[The one and only Henry Rollins contirbutes a weekly column and far-reaching reportage to the music section of the LA Weekly. Look for your weekly Henry Rollins fix right here on West Coast Sound every Monday and make sure to tune in to Henry's KCRW radio show every Saturday evening, or online, or as a podcast, or however else you decided to listen to the most eclectic DJ on LA's airwaves.
This installment includes Henry's thoughts on the attempted political assassination in Tucson, plus the awesomely annotated playlist for his KCRW BROADCAST #97 originally aired Saturday 1-15-11. For more details please visit KCRW.com and HenryRollins.com]
Never the one to be the drag at a party, I only say this because I think I am not the only one whose normally high spirits are somewhat dampened from the complete awfulness of the recent tragedy in Tucson, AZ.
There is no need here to go through the events, name names or attempt to assign blame. I know you read and pay attention to what's happening in our country. As information hopefully becomes available, we will learn more about this shooter and perhaps more about where to go from here.
Like many of you, I monitored the media and how they handled the assassination attempt on Rep. Giffords closely as they went into full swing to deflect, utilize and process what happened for maximum advantage and minimal damage.
Over the last several years, with news media becoming a twenty-four hour, perpetual information machine, the pundit being mistaken for an actual journalist has been a common occurrence. The two are quite different. One provides a hopefully informed opinion and the other is merely the messenger, unfettered by partisan leanings. The latter has become harder to come by in what would be considered mainstream media and we are all the worse for it.
When people who provide commentary are mentioned frequently by members of Congress and the Senate and from time to time, the president, there is, in my opinion, a problem. That my president lowers the level of discourse by using the name of a conservative talk show host when addressing the nation, dangerously cheapens the overall message.
Willingly or not, I think we are being blinded by that bright light and deafened by that caterwaul to the point to where we don't search for the cause but merely roil in the effect.
I know that I am unable to understand the depth of sorrow relatives and friends of those killed and injured in Tucson are going through. I don't want in any way to be thought of as making light of the situation but I am looking for something good to come from all this. In my opinion, something must. Perhaps this event will make some people in America take a hard look at how we do things, from education delivery systems to how we look after someone who has mental disabilities that precludes them from assimilation into society at large. It's obvious that we all can't get along.
That being the case, what is to be done? I know, I know--how many pages can I have? There's a lot to be done and not only will we do it but I think we are doing it.
I think America is going through a period of change and historically this country doesn't let old ways go too easily. So, we remain positive, pushing forward and putting our perseverance to the forefront when we encounter turbulence, no matter how difficult and heartbreaking it can be. Eyes on the prize.
The nature of current events being as heavy as they are, I feel that a respectful sense of decorum should be observed in the confines of this slim column. That doesn't mean that some part of my mind isn't ecstatic over the fact that Tom DeLay was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison. I know he won't do a day of the sentence but just knowing that for a moment there, the smile was wiped off his face.
We have a really happening radio show all ready to go for you. I hope you get a chance to check it out. I hope this finds you well. Thank you for reading this. Until next week.
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Here are the show notes for last Saturday's show: KCRW BROADCAST #97 (01-15-11)
Fanatics. Hello again, great to be back with you as always. I made this show a couple of weeks ago and gave it a chance to steep. I have played it a few times and I think we are good to go.
Perhaps I saw some of you at the Jandek show last weekend in Irvine. That was an interesting evening. I am glad I went but I was hoping for more singing, more songs and a perhaps more intimate evening with the man from Corwood Industries. On the bandstand with the Jandek was the very able drummer BJ Miller from Health and Mike Watt on bass. Miller, I am sure taking his orders from Jandek, hammered away at his drums nonstop. Mike Watt, who is easily one of the best bass players anywhere, jammed on it as best he could and Jandek, I don't know. He didn't seem to ever lock in with the other two. I am glad I went but I wished he was playing somewhere else close by the next night so I could see a different version of what the man does.
I think you are familiar with most or almost all of the wonderful bands and artists we have tonight. The set is solid. What is lacking from my end, is the ability to wax psychotic at this moment because of recent events in Tucson, AZ. I have a tendency to clamp down in times of national stress, lest anyone think I am making light in the time of a bad situation.
So, tonight, we will let the music do the talking. If there's any questions you have about any of the bands that you can't find on your own, you know you can always write me at the address below and also, if you want to be alerted as to when the next download homemade jam session like the one I did last December, send me your address and I will send you a heads up when I am going to do another one. Should be pretty soon. With me, it's always a time thing. I am always up against that clock.
In the words of Lou Reed, "We are going to have a real good time together."
Thanks for listening and stay fanatic. --Henry
E-mail address for Henry: Henryontheradio@gmail.com
01. Dio - Stand Up and Shout / Holy Diver
02. Joy Division - She's Lost Control / Unknown Pleasures
03. Nick Cave - Stranger Than Kindness / Your Funeral My Trial
04. Louis Jordan - Beware / Decca Recordings
05. Humble Pie - Black Coffee / Definitive Recordings
06. Cluster - Halwa / Sowiesoso
07. Funkadelic - Whole Lotta BS / Funkadelic
08. Gang Of Four- Why Theory? / Solid Gold
09. Serge Gainsbourg - Marilou Sous La Neige / L' Homme A Tete De Chou
10. Jandek - Rather Be Blind / Staring At The Cellophane
11. Black Dice - Bananas / Load Blown
12. Black Ace - Black Ace / I'm The Boss Card In Your Hand
13. Black Eyes - On The Sacred Side / Black Eyes
14. Black Tambourine - Pack You Up / Black Tambourine
15. Black Flag - Revenge / Decline Of Western Civilization
16. Black Randy And The Metro Squad - Sperm Bank Baby / Pass The Dust . . .
17. Sinn Sisamouth & Ros Sereysothea - Have A Caramel / Cambodian Rocks Vol. 01
18. Lair Of The Minotaur - Horror / The Ultimate Destroyer
19. The Rondelles - Please Shut Up / The Fox
20. The Bad Brains - Don't Need It / Bad Brains
21. Iggy Pop - The Passenger / Lust For Life
22. Sort Sol - Hurricane Fighter Pilot / Fog Things
23. The Need - Let Them Eat Valium / single
24. Pseudo Existors - Beyond The Zone / Stamp Out Normality
25. Dizu Plaatjes - Rwakanembe / Ibuyambo
26. Suicide - Johnny / Suicide
27. Gene Defcon - Elftown / Lover's ESP Blues
28. Bikini Kill - Star Bellied Boy / Pussy Whipped
29. Ja'afar Hassan - Palestinian / Choubi Coubi (Folk And Pop Songs From Iraq)
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30. The Clash - Brand New Cadillac / London Calling
31. hollAnd - Professor Spence / Sodium Fawn
32. Hott Beat - Mall Song / A Hott Mess
33. Roxy Music - Both Ends Burning / Siren