I'm not gonna say that there was never a day I didn't think about writing for The Tripwire. I always think about it. Listen, I'm really not interested in being a writer or feeling like I kicked ass creating a feature piece that people enjoyed reading on a semi-popular website. I'm a normal guy that loves music, loves work, has a million ideas running through the pea brain, and would rather be hanging out with family and/or drinking with friends. Oh there's more to me. I have loads of responsibilities. Those just seem to be the recurring shit in my everyday life. Combine the music, ideas, and drinking part and you get the jist of my job. Although the drinking has subsided dramatically in the last couple of years, I still get my drink on when I feel that urge to. I guess I've become more of a disciplined drinker. Used to be called binge drinking. As you get older, the "buffer" effect takes place more often. You feel the need to rewrap or rationalize the stupid things that you did as a youngster and continue to do as an adult. So they don't sound as silly when you are 37 years old.
Where was I? See I already lost my train of thought. If I continue to write these things and you keep reading them, that's what you'll get from me. I will actually sound like an incoherent writer. Sometimes making sense. A lot of times just random rambling thoughts - maybe even incomplete sentences. Who knows. I don't even know what to expect. I've never really done this before at length. Oh and another thing, I'm not going to torture myself to use proper grammar and punctuation. Don't get me wrong, I'll clean it up to the best of my ability. Expect plenty of mistakes. I'm not lazy. Just keeping it real. Haha. My last name is English, I really do have a college degree, but the rules governing the English language occasionally become unhinged in my noggin. Nothing sticks. I can retain a ton of useless music trivia, but the simple things that should've been engraved in the left side of my brain since elementary schooling...MIA. If you don't mind, these postings will look and feel more like conversational pieces. Kinda like writing emails. To my benefit of course.
Why write at all?
Well, good question. That little post that I published last Friday, Where Do We Stand?, received a pretty good amount of feedback. It was short. It was dumb. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from my insert. I did it for a few different reasons, none of which was to boost my confidence for writing. Then your emails were not so much about the issue at hand, but more complimentary to my writing. Pretty much encouraging me to consider doing more on the site. That's why there's text again from me today. I dig our site. If it brings another voice, view, idea, etc - cool. And if you dig it - I'm all for it.
Here we go.
So the first thing that came to mind today, that I felt a bit of interest to write about, was Henry Rollins. I'm a fan. Although I must admit, Rollins' music hasn't really pumped me blood since 1992's End Of Silence and 1994's Weight. It was a back to back period of kicking releases. After those two, he released a handful of rekkids. Some good. Some not so good. Yes, I can count on HR for at least 2 monster songs on each album, but on the whole they were thin. I'm not trying to be a prick for the sake of saying something mean. That's how I hear it. And I did hear favorable comments on his 2001 release Nice, but I didn't get that one unfortunately.
Bottom line, we like Hank. One of our cooler features with HR was on June 21, 2006. It was an exclusive interview between him & Saul Williams. We love Saul too! It was a great read. Try it on here.
Anyway, I was thinking about Henry and why it has taken me this long to watch The Henry Rollins Show on the IFC. Maybe because I don't watch that much television? I really don't have an excuse. So, last night I finally checked in. It was the premiere episode of the second season.
First, I have to ask. Why do some people think that Henry Rollins is gay - in the sexual sense? I'm being totally serious. The first time I heard that rumor was two years ago down in Austin, Texas. I was in a cab with Johnny Knoxville, Roger Alan Wade and another industry type person that will remain unnamed. None of us knew the answer. Nor did anyone want to venture the thought with certainty. Not entirely sure why it even came up. He was just one person out of 10 or so that were named. Yes it was stupid. I guess it's like that idiotic "topic" that pops up in a party atmosphere, like, "does Bono wear a hairpiece?" kinda shit. On a basic level, I think people start jerkoff rumors to incite a confrontation. But I wonder, do people actually plot to out celebs? Do they think that if they circulate a nasty rumor long enough, that the intended target will get so frustrated that they have no other choice than to answer the public's curiosity? Maybe. If Hank is gay, he is the toughest [gay] motherfucker I ever met. And I have met him.
