D Technology is a band that arose from the punk rock scene of the Nineties, attaining an enthusiastic following and touring with Kiss and Inexperienced Day, amongst others. The band’s been energetic off-and-on over the previous couple of many years, most just lately with a 2016 album Nothing Is Wherever. Lead guitarist Danny Sage is a longtime good friend of mine, again to NYU within the Eighties. I’d largely misplaced contact with Danny within the Nineties when the band was on the rise. It’s a pity, since I might’ve attended hedonistic events with numerous stunning ladies as a substitute of watching the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.
Wikipedia describes D Technology as “glam punk,” saying, “the group’s sound blurs the traces between punk rock, glam rock and storage rock.” In an oral history a couple of years in the past, Sage, together with front-man Jesse Malin, disavowed the glam punk label. I couldn’t say. My very own youthful tastes tended towards “artwork rock”: Bryan Ferry, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, together with classical and opera; Mefistofele rolling round on stage. The proliferation of subgenres in rock and different music has a powerful subjective aspect, one thing for individuals to argue about which group belongs the place and who’s influenced whom.
I’ve been on a nostalgia kick currently, with posts about lost friends and old comic books. I used to be googling Kate Bush one evening and located a piece on how Johnny Rotten as soon as requested her to carry out a music he’d written, which suggests hyperlinks amongst individuals and subgenres could also be extra complicated than we all know. That received me to texting with Danny, with whom I’ve been extra in contact in recent times. He’s unpretentious; takes his music critically however not himself. He produced Nothing Is Wherever, had written most of the lyrics, amongst different roles. He thought this was D Technology’s greatest album; I belatedly purchased it and listened.
Nothing Is Anywhere is a vibrant mixture of the raucous, the melodic, the exuberant, and the glum. Unexpectedly, a couple of of the songs that appeared most “punkish” drew me in immediately. These embody “Militant,” which opens with heavy guitar riffs that sound like some battle’s about to be waged. Then there’s “twenty first Century Blues,” which aptly summarizes how one would possibly react to the societal turmoil and decay that’s largely characterised this century thus far. “Let it go let it break trigger I’m so sick of you,” goes the refrain. “Let it roll let it shake I received the twenty first century blues.” On the similar time, nostalgia has limits, evident in “Not Goin’ Again,” a fast-paced music a few troubled child attempting to maneuver on in life, brilliantly illustrated by an animated video.
There’s a stressed disgruntlement to the album, which displays in some half Sage’s private outlook as I’ve noticed it in recent times. The present-day music business, geared towards minimizing the share of revenues acquired by the artists, irritates him. So does the New York Metropolis he’s lived in throughout the twenty first century, with its gentrification and diminished creativity. I seemed by way of a number of the band’s Nineties work on-line and was entranced by a video of “No Way Out,” evocative of a extra freewheeling time earlier than 9/11, Iraq, mortgages, COVID and Trump.
Danny Sage’s taken a number of activates the curler coaster of fame and fortune. But he’s nonetheless principally the identical man I met within the Eighties; cheerful however acerbic; talkative however serious about what different individuals should say. I’ve a long-ago reminiscence of getting a meal with him and different associates within the cafeteria at NYU’s Hayden Corridor. He’d simply been kicked out of a classroom by the trainer. “Danny, get out!” she’d yelled at him. We had been laughing about this, but in addition perplexed, as a result of it’s odd that’d occur at school. Danny was bucking the system method again then.
—Kenneth Silber is creator of In DeWitt’s Footsteps: Seeing History on the Erie Canal and is on Twitter: @kennethsilber