[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 thoughts on the lull before New Year's in LA and talking to annoying radio talk show callers, plus the awesomely annotated playlist for his KCRW BROADCAST #94 for tomorrow, Saturday 12-18-10. For more details please visit KCRW.com and HenryRollins.com]
I like this time of year in Los Angeles. Things slow down a little, the standing ambient roar of the city dulls by a few decibels and, as we get closer to the end of the month, the population will noticeably decrease as many people migrate to other locations for whatever reason compels them.
Los Angeles, at the end of the year starts to feel less like a city and more like a huge, sprawling town. I must say, I don't mind it all that much.
It is in this time when the character of the city changes, becomes more analog, more humane and not so driven and impersonal.
For me, this time of the year is when I cross the finish line, about fifty weeks out of the fifty-two.
Management, agents and the rest are rolling it up for the year and leaving the building as it were. It is in a way, a mutually agreed-upon truce. We will all be back to run roughshod over each other in a couple of weeks as we throw ourselves headlong into the new year, full of resolutions and determination.
Over the last several days, I have been getting up very early and doing three to four hours of press. Good Day LA, Carson Daly, Daily Habit, a myriad radio stations all over America, all to promote a National Geographic Explorer special called Born To Rage?, which premiered on the National Geographic Channel last Tuesday night.
The press went smoothly enough for the most part. Now and then, some snark but that's easily dealt with. You get to a certain age and station in life where you really, I mean really, don't care what someone thinks about you. Belief in the First Amendment overrides my need to be liked all the time. When one gentleman at some station in our incredible America called me Henry Collins, I just went along with it, no need to correct.
I am often able to hear the radio hosts before I am on with them and hear either what they really think of me or what is on the minds of their callers. It's all I can do to stay on topic sometimes. There is the great temptation to chime in.
While waiting to engage with Dennis Miller, I listened to him talk with a listener who wanted to take his country back and go back to a different time.
I have heard that rap before and wonder who they want to take it back from, who they want to have run it and most interestingly, at what time in history do they want to be transported magically back to? 1864, pre Thirteenth Amendment? Who knows? I just go with it, answer the questions and get patched into the next station, over and over, hour after hour. I am glad that's over for awhile.
Next week, the last transmission to you this year. I will start working now on an attempt to sum it all up. Until then, dig the below radio notes and please tune in if at all possible.
DON'T MISS SATURDAY NIGHTS ON THA K, KCRW FM 89.9
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8-10 PM – LIZA 'HOTTER THAN' RICHARDSON
10-MIDNIGHT – MARIO 'THE CODE' COTTO
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KCRW BROADCAST #94
Fanatics! Tonight we revel in jams of immense diversity and density. We start both hours with Black Sabbath just to prove a point that we can and also because it is so liberating to hear the thunder of Tony Iommi's guitar ring through the halls of Tha K. I encourage you to crank it up and do damage. Please note that our second track of the evening features one Sam Ireland on vocals, one of the mightier female vocalists in independent music and a tremendous live performer. Die Cheerleader, great band, 'Son Of Filth', great album.
You will see that we have proven incapable of staying away from the Dylan mono or the Marnie Stern. I am unable to apologize for our repetitive behavior because the songs are just too good to leave alone. I doubt that we shall ever recover. New on the show is the Coathangers, an Engineer X turn on, very cool. A new album by The Telephone Company called 'Panda Brain!' gets a track hurled onto the airwaves. Drag City kindly sent me a copy of the Dwarr 'Animals' album, which gets a bit of play this evening. You might want to some reading up on Duane Warr, the album's creator, it's an intense story that makes the album all that more interesting. Drag City consistently releases great stuff.
One of the bands I keep a close eye on, Buck Gooter, have released a new album which we jam tonight. For more info: www.buckgooter.tk
Yes, more of the Iggy/Williamson, it's too good to leave at home. I have been playing the vinyl version all week and it's so great what has been accomplished on the re-mix. I just got a copy of the Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas album and have not had the chance to explore it all that deeply but tonight's track is the first one that jumped out at me. We will be back to visit this one again. The Swans track we are enjoying tonight comes from a live show that I was witness to in the year of 1986. One of the best shows I have ever seen. Thankfully, a tape recorder was on to document the experience that would have been relegated to a tall tale losing signal in the ever thickening mists of time. Whoa.
Oh, look, it's more Black Sabbath to start us out on our second hour. How did that happen? It is the response to the call that tonight's first track issued. In fact, the entire hour is in tribute to one of the great superstars of the last century. I will leave you with this great music and the hope that you will join us at 89.9 KCRW as we drop it from a great height.
Sad News Update Dept.: We have just received the sad news that the great Don Van Vliet also known as Captain Beefheart, has passed away. He was sixty-nine. He is no stranger to any of you Fanatics as we have played his music so much over the last several years we have been together on the radio that he needs no introduction to you. If you notice, we have changed tonight's set list to accommodate this tragic news. Get your Beefheart records out this weekend and get 'em spinning!
Listen fast and bulbous and STAY FANATIC!!! -Henry
JOE COLE 04.10.61 – 12.19.91
E-Mail address for Henry:
KCRW BROADCAST #94
01. Black Sabbath – Into the Void / Master Of Reality
02. Die Cheerleader – Massive Tangled Muscle / Son Of Filth
03. Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues / Best Of The Mono Recordings
04. Marnie Stern Female Guitar Players Are The New Black
05. The Coathangers – Sonic You / Scramble
06. The Telephone Company – Panda Brain / Panda Brain!
07. Dwarr – Animals / Animals
08. Buck Gooter – Snakes Are Cool / Beyond The Rotting Leaf
09. XBXRX – Q Bert / Love Songs For The Blind
10. Bush Tetras – Cowboys In Africa / Boom In The Night
11. Captain Beefheart – Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish / Trout Mask Replica
12. Captain Beefheart – Gimme Dat Harp Boy / Mirroro Man
13. Captain Beefheart – I Love You, You Big Dummy / Lick My Decals Off, Baby
14. Captain Beefheart – Abba Zaba / Safe As Milk
15. Captain Beefheart – Ashtray Heart / Doc at The Radar Station
16. Black Sabbath – War Pigs / Live At Last
17. Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Chile / In The West
18. Devo – Auto Modown / Hardcore Devo Vol. 01
19. Black Flag – American Waste / Six Pack EP
20. Miles Davis – Ali [Take 4] / Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
21. Beastie Boys – A Year And A Day / Paul's Boutique
22. Public Enemy – Miuzi Weighs A Ton / Yo! Bum Rush the Show
23. Led Zeppelin – Black Dog / Led Zeppelin IV
24. The Stains – Sick And Crazy / The Stains