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The Rain Makes LA More Analog Than Digital: Henry Rollins on the Weather, Alyssa Milano's Charity Work (Yes, Alyssa Milano) and Shaking Booker T's Hand

Our eminent columnist, Mr. Henry Rollins!
Our eminent columnist, Mr. Henry Rollins!
Maura Lanahan

[The one and only Henry Rollins will be contributing 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 Friday 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 musings about LA rain, hanging out with Alyssa Milano and Booker T (for charity), and his annoyance with cynicism in others and in himself, plus the awesomely annotated playlist for his KCRW BROADCAST #86 for tomorrow, Saturday 10-23-10. For more details please visit KCRW.com and HenryRollins.com]

How do you feel about our recent weather? Have the last few overcast days been a welcome break from the relentless scrutiny of the sun? It has for me.

To be able to see and hear rain outside my window, to get a momentary break from constant glare and sustained heat is quite to my liking. So, for at least a few days, we have what could be considered a season.

Perhaps it's just my bad luck but I always seem to be behind drivers who don't use their turn indicators when changing lanes. Cops and taxi drivers are the worst. The wet streets don't do much for anyone's driving skills, either. The rain, and that everyone has to deal with it, makes Los Angeles seem more analog and less digital. I wish we would could have one or two days like this every month.

A few nights ago, I was at the Drop In The Bucket fundraiser held at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica. Drop In The Bucket drills water wells and builds sanitation systems for remote villages in Sudan and Uganda. They are the real deal and are saving lives in Africa every day.

My job on this night was to greet the audience and bring the keynote speaker, Alyssa Milano to the stage. Besides all the acting she has done, Alysssa has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for humanitarian causes all over the world. She spoke briefly and then brought Benson Deng to the stage.

Deng, is Sudanese and co-author of They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan. His back story would blow your mind. He spoke with a humble eloquence that you wish you had even a teaspoon of. He talked of seeing people die from drinking contaminated water and told a story about the first time he saw water come from a shower head, which was in America almost a decade ago. He didn't understand how the water could exist behind a wall. He could have spoken for an hour and no one would have moved.

Also at the event was Booker T. Jones of Booker T & the M.G.'s. I shook the hand! Some of the Drop In The Bucket team will be making a trip to Uganda and Sudan next month. I will be going with them. Perhaps I will be able to write you from there.

Going to an event such as this one and seeing that there are people, a lot of them in this case, who are concerned, who are trying to make a difference, combats the cynicism that can sometimes builds inside me if I am not careful.

Cynicism is at this point for me, intellectual sloth and cowardice. It is a convenient way to stop dealing with things when I am tired of getting to the truth of a matter. I push back against it as best I can. I win some and lose some. The Drop In The Bucket event knocked my inner cynic on its ass for the time being. http://www.dropinthebucket.org/

Thank you for the kind letters about our weekly get together here. Below, you will find the notes for this Saturday's radio broadcast. It's a great one. Please tune in if you can. Until next week, thanks for reading this and hang in there.

DON'T MISS SATURDAY NIGHTS ON THA K, KCRW FM 89.9

6-8 PM - HENRY ROLLINS (FINC), ENGINEER X, WILL 'THE DOUBLE B' BENTLEY

8-10 PM - LADY LIZA RICHARDSON

10-MIDNIGHT - MARIO 'THE CONQUEROR' COTTO

GO TO KCRW.COM FOMOINFO

PS: KCRW is going to pull a Halloween gitdown on the 30th of this month at the Park Plaza. http://www.kcrw.com/events/masquerade-2010. Among other great K jammers, I will be playing music from 1215 to 0115 hrs. at this event. Should be good until I go on.

KCRW BROADCAST #86

10-23-10

Fanatics! Tonight, a mix sure to please.

wanted to do at least one set like this during October. There are certain times of the year when it occurs to me to listen to certain records. Something about the temperature, the light and the mood it puts me in, I reach for the album that will do the trick.

There are records I will leave alone for months at a time and only pull them out when the temperature rises or falls to a certain level. Some records are only played at certain times of the day and then there some that are only played on certain nights of the week.

Usually, every Friday evening, even when I am on tour, the first record on is Machine Gun Etiquette by The Damned. It is for me, the perfect start of the weekend. The Damned's Black Album is a perfect Saturday night listen. I jammed it last Saturday night and as it has been for the last thirty years, a perfect listen. The Cramps' Psychedelic Jungle album is another favorite Saturday night listen.

October is a great month for the mix tape, the mix CD, the cool mix file on your listening device. Tonight, I will admit that I am being very, very selfish with the selection. Tonight's tracks are some of my favorite October listens. I have been listening to this mix all week now and the more I play it, the more I like it. Some of these songs I have been listening to for decades. Perhaps the set is somewhat sentimental and perhaps that's what happens to me in the autumn months.

