It’s hard to avoid romanticizing the surreal story of two friends working together at a Georgetown Häagen-Dazs would go on to define the two major strands of DIY punk in the 1980s and 1990s. Those two friends were Henry Rollins, of Black Flag and later the Rollins Band, and Ian Mackaye who formed The Evens, Fugazi, and of course, Minor Threat. We can save Rollins’ story for a different Sunday, because today we’re zeroing in one of the most unique bands in American music history, Minor Threat.
Despite their gigantic influence in almost all things DIY, Minor Threat technically only made one studio album, 1983’s “Out of Step.” However their 1989 compilation, simply titled “Complete Discography” is the image and sound most folks would identify with the band, especially the album’s cover photograph of Mackaye’s younger brother Alec, head in hands, with the band’s name written boldly along the right side. The photograph was taken by Susie Josephson and the type was created by Cynthia Connolly, originally for the green-tinted cover of Minor Threat’s EP “In My Eyes” and earlier compilation “Minor Threat.” Their “Complete Discography” is a perfect expression of their DIY ethos; a forty seven minute long album with twenty six songs that speak truth to power, and if you had five bucks, you could see it all when they came to town.