By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
So here's everything you need to know: they never salvaged their broken-down-beyond-repair bus, which sputtered to a lonely death somewhere in the wilds of Middle America; Minor Threat's kitchen was so disgusting that all the punks used the facilities at the 7-Eleven across the street; and Monk the mechanic just e-mailed Stern last year.
And that tour was as hard on intraband relationships as it was on that bus, but the brothers Youth Brigade soldiered on until 1985 ("We grew up screaming and yelling at each other," says Stern, so tour stress wasn't fatal) when drummer Adam Stern quit to go to art school. In the intervening years, they tried the Brigade (the band sans Adam was an experience Stern recalls as "weird"), Shawn's new punk band That's It!, and then Adam and Mark's realization of their secret swing-kid dreams, the Royal Crown Revue (which they helped form in 1989; Shawn says his brothers are both "disgusted by what Royal Crown Revue have become"). And then in 1992, at a bar in Hamburg, Germany, with Youth Brigade on the jukebox, the Stern brothers reunited and, after some beery reminiscing, decided to get the band back together with new energy and new songs.
And that's why, in between a slew of new records and rereleases, a few humble tours, and even a little punk rock parenting of some better youth of their own, Shawn Stern and his brothers still get to wake up in the morning and do basically what they wanted to do when they started the Better Youth Organization back in 1979.
"We didn't think about what we were doing when we did it—we felt we had something to say and we wanted to have a good time. It's been a pretty good thing," he says. "And it's better than working nine to five."
YOUTH BRIGADE PERFORMS WITH DAMNATION, THE SMUT PEDDLERS, THE FORGOTTEN AND JUSTIFIED ANGER AT CHAIN REACTION, 1652 W. LINCOLN AVE., ANAHEIM, (714) 635-6067. FRI., 7:30 P.M. $8. ALL AGES; ALSO WITH THE LINE, PISTOL GRIP AND DEATH BY STEREO AT THE TIKI BAR, 1700 PLACENTIA AVE., COSTA MESA, (949) 548-3533. SAT. CALL FOR TIME AND COVER. 21+.