I'm South Central. He's high wire...
i got nothing. i got nothing. i got something. i got nothing
We all got something for nothing...especially when it was spewed forth during the 77 face-ripping seconds of "Scorch" by NYC's D GENERATION.
Coinciding with a 20-year milestone since their inception as a band, original members Jesse Malin (vocals), Howie Pyro (bass), Richard "The Atomic Elf" Bacchus (guitar, vocals), Danny Sage (guitar, vocals) and drummer Michael Wildwood have re-instigated their glam punk ways and means for a special spate of shows in London, New York, L.A, San Diego and Oakland with festival appearances in Spain, Seattle and Austin.
Malin descibes his bandmates as "family," so much like the picture-perfect pagans of the CW's Chance Harbor, there is no way out.
Sooner or later, the secret circle was bound to re-bind itself. In this case, a vanishing spell of about 4300 days had rescinded.
Fifteen years ago, I was one of the relative few that saw the band during their initial heyday upon the release of their 2nd album No Lunch which was produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars.
While they would later hit the road with heavies such as Green Day, Social Distortion, Ramones, The Offspring, The Living End and even KISS, I caught their sweaty-packed-to-the-gills show at Lounge Ax in Chicago in 1996.
A few things have stuck with me from that show. The crowd was amped up beyond belief. The band was amped up beyond belief. The ceiling at Lounge Ax was so low that when they were jumped up and down with their spiked up, glammed out hair, it literally looked like they were going to bust through the roof of the place.
And finally, their blistering set was only about 45 minutes long...yeah, they still played a shit-ton of 1-2 minute songs but, deliberately, or perhaps arrogantly, left the crowd horny for more.
Meshing the ferocity of their live show and their guilt-inducing pleasure of constructing hook-laden songs, D Gen is like a punk rock doppelganger of the cheapest trick in the book.
Being proximate to Rockford, IL at the time, it crossed my mind, that D Gen was possibly degenerated in an alternate universe whereby Iggy Pop beat the crap out of Robin Zander in an alley with a can of Alberto VO5 hairspray before a Cheap Trick show in 1974 and assumed the controls of the Nielsen Bun E hop spawning a generation of punk-pop offspring that assumed the mainstream controls forevermore leaving no way out. But I digress.
Arriving to the Troubadour at 10:45PM, I stood in line behind one Ms. Lucinda Williams, whom I had coincidentally seen twice the week before at both Paul Kelly A-Z shows at Hotel Café.
She, of course, was there to see Jesse, whom is highly regarded within the songwriter community for his critically acclaimed solo albums (they shared a hug and a chat after the show).
Within minutes, the band sauntered on stage and "Degenerated" blasted through the speakers and for the next hour, I was reminded not of how the band still packed a wallop but how good the songs are and how well they've aged.
And I was also reminded that when "attitude" ages, it often becomes less blunt and more subversive. Towards the later part of the set, the band opened up bags and bags and bags of shredded up L.A. Weeklys and tossed the paper carnage around the room to uproarious bemusement.
While it wasn't quite as mind-BLOWing as a cannon full of "BoneR" dollars festooned with GlitteR in the gutter (yes, a blatant cross-pollination of my articles and "their" ideologies), it was still a non-linear statement about corporate media and capitalism.
A capital offender.
When it was all said and done and the "news" was being swept away in neat little rows, I was once again left wanting more.
With a new D Generation album on the horizon and future adrenaline expunging shows to satiate the femoral glands of the new gobstopper generation, Vampire Nation is clandestinely waiting for the next big scorching parade to show us the way out.
W. Hollywood, CA
9-24-11 | Set list
2. She Stands There
3. Feel Like A Suicide
4. Guitar Mafia
5. Capital Offender
8. Working On The Avenue
11. Stealing Time
12. Vampire Nation
14. Waiting For The Next Big Parade
15. Wasted Years
16. No Way Out
(Special thanks: James Zahn @ Kik Axe Music™, Jerry Graham @ The Syndicate and photographer Jeff Fasano)