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songs you don’t know: “No Way Out”, D Generation

05 Feb

Way, way back in the day, like 2007 or so, I declared Deconstruction’s “L.A. Song” a “RAGE TV song”, a term which I promised to explain and, of course, never ever did.

Okay.  A “RAGE TV” song is an “alternative rock” single from the early-to-mid ’90s that didn’t quite make it into heavy rotation on your local rock station.  In fact, one of the only ways You might have heard it (assuming “You” is a Boston-area youngish adult between the ages of 25 and 35) would be if you happened to be watching WSBK-TV 38 at 2 in the morning on Saturday.  You know, the same time I used to be on the radio.   For at that hallowed hour, the nice people at Channel 38 gave over the airwaves to a cheaply produced program called Rage TV.  It was hosted by some blonde guy with a leather jacket, who used to go around Boston meeting semi-famous rock and roll types.  And while they played videos by Green Day and Oasis and Cracker and other bands you may have actually heard of… and while Blondie in the Jacket occasionally got to interview such stars as Shirley “Garbage” Manson, the show was packed, mostly, with videos and interviews from the likes of Green Apple Quickstep, Ruth Ruth, and, yes, D Generation.  None of whom you’ve ever heard of, but trust me, they were great.  Green Apple Quickstep, in particular, is notable for being a “Two-No Hit Wonder Band”, having released two great singles that failed to go anywhere: “Feel My Way” and “Dirty Water Ocean.”   Alyssa still likes them.

According to the internet, there’s no proof Rage TV ever existed, except for this clip of legendary Boston ska band The Allstonians being interviewed by Blonde Guy (Eric?), who doesn’t have his leather jacket on today.

D Generation is notable because a) they’re such a New York Dolls rip off, it’s adorable, and b) the lead singer is one Jesse Malin, who you may now know as a vaguely folky/countryish guy who duets with Bruce Springsteen and hangs out with Ryan Adams in the sorts of New York bars where Ryan Adams hangs out.   But back in the day, Jesse Malin was pretty f*cking punk, that’s for sure.

The song “No Way Out” (which premiered on Rage TV in the summer of 1996 and I still have a copy of the Glorious VHS tape somewhere) was almost a hit for them, and is catchy and angry and you would have loved it when you were 15.   The video is standard ’90s alterna-fare, featuring several flash cuts, jumpy editing, and overlit shots of “freaky alternative” people doing freaky alternative things in unsanitary locales, such as the NYC subway system (which features prominently).

Merely hearing this song takes me back to a simpler time when a line like  “send us all to high school/make us pray to statues/so we hang on corners lookin’ bored”  actually made emotional sense.  Eric Bogosian wrote a whole play/movie about it, called subUrbia.  When U Maine produced it, it was notable for two things:  a) I wasn’t in it, despite the show requiring one of the cast to play the guitar, and I was the ONLY PERSON WHO COULD PLAY THE GUITAR in that department, and b) it used this song in the pre-show.

I’m not bitter, mind you, but godDAMNit…

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5 Comments

Posted by on February 5, 2010 in boston rock city, music, songs you don't know

 

5 responses to “songs you don’t know: “No Way Out”, D Generation

  1. Jeremy

    July 31, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Man I remember Rage TV. I think the first time I caught an episode was on New Years eve when I was 13 or 14. I’d always try to stay up and watch it, if I was too tired I’d set my VCR to record it. I was exposed to so many bands from that program. The mid 90s was a great era for music, from the underground to the mainstream it was very diverse. I am grateful I was exposed to a wide variety of music by word of mouth and from Rage TV. It’s sad when you look at the current state of rock music, I wish Rage TV still existed. =(

     
  2. Cafe Furniture

    November 16, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    leather jackets can really make you look good, they also make you feel warm and comfortable ;`”

     
  3. Jeff

    February 6, 2011 at 12:35 am

    I had a weird urge today to go see if Rage TV still existed and this is all I found about it. It lasted all the way until 2002 or 2003 The guy’s name was Eric Hafner. (Halfner? Hoffner?)

     
  4. Penny

    May 4, 2011 at 7:13 am

    My sister got me into Rage TV back when. I had no idea who any of the weirdos were, but it was somehow exciting.

     
  5. Beth the Bassist

    June 7, 2011 at 9:43 am

    HA!

    I love that I searched “Rage TV Boston” to find proof that it existed and of course you are the first person listed on Google.

     

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