He may remember the show. It was a spoken word gig at the Carefree Theatre in West Palm Beach, Florida (September 28, 1997). He may even remember the performance. He was really breaking bad on Tom Cruise. Way before it was cool to break bad on the poor guy. There was a meet-n-greet after the show. I don't think he would remember me. Scratch that. There's no way he would remember me. It's not like something cool happened between us. I probably looked like all the other assholes waiting in the room to say hi. Its always an awkward meeting. On the average, you have like 10 seconds to hit it off with the talent. If you swing a strike at the first point of interaction, the next guy senses it, butts in and steals the attention away from you. It happens a lot because generally the first words out of your mouth are, "hey great show." WTF. As a courtesy you have to start out with a compliment. You feel the pressure to establish your "like" for them. It's a natural thing to say. I got smart to that shit. Nowadays I just say, "you wanna do a shot!?!?" That usually breaks the monotony real quick [or not].
Back to the cable show. Hank opens with a pre-intro teasing the content for that evening's episode - an interview with Marilyn Manson and an uncut performance from electro-rock chick Peaches. Nice delivery. HR looks good. Or should I say, he looks the same as he has for the last 2 decades. Black short-sleeved tshirt, bulging biceps, tats all over, etc. He's a bit grayer these days, but it looks good on him. What do people say - distinguished? BTW, when did he cut his hair and beef up? My first HR visual experience was a Black Flag video back in the mid 80s. Not sure exactly. I know I was in high school. And I know I saw the video for Drinking And Driving on MTV's 120 Minutes. Sure I was familiar with the band prior to that. Repo Man baby! I was a teenage punk/skater kid at a fresh fourteen years of age. That movie was a part of our lifestyle! Damn that was cool.
Ok. Decent show intro w/music. Now comes the monologue. Monologue? It's called Teeing Off. Ok. If you know anything about Henry outside of his music, you know he's a pretty intelligent guy. Seems to be very well versed in fucking everything. Very political. Not to the point that he goes around marching for specific causes necessarily. He's the guy that will voice his opinions at the right place/right time.
Thirty seconds into it and now it becomes apparent that this segment is not his friend. I've seen his spoken word shows. He can be a super personable guy. Definitely more candid than this. This is too stiff. C'mon. Is it the lack of an audience? I mean he is performing in a room full of crew members on the set. That's stale. Put goddamn people in that room for him. He needs to feed off that energy of real bodies holding onto every little word that comes from his pouty unsmiling mouth. He needs the give & take. He's a performer. Give him something more than crew.
Whoa he just said "stick it to those motherfuckers." I forgot that I was watching cable. Hahaha. Seriously. It caught me off-guard. See how TV challenged I am...
Brian Warner aka Marilyn Manson is up next. Sitting on couch chairs. Looks comfy. Marilyn has the usual gotho freako thingy going on.
Nothing different. HR definitely has a good groove on the interview portion of the program. Sounds conversational. You know, three of my favorite interviewers in the business of show are (in no particular order): David Letterman, Matt Lauer (the Today show), and Jimmy Kimmel. That's some good dorky shit huh. Experts in the field. I'm sure you have better ones.
Yes Brian is smart when he wants to be. He's the arty type. In school, he may have been that kid that was bullied by the majority of his peers, but somehow that social isolation forced him to reach out for other comforts necessary in adolescent stimulation. Mostly in the form of music and books. What killed him in the social life growing up, made him stronger in the after-life of school.
