Monday, April 02, 2007

A Band I Miss: D Generation

The exciting sequel to Three Bands.


Recently a friend included a D Generation song on a mix CD and it hit me like a Doc Marten to my cheek; I hadn't thought about that band in a good long while!

I can't remember where I first read about D Generation; I think it was in CMJ. I was intrigued that Rik Ocasek produced their album (1996's No Lunch). There used to be a CD store in downtown Burlingame, CA that I visited weekly and the guy usually had something I was looking for... This was 1996 so, as any good Music Geek knew back then, you didn't find bargains in the Big City record stores: You went to The 'Burbs where The Kidz tended to not know shit about good music. Sure enough, I scored a used promo copy of No Lunch.

I loved it immediately.

The songs had damn catchy hooks and the lyrics were more intelligent than your run-of-the-mill "punk" band. Songs like 'She Stands There', 'Capital Offender', and 'No Way Out' instantly seared into my Music Geek brain and I still get off on hearing them 11 years later. The word play of the song 'Capital Offender' is that the band had a previous album released by Chrysalis / EMI / Capitol in 1994, a relationship that obviously went sour quickly (4 of the Capitol songs were rerecorded for No Lunch).

I listened to the song 'She Stands There' over and over again; Nick Hornby gets into that Music Geek phenomenon in his book Songbook, so read his explanation of this behavior 'cause I agree with it.

I was lucky enough to see D Generation on the No Lunch Tour. The gig was at the old Transmission Theater on 11th Street in San Francisco.. When they hit the stage they were all "punk" attitude and Jesse Malin commanded the stage, but I couldn't help thinking that the bassist was too buff jock looking despite his spiky haircut. Oh well. They were still fuckin' gleat.

D Generation went on to release another album (1999's Through The Darkness.. produced by the legendary Tony Visconti) that included a nice cover version of the Neil Young song 'Don't Be Denied', but it wasn't as good as No Lunch. Then they went on tour with Green Day... Then they broke up.

Jesse Malin released his first solo album in 2003 (The Fine Art of Self Destruction) and I absolutely loved it; the intelligent lyrics that impressed me in 1996 were still in full effect. I saw him at his solo debut show in S.F. at Bottom of the Hill and he was just as charismatic as he'd been fronting D Generation. Unfortunately, he didn't perform any of his old band's songs. Oh well. He was still fuckin' gleat.

Unfortunately, I lost track of what Malin has been up to recently; I suppose I should use the Information Superhighway and find out... or maybe I won't and just throw No Lunch on the CD player instead.

"I want a place in the sun before I'm 21, maybe high in the Hollywood Hills..."

(D-Generation promo shit from the Umlaut Archives)