14 March 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rage.




In the mid nineties I was a production assistant at a government and public access television station.  I was pretty in to the music scene at the time and pulled my resources to produce four feature length concert movies.  Thanks to the miracle of modern YouTubery, I will try to post weekly installments of videos from those movies each week for the next several months.  Probably one or two videos each week.  I'm making this up as I go so I don't have a strict schedule figured out.  
The first and sloppiest of these movies was about my own band, The Rage.  I studied film and television production in college but to actually run around with heavy video cameras and then edit that stuff on old pre-Avid pre-digital video editing decks for the first time was a learning experience.  If you want to know what making these movies was like go watch Be Kind Rewind
As you will see if you watch the videos, The Rage was a very angry, heavy and aggressive band.  If you don't like angry, heavy aggressive metal punk acid rock then please don't watch the videos.  It won't hurt my feelings if you don't like the music I made over ten years ago.  A lot of my favorite people hate heavy metal.  It's no big deal.  But, if you dig loud music with blazing drums, groovy bass, piercing guitar and screaming lyrics then The Rage is the band for you.  
The first video, intro- The Pterodacyl's Last Flight, features an instrumental improv we might have only ever played that one time.  I don't remember.  Most of the images are taken from an earlier 8mm film I made for college.  The second video, Packin' for Jesus, was the first song we played that night.  It was kind of a sound check song because the party was not really rockin' yet.  The lyrics may sound blasphemous but that was not the idea.  You have to think back to the early to mid 90's when there was still a lot of novelty about things like shooting or blowing up your high school, family, gay bar, government building or abortion clinic.  Not that the times were any more brutal than today but back then we actually paid attention when someone went on a shooting/bombing spree.  Now, entire classes and families get wiped out and it ranks somewhere on the radar below the octo-mom.  That point in the 90's was also dominated by gangsta rap.  Violence was highly glorified.  I guess it still is.  Simply put, the point of the song was to point out the absurdity of the idea that you could justify violence with religion.  That's if you could make out any of the words through the screaming anyway.  Good times.
The Rage were together from sometime in 1993 to sometime in 1996.  We played a lot of gigs and had a small following but it was a frustrating time.  We were trying to be a new kind of heavy metal acid rock band at a time when radio was dominated by abominations like Hootie and the Blowfish, The Gin Blossoms and The Dave Mathews Band.  Heavy music is an ingrained part of our culture now.  It is in our video games, movies, TV and even sports.  But, back then we were in some sort of Pat Boone hell.  
This movie was not made when we were at our best.  It is not one of our better club gigs  but just a private party.  We actually did this sort of thing all the time.  We lived in a crazy house with lots of room mates so our rehearsals looked a lot like other band's gigs.   It might be one of the last shows we played before the band ended, the way all bands do, badly.
I know a lot of my pals that never saw The Rage will see this and wonder how the guy with the guitar and I could be the same person.  Well, they are not the same person.  I'm a very different person on stage with a guitar and the 90's were a very different time.  
I should be posting new videos from this The Rage show each week for several weeks.  After that I hope to continue with stuff from The Yams From Outer Space and the late guitar legend Shawn Lane.  It should be a lot of fun so bookmark, follow, subscribe... whatever.  Just check back each week.   I should have a new video up by next Saturday at the latest.  Oh, and the comments function is open for business.  Feel free to blab on and on about what you think and how awesome you were in the 90's.  And of course the direct link to my YouTube channel is http://www.youtube.com/user/ShannonDavidSmith 

Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

p.s.  And about the make-up.  Well, umm, it seemed right at the time.  Yeesh...
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