The last few days have been overcast. I don't know how you feel about that. Personally, I like it. I don't mind a break from warm and sunny every damn day. I am not always a warm and sunny person and don't mind it when the weather sometimes corresponds to my outlook!

Did you skip down and look over the tracks for our show? Questions? Who knows. Here's some information anyway:

The Magic Michael single was interesting to some of us many years ago because Rat Scabies, Algy Ward and Captain Sensible of the Damned were the backing band. None of us knew who Michael Cousins was. None of us knew he was a real cool maniac who at one time, auditioned for the vocalist position in Can. You can find a short overview of his achievements and place in music history written by Dave Thompson for the All Music Guide. It's a fun track.

It is too bad that the German band The Razors have never had their catalog, slight as it is re-issued on CD. I always thought tonight's selection was a real cool jam. This single was a favorite of Ian MacKaye and myself when we were growing up. I still listen to this track, one of my favorite October listens.

Listen carefully to tonight's Wurm track. That's Chuck Dukowski's pre-Black Flag band. They were amazing and this track is to me, their best song. That's Dukowski singing. Such a great lyric. They used to jam at Black Flag's space sometimes. I never missed those Wurm jams, they were completely intense. Ed the guitar player overdosed and died years ago and Lou the drummer, who knows where he is or if he is still with us. The song is one of the strongest things the SST label ever issued.

It was in October of 1980 when I first got in a band. Ian's band The Teen Idles, the first band to record on Dischord, were about to break up and Ian was about to unleash some band called Minor Threat. The Teen Idles last shows were in October and November of that year. Those were some great nights. You might not be familiar with the Slim track. I think Slim was a local DC Go-Go music scene person/DJ. His vocal is great and his backing band is Trouble Funk. The other voice you hear on the record is Big Tony, Trouble's bass player. I saw them earlier this year, they are still hitting it hard. This is one of my favorite Go-Go slices.

Fanatics, did you know that the Lurkers were the first band on the Beggars Banquet label? Sho nuff. The promo posters for their first two singles are some of the rarest pieces of Punk Rock promo that you will find anywhere. I have seen them only once in over thirty years of searching. Who cares?! Well, I do. This is the kind of thing that I pay a great deal of attention to. Fanatic is as Fanatic does. Damn! I love tonight's set of music. I hope you dig it.

Didn't we have a great time last week? The Felabration as DJ Liza Richardson called it was a blast. Thanks for all your kind and enthusiastic letters.

Next week, it will be a double shift for this Fanatic In Chief. I will start out the evening at Tha K with the other two thirds of the Big Three and then down to the Park Plaza for my 1215 - 0115 hrs. set. That one, only an hour in length will be a scorcher. I don't know if the selections can be danced to but at least there's some laughs to be had throughout the set. Last time I did a set at the Park Plaza, I blew the fuse in the PA, I think it was during a Minutemen track. It's going to be a great night, hope you all make the scene at the Park Plaza. I think you will like seeing other people in Tha K Community, it's a great group of people.

Behold these great tunes! Listen like you mean it and STAY FANATIC!!! --Henry

E-Mail address for Henry: Henryontheradio@gmail.com

Set List:

01. UK Subs - C.I.D. / The Singles

02. Lightnin Hopkins - Mojo Hand / Mojo Hand

03. Magic Michael - Millionaire / single

04. The Razors - Enemy / single

05. The Sods - Pathetic / Minutes to Go

06. The Untouchables - Rat Patrol / Flex Your Head

07. The Viletones - Screamin' Fist / A Taste Of Honey

08. The Misfits - Horror Business / single

09. The Stooges - Little Doll / The Stooges

10. William Bell - Any Other Way / Soul Of A Bell

11. Crisis - Frustration / Holocaust Hymns

12. Wurm - I'm Dead / single

13. The Models - Man Of The Year / I Wanna Punk Rock

14. Unrest - Yes She Is My Skinhead Girl / International Hip Swing

15. The Wall - Ghetto / The Punk Collection

16. The Ruts - Dope For Guns / The Crack

17. The Scorpions - Virgin Killer / Virgin Killer

18. Birthday Party - Wildworld / Bad Seed EP

19. The Snakes - Twelve Angry Men / I Won't Love You (Til You're More Like Me)

20. Rites Of Spring - All Through A Life / EP

21. The Saints - (I'm) Stranded / (I'm) Stranded

22. The Buzzcocks - Noise Annoys / Singles Going Steady

23. The Vibrators - London Girls / Pure Mania

24. Sham 69 - Red London / EP

25. Teen Idles - Get Up And Go / 20 Years Of Dischord

26. Slim - Don't Touch That Stereo / single

27. The Shapes - Wot's For Lunch Mum? / Songs For Sensible People

28. 999 - Let's Face It / Separates

29. The Lurkers - God's Lonely Men / God's Lonely Men

30. The Skunks - Good From The Bad / single

31. The Damned - Alone / Music For Pleasure


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