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Henry Rollins!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Public Space and Private Property

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Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 3:45 AM
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[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 driving a pal visiting from the United Kingdom to and from the Cinefamily theater on Fairfax for a film festival. Near Melrose is a massive billboard advertising the next season of Sons of Anarchy. I noticed that an artist (or artists) filled in the bottom of the billboard with multicolored spray paint. It’s hard to make out; it just looks like designs to me. If it’s words, I can’t read them, but it looks like it took a good deal of time.

Looking at this day after day has me thinking about public space and private property.

Does God exist? What happens after we die? Is there life on other planets? These questions are difficult to answer, but when it comes to the overwhelming confidence of billboards, there is no doubt. Is Dylan McDermott on a show called Stalker? As sure as death and litigation, yes.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Why Joan Rivers Was a Champion

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Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 3:45 AM
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[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.]

In 2010 I saw the Joan Rivers documentary, A Piece of Work. I was curious to learn what made her tick. I always admired her comedic posture, like a journeyman boxer who takes and delivers gut punches night after night. She never seemed to take it for granted and always seemed to be hard at work, like she was just starting out. It’s the kind of tenacity that many performers eventually shed — due to everything from failure, increased comfort, or great success.

Comedy, as far as I have seen, is one of the roughest rooms of entertainment. There are a lot of funny people out there, they all want to be big, they can be very assertive, and most of them are men. And then there was Joan Rivers, who had some allies but was for the most part on her own, slugging it out.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Existing in the Moment

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Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 4:00 AM
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[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 still on the road, working on 10 Things You Don’t Know About for H2. We’re more than 140 days in, and a little more than half of those have been actual shoot days. The rest have been devoted to travel, voice-over, studio work and days off. It is a good show, and I am fortunate enough to have a great job, but let’s not oversell what this is. We are reporting stories that have already happened. We are not breaking new ground but merely rearranging very old ground in a way that our wonderful audience will hopefully find compelling.

To make 40-some minutes of content, which constitutes an episode, takes at least six long shooting days and countless hours of other work. At the end of all this, we will have made 10 episodes, which will air over a period of less than three months.

If you don’t think about it in the right way, this large amount of time spent can feel like a fool’s errand. If you are a goal-oriented person, it might feel a bit defeatist to have done so much to have achieved what might seem like so little.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: American Bigotry Is Alive in Ferguson

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Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 10:37 AM
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[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.]

While most of America gets on with its business, Ferguson, Missouri, burns in archaic flames of exasperating, unresolved anger, for all to see. Once again, the world watches America roil in the mortifying echo of Jim Crow law brutality. Meanwhile, U.S. firepower explodes bodies of ISIS militia thousands of miles away. They and Boko Haram are seen as primitive, extremist scum that should be eradicated. Even the new liberal, socialist pope wants to see the American Shock ’n’ Awe Fire Revue focused on ISIS. Yet there’s Missouri, showing everyone where America’s at.Missouri has a history of despicable conduct. Abraham Lincoln’s Lyceum Address in January 1838 was in response to the hangings and burnings of humans there.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: More Thoughts on Suicide

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Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 4:14 AM
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[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.]

As you might imagine, I got a few letters about my recent column about suicide. Actually, it was a lot of letters. For days. I read them. No matter how angry or instructive, I appreciate them all because they were written with complete sincerity, even if some had only two words, the second being “you.”

After reading carefully and responding as best I could, it was obvious that I had some work to do in order to educate myself further on this very complex and painful issue. I am quite thick-headed, but not so much that things don’t occasionally permeate.

In the piece, I said there are some things I obviously don’t get. So I would like to thank you for taking the time to let me know where you’re coming from. None of it was lost upon me.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Fuck Suicide

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Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 9:43 AM
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[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.]

Days after Robin Williams died, I kept seeing his face on the Internet. His death seemed to have a momentum of its own. It went from a sad death of a famous person to “a nation mourns” pitch, which I didn’t quite understand. Sites such as Huffington Post swim in their own brand of hyperbole. They call it news and culture, but often, it’s just content.

I understand why people feel Williams’ loss so intensely. His talent as an actor is not in dispute. His performance in Good Will Hunting is unimpeachable. I wonder if he was tapping into his own deep trench of personal pain to deliver some of those scenes. It was brave and excellent work.

See also: Henry' most recent column, 'More Thoughts on Suicide'

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Invisible Cities

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Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 3:45 AM
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[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 in my second week in Las Vegas. It is a hell of a thing to be getting familiar with intersections and places. It is a big city in a small town. Besides a 72-hour timeout for an injection of culture in Los Angeles several days ago — when I interviewed the great Syrian musician Omar Souleyman at the Grammy Museum — I have been here.

To feel the full effect of Las Vegas, I think you have to get off the street and spend as much time as you can in an air-conditioned, windowless, dimly lit hotel casino, until you lose track of hours and minutes altogether. This gives one the potential to enter into the sanity-challenging reality bend that Hunter S. Thompson experienced in his Fear and Loathing period.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Las Vegas Is Out of Ideas

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Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 3:45 AM
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[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’m in Las Vegas. I will be in and out of the city for several days. Before anything else, the heat. It is incredible. Walking around in 106-degree air makes you question your sanity. Yet here we are out in it — that is to say, myself and countless other insaniacs. We pack the sidewalks, cause lines in large restaurants, drink, yell, gamble, etc.

I am sitting outside the Westin, where, mercifully, several small spigots jut out from an overhang, sending out water spray that evaporates almost as quickly as it comes out, which cools the air slightly. All around me are hotels: Bally’s, the Flamingo, Caesars Palace, the Platinum, the Hilton Grand Vacations. All of them look large enough to house an entire county’s worth of people.

I am waist-deep in irony. Besides those who work here, I am surrounded by people who saved, planned and then came here for what I really don’t understand.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Hemp Is Back

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Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 3:45 AM
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[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 in the back of an SUV, the seat in front of me almost against my knees. The great wide open of southeastern Colorado rolls by the window. Except for Kerri, who’s driving, everyone has a laptop open. Phone calls are coming in, logistics are being hammered out, something about a hot air balloon. This is our rolling production office between locations.

We are in the homestretch of shooting 10 Things You Don’t Know About for H2. Only another month or so left to go. Our remaining locations will be in Colorado, Nevada and California. The next few weeks will be extremely hot.

Last night, we were in Lamar, Colorado. It was 98 degrees when we pulled in in the early evening. The multihour drive from the Denver airport was quite moving. Small towns with closed theaters, gas stations and department stores appeared out of nowhere. As quickly, they vanished.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: Find Your Summer

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Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 3:45 AM
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[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 several days, I have been in and out of Philadelphia, working on the show that never ends, 10 Things You Don’t Know About. We started about 80 days ago and are over 40 shooting days in, with a  ong way to go. I get off easy compared with the people on the production end. I really don’t know how they do it.

The weather has been moving us around a bit. Suddenly, we were faced with three days off. When we got word of this massive 72 hours away from waking up at the crack of dawn — and going full-on until wrap — I think some of us just didn’t know what to do with so much time. I love having “problems” like this.

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