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Henry Rollins!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: How the Soviets Nearly Ruined Central Asia

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Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 4:15 AM
PHOTO BY HEIDI MAY
  • Photo by Heidi May
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]

I am a week into my visit to Central Asia. Besides a two-day excursion into Tajikistan, I’ve been here in Uzbekistan.

The border crossing from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan was one of the coolest and strangest I have made.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Beauty and Sadness in Uzbekistan

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Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 3:15 AM
PHOTO BY HEIDI MAY
  • Photo by Heidi May
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]

11-28-14 Los Angeles International Airport: If I get the odd month relatively free of obligation, I will usually try to get out of America and travel. It is a huge part of my life.

“Out there” is where I learn a lot of big lessons. For me, being in unfamiliar surroundings forces me to function at a higher level, and from that comes a greater awareness of things and optimum opportunities to grow.

The power of what I learn from putting myself in distant locations is far stronger than anything I have ever gotten out of a book. I have concluded that, if I really want to know, I will have to go.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Every Day Is Thanksgiving

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Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 3:45 AM
PHOTO BY HEIDI MAY
  • Photo by Heidi May
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]

Transitioning from the Thanksgiving holiday to the “Christmas season,” I have always found it interesting to watch retailers attempt to shift gears between two different retail campaigns. Draped in a cloak of not-all-that-easy-to-believe benevolence, they try to strike a balance between goodness and the desire to bring you to the point of purchase.

Going into a drugstore, seeing all the Christmas stuff ready to go a month out — as if it’s us who can’t wait — all I can think of is plastic and paper goods being bought, displayed and then, along with all those dead trees, thrown out days later.

I am not so cynical to think it’s all just so many hollow gestures, but there is an almost robotic aspect to the rendering and appreciation of it all that’s a little depressing. We partition off a designated time of the year to momentarily pause and be thankful and buy things for others. It all feels somewhat involuntary.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: The Shangri-Las Were Totally Heavy

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Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 4:30 AM
PHOTO BY HEIDI MAY
  • Photo by Heidi May
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]

For the last few days, I have been living in hotels, spending nights onstage and seeing up to three airports a day. I had two shows in Iowa, Des Moines and Iowa City, and one in Stoughton, Wisconsin.

They were my last three shows of the year and were to be my last major obligation, but then things changed.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Politics Isn't a Sporting Event

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Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 3:45 AM
PHOTO BY HEIDI MAY
  • Photo by Heidi May
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]

A few days before the midterm elections, I got this unsigned email:

“How are you going to feel when the Republicans take the Senate on Tuesday, just like they took the House because of your POS hero Obama? Arrogance and incompetence by that fucktard Oliar led to this so thanks for voting for the hack, LMAO!!!”

It was my first good laugh of the day. It was like getting email bombed by an energy drink–addled 13-year-old. Is there any political office you would like to occupy if this was one of your constituents?

As predicted, Republicans swept into powah! It was like a low-rent version of Ken Kesey’s Furthur bus pulling into Washington, D.C., and the Scary Pranksters emerging to kick some ass.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rollins-headshot.jpeg
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]

Los Angeles is a city where the eclectic and surreal often mix freely. There are so many scenes to make: If you do it just right, you can see and experience a lot in a short time.

Now and then, my schedule is such that I attend multiple events in a single week. I know for some people that’s just how they live. But it’s not always the case for me, so when there is a lot of nightlife on my itinerary, I marvel at Los Angeles and its incredible level of activity. It’s why you see all those low-cut vans with the driver pointing things out to the passengers. We live in a city that people come from all over the world to check out. It’s pretty cool.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Cracked Actor

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Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 3:45 AM
Rollins-headshot.jpeg
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]

Part three of a three-part travelogue.

The shows in Washington, D.C., Michigan and Ohio are done. Now on to Belgium to work for three days in a film and then return to Los Angeles.

Oct. 19, Washington, Dulles Airport: 1428 hrs. Got here hours ago and won’t be boarding for three more. I will land in Brussels, Belgium, tomorrow morning, Monday, and start work on Tuesday. I was only supposed to work on Wednesday and Thursday, but the schedule changed. “Would Henry mind if we added an extra day?” That they pitched it as a question was so polite!

Welcome to the world of low-budget film. Whatever it takes to get it done — that’s what you do. I used to get mad at this kind of thing, but at this point, I understand. There will be no extra pay, just more work. On a small budget production, there is not a great deal of insulation between you and the production itself. Their challenges become yours.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: It's Better for Me to Get My Chain Jerked

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Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 3:45 AM
Screen_Shot_2014-01-22_at_3.30.44_PM.png.jpeg
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]

Part two of a three-part travelogue.

Oct. 14, Washington, D.C.: 2351 hrs. Long day. Early afternoon at the Kennedy Center for an on-camera interview. Ian MacKaye came to pick me up afterward. I had a few hours before I had to be onstage at the Baird Auditorium for the Smithsonian. He took me to visit Jeff Place at the Smithsonian Folkways offices. Jeff gave us a tour. Tape restoration, document scanning, climate-controlled storage for masters — incredible. Jeff showed us original drawings by Woody Guthrie. Even though they are reproduced beautifully in the Woody at 100 box set, which Jeff worked on, there is nothing like the real thing.

I hit the stage at 1845 hrs. and had a great time.

I have to be up in a few hours. I can’t believe I am leaving so soon.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Not Keeping It Real

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Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 3:45 AM
Screen_Shot_2014-01-22_at_3.30.44_PM.png.jpeg
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]

It’s 0607 hrs, which wouldn’t be so bad if I weren’t in Washington, D.C., having just arrived from Los Angeles yesterday afternoon. I am operating on about three hours of sleep.

I’m sitting in the Starbucks at 1810 Wisconsin Ave., just blocks from the hotel where I am staying. This particular one distinguishes itself as the place where three employees were shot and killed in a robbery attempt in 1997. There is a sculpture on the wall with their names.

Today will be slightly blurred. Thankfully, I am not responsible for much besides being semi-coherent for some meetings a few hours from now. I have X-Ray Spex’s perfect, I mean without flaw, Germfree Adolescents album at a heroic volume in my Shure SE846s keeping me wired.

I will, over the next two weeks, drag you with me through different time zones and obligations, all filtered through varying degrees of sleep deprivation.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Musical Elitism Is For Lightweights

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Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 3:45 AM
Screen_Shot_2014-01-22_at_3.30.44_PM.png.jpeg
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]

A few days ago, I spent an afternoon with Lemmy. For the few who might not know that name, Lemmy is the bass player, vocalist and founding member of a band called Motörhead. The man has waged war on people’s hearing for decades.

Not only does Lemmy keep Motörhead alive and well, assaulting multigenerational audiences who possess brain cells yet to be obliterated, he was also in one of the greatest bands of all time, Hawkwind. They were true, visionary, sonic assassins.

Hawkwind has been around in one form or another since 1969, so not all of the band’s albums feature Lemmy, who eventually left to form Motörhead. But some of the ones he’s on, Doremi Fasol Latido, Space Ritual and Warrior on the Edge of Time, are incredible.

What makes things even better is that the new Motörhead album, Aftershock, is excellent. The riffs are ripping, the lyrics are sharp. It’s a dose of pure energy. Lemmy is almost 69 years old and still rockin’ hard.

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