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Three Beats: Jazz bassist Joshua Abrams soundtracks The Interrupters

Plus: Emo band CSTVT takes an unlikely route to Hot Topic, and the Mike Kinsella all-stars play the Cure for Girls Rock! Chicago

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PUNK | CSTVT's unlikely route to Hot Topic

Beginning Tuesday anyone who walks into a Hot Topic will see a photo of Will McEvilly, guitarist for Chicago emo foursome CSTVT, hunched over a collection of effects pedals. It's on the cover of Mixed Signals, a compilation of national DIY punk bands from Boston label Run for Cover—the CD version of which is sold exclusively at Hot Topic.

CSTVT recorded their contribution, "Bassett St.," while working on a forthcoming full-length about six months ago. At around the same time, RFC honcho Jeff Casazza contacted them about the label's 50th release, Mixed Signals. Front man Nick Wakim had written the tune as a tribute to Mitch Dubey, a 23-year-old New Haven musician who was shot and killed in March in a home invasion on Bassett Street.

McEvilly says he didn't know that his picture—taken by Dave Summers at an Indiana VFW hall—would appear on the cover of Mixed Signals until Casazza e-mailed the proofs to the band. That's also when Casazza sprung the news about Hot Topic—a store synonymous with corporatized mall-punk in the eyes of many DIY musicians.

"I've got this leather wallet; it's the only wallet I've ever owned," McEvilly says. "I bought it at Hot Topic when I was 11, and it's still holding up—no big deal. Based on that experience, Hot Topic is OK with me, I guess." 

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