[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 komodo dragons, Deerhoof and orange republicans, plus the awesomely annotated playlist for his KCRW BROADCAST #96 originally aired Saturday 1-08-11. For more details please visit KCRW.com and HenryRollins.com]
What a week, first one of the year. I am happy the downtime is behind me and relieved to be back at it. Even though I spent the entirety of the holiday up against a deadline for a book, I am still glad 2011 is here and I am moving ahead.
I spent a night and a day the Television Critics Association press marathon on behalf of National Geographic earlier this week. As some of you know, I have been doing documentary work with Nat. Geo. for a little while.
I was there Tuesday and Wednesday for press and panel discussions about a documentary we did called The Snake Underworld that comes out in April. It is part of a multi-night snake special on the Nat. Geo. Wild Channel that month. Other shows on the bill are episodes of Dangerous Encounters with Dr. Brady Barr and Python Hunters with Shawn Heflick.
I spent a few hours with Brady and Shawn. Their stories are incredible. They have been all over the world hunting for reptiles. Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, crocs, anacondas, pythons, mambas. The two of them were basically talking shop but for me, it was adventure stories, one after another. Their recounts of elephants, komodo dragons and hippos blew my mind.
The National Geographic world is fascinating.
On Tuesday night after the run through for Wednesday, I talked to retired astronaut Jerry Linenger for quite awhile. I don't think I have ever spoken to an astronaut before. Well, Lemmy was in Hawkwind but this guy was in NASA.
The guy was living in space for months on end. The descriptions of his feelings of being so distant from Earth, literally, made me have to re-think my definition of existentialism. He said he could watch wind patterns go across Earth, taking dust from one continent to another.
The idea of looking out your window and being able to see Earth, I still can't get my head around that. To be gone from the planet, that's really far away from home. Days later, I still can't get the vast expanse of that idea out of my head.
Also at the event was Terry Anderson, the subject of a new Nat. Geo Explorer special called American Hostage. Mr. Anderson was abducted in Lebanon in March of 1985 by Hezbollah and was freed after six years and nine months. I watched American Hostage a few nights ago, it was intense. I talked with him for a short time, very cool guy.
It was a very interesting group to say the least. I am looking forward to my next project with National Geographic, whatever it turns out to be.
The Tan Man cometh. And now ladies and gentlemen, it's star time! John Boehner is Weeper of the House. His tendency to cry publicly needs to be examined. What a strange, orange tinted man he is. He should be getting up to full speed next week. I will wait until the next teardrop falls. Since there's nothing I can do about the sound of one man crying for the next several months, I guess I will just have to settle in for a prolonged engagement of As The Orange Peels.
The new House, is apparently very big on the Constitution. Well, that's at least one thing we have in common. I can't wait to hear Michele Bachmann pull out an Article or an Amendment, expound upon it and illuminate us all. No really, I am giddy with anticipation for all that good learnin' I'll be able to do from her teaching. Her funhouse mirror take on the Tenth is going to be great to reflect upon. I highly doubt she'll be able to cool my great affection for the Fourteenth, no matter how much contempt she shows for it but I am looking forward to her psychobitchanalysis with baited breath.
My time spent with the Nat. Geo. crew, journalists and critics was light relief to the drudgery of editing that I returned to once my press duties were over. Until it's done, I am a man tied to a desk in edit mode.
One bright ray as always is my one hundred and twenty minutes of fun on 89.9 FM KCRW every Saturday evening. You might want to take a minute to check out the notes for last weekend's show because we had an exclusive that some of you might find very much to your liking.
Until next week, I hail you.
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Fanatics! Check out show #96's list! We have been given the brand new Deerhoof album, Deerhoof Vs. Evil, to play in its entirety, weeks before its release. Thank you to the band and to their wonderful press liaison, Marisa. We are so happy to be able to lay all thirty two minutes and forty-seven seconds of it on you. The band is coming to town at the Echoplex on the 29th of this month. I think we will have some tickets to give away next week, so get ready for that.
On either side of all that Deerhoof, we have a lot of great music. I think we manage to hit almost every corner of the record store before we get to the 'Hoof. It's been a long time since we have rocked some Hawkwind, so we had to take care of that. Comets On Fire, absolutely. Blind Willie McTell into Melt-Banana into Curtis Mayfield? This is how we do it!
Deerhoof Vs. Evil distinguishes itself by being a record the band recorded, mixed and mastered on their own in rehearsal places and basements. If you are a fan of the band, I think you will dig their new album. I am looking forward to their show here.
If you notice, we are rockin' some Melvins in our post-Deerhoof refractory period. I am sure you know that the band is playing at Spaceland every Friday of this month, a different album every week. Also, I am sure that by this point, you noticed that we played two Blonde Redhead tracks as well. A bit of call and response from my personal favorite album of theirs.
We end this amazing two hours with John Cale. You remember him from some band called the Velvet Underground. He is still making records that matter. It is to my great regret that I missed his last trip through Los Angeles late last year. I don't know how many times I have seen him play. Every time, he was incredible.
You have to admit, it's twenty-nine great tracks. Not to be missed. If you went to see Jandek at the Crystal Cove Auditorium at UC Irvine, then absolutely check this show on archive at KCRW.com.
Rock the Code Orange and STAY FANATIC!!! –Henry
E-mail address for Henry: Henryontheradio@gmail.com
KCRW BROADCAST #96
01. Hawkwind – Motorhead / Warrior On The Edge Of Time
02. Hawnay Troof – People Talk – Dollar And Deed
03. Motorhead – Louie, Louie / All The Aces: Best Of
04. Blonde Redhead – Hated Because Of Great Qualities / Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons
05. The Fall – I Am Damo Suzuki / This Nation's Saving Grace
06. Comets On Fire – Got A Feelin' / Comets On Fire
07. Johnny Hartman – When I Get The Time / The Johnny Hartman Collection
08. High On Fire – Holy Flames Of The Firespitter / Snakes For The Divine
09. Joe Meek – I Hear A New World / I Hear A New World
10. Julius Hemphill – Lyric / Coon Bidness
11. Blind Willie McTell – Atlanta Strut / Complete Recorded Works
12. Melt-Banana – What Do You Slaughter Next? / Scratch Or Stitch
13. Curtis Mayfield – You Must Believe Me / Love
14. Deerhoof – Qui Dorm, Només Somia / Deerhoof vs. Evil
15. Deerhoof – Behold a Marvel in the Darkness / Deerhoof vs. Evil
16. Deerhoof – The Merry Barracks / Deerhoof vs. Evil
17. Deerhoof – No One Asked to Dance / Deerhoof vs. Evil
18. Deerhoof – Let's Dance the Jet / Deerhoof vs. Evil
19. Deerhoof – Super Duper Rescue Heads! / Deerhoof vs. Evil
20. Deerhoof – Must Fight Current / Deerhoof vs. Evil
21. Deerhoof – Secret Mobilization / Deerhoof vs. Evil
22. Deerhoof – Hey I Can / Deerhoof vs. Evil
23. Deerhoof – C'Moon / Deerhoof vs. Evil
24. Deerhoof – I Did Crimes for You / Deerhoof vs. Evil
25. Deerhoof – Almost Everyone, Almost Always / Deerhoof vs. Evil
26. Hella – Friends Don't Let Friends Win / There's No 666 In Outer Space
27. Blonde Redhead – Loved Despite Of Great Faults / Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons
28. Melvins – Set Me Straight / Houdini
29. John Cale – Perfect / Black Acetate