There was a time when punk rock stood for something. Not only was punk about the rebelliousness of youth acting in concert, it was also about gazing through the thin membrane of social cohesion and throwing an absolutely righteous fit at the political monsters shitting on our liberties from the other side. From the ethics of day-to-day interaction of Minor Threat to the political satire of the Dead Kennedys, punk preached a lifestyle difficult to slap on a T-shirt and, then, even harder to wear. Which is probably why cunning record execs long ago took punk and diluted it with easy messages more suitable for baseball caps and breakfast cereals.
But like Biggie and Pac, punks not dead, its just in hiding. And every now and again someone like Pluggz a normal punk boy from Wisconsin enlists the help of his closest allies and total strangers to remind people of that fact. Pluggz is calling his entry Punk Across America, and the concept is pretty simple: a tour of rotating punk acts that will travel through each of the lower-48 states to promote social and political change, culminating in a march on Washington D.C. The issues? Stronger political representation for the people, education and healthcare reform, environmental protection, and the bogus war in Iraq. And the tours next stop is right here at home. Check out some great bands with bigger messages Tuesday at Churchills Pub (5501 NE Second Ave., Miami). Tickets cost $7. Visit www.myspace.com/punkacrossamerica.