, stay alive, and remain friends in the harsh face of shady club owners that rip them off and a bus that constantly breaks down. Shawn Stern of the Youth Brigade and the Better Youth Organization is the leader and organizer of this motley crew, and he wants to spread his message of punk rock as a positive outlet for change and as an expression of creativity that opposes the negative press hardcore received at the time. To further stress the positive aspects of punk, there is an interview with Minor Threat's Ian MacKaye, the man who coined the term "straight edge." He's out to prove that you don't have to be "fucked-up and rowdy" to be a punk rocker. MacKaye's day job, at the time, was serving ice cream at Häagen-Dazs. This doc features some amazing live footage of Social Distortion on tour and Minor Threat doing an excellent version of "In My Eyes" in their practice space at the Dischord house. Also, for punk beginners, there is an in-depth look into slam dancing and fashion and make-up tips from Mike Ness. He likes to smear his eyeliner to achieve the "sympathetic" look. Another State of Mind is one of the all-time great rock & roll documentaries and is truly inspirational to all burgeoning punk rock musicians.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Another State of Mind, Adam Small, Peter Stuart II, Shawn Stern, Mike Ness, Ian MacKaye, Social Distortion, Minor Threat, Youth Brigade

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