MM is talking about the backlash of Columbine. Excuse me. Doesn't backlash follow this guy? Is he not the poster-child for bad press? It must get tiring after awhile. Smart marketing? Shocking. Another Robert factoid, I actually like MM's music. "Lunchbox" from his 1994 album Portrait Of An American Family - is fucking scarily good. He is scary lyrically speaking too. Again, another solid performer. He kills it live. But I think the novelty started to wear off after the release of Holy Wood. I could be wrong. He obviously still has a huge fan base. Does it guarantee that many record sales though? Acts with get-ups can only go on for so long...right? Where's that dumb-ass clown band? I totally just forgot their name. And they are not worth my time searching it out on the net. They sucked out of the box. Maybe that wasn't the best example.
If you use the gimmicks and you slip the slightest in the quality of your music - get the fuck out of Dodge. Not only is your "identity" in a possible crisis, but your fans start looking at you silly like. Look at what happened to Kiss. They still have a LOYAL fanbase. But any chance of commercial success in the form of record sales were nil after the original slip up. A hard-rocking platinum act for YEARS, makes a poor decision that turns off half their core audience. Was it worth it? Certainly they were suffering from internal band issues at the time of its recording. It could've simply been a culmination of shit building up to a breaking point and NOT the make-up. You have to admit though, that disco sound fucked them up royally for good. Totally fucking off their fans by releasing that awful record Dynasty. Oh sure it was a commercial slam dunk for them. The damn lead single sounded like a fucking disco fuck record. We don't want our rock band to take that quick-of-a-turn to a genre that had all of the cool rock acts of its time flipping that scene the bird. Listen, I respect the Bee Gees. In fact, I just recently listened to the band's Greatest Hits or something. See my iTunes.
Freakin' talented family. They definitely hit their stride in the disco era. The Bee Gees were made for that junk. Not Kiss!!! If you're going to do the make-up or mask shit, be prepared to go away the second you make your first mistake. Go away for a very long time. Maybe forever. Don't even think about re-emerging unless you see some proof that there's huge demand for your comeback or you completely reinvent yourself. I guess you can continue to make a living outside of the US. Like in other countries - maybe Germany or Japan. They eat that novelty shit up. It sucks. I know.
Hahaha. I just read that rant back. What the hell was I talking about? Now, I'm just typing whatever comes to mind people. Good thing I Tivo'd Mr. Rollins' show. Ok. Rewind. Rewind. Marilyn. Marilyn. Marilyn. Ok. He is releasing his new record this summer called Eat Me, Drink Me (June 5, 2007). Four years in the making. Writer's block. Confused. Identity crisis. Yeah! That's what I'm talking about. Of course you have an identity crisis dude. Don't you look drastically different when you wake up in the late morning/afternoon? That's because you can't sleep with make-up on and/or crazy contacts in your eyes. Your face will get all fugly and grisly. For real though, he had some major personal problems in the last four years. Cut him some slack. Did I mention that I like Marilyn Manson's music. Swear to his God.
Solid interview. Marilyn pretty much talked his booty off. Henry really didn't ask that many questions. But the ones he did ask were pointed and interesting. Good job Hank.
Now it's time for the musical guest - Peaches UNCUT. What does the "uncut" mean? The bands can do and say whatever they want. Cool. I dig the Peaches. Her real name is Merrill Nisker. I dig her bush. Or is it shaved? Hahaha. Why the vulgar talk? Listen to her albums. Every song is written about her female private area or sex pretty much. She records some pretty kinky shit. Is this really her persona off the stage though? I haven't met Merrill. I wouldn't mind meeting her, but I wouldn't go out of my way to do it. Actually, I would like to go bowling with her. The last time I bowled, I was at one of those "Rock N Bowl" alleys where they shut the house lights off and blast loud rock music. Well, a Peaches video suddenly appeared on the huge projection screen above our lane. Merrill is very visual. Always pushing the "crotch-shot" angle. The alcohol/adrenaline combo fun-rush of throwing 16 lb. balls down a long stretch of waxy wood flooring, mixed with a giant twenty-four inch crotch on the big screen, was indescribable.
Peaches is another good performer in the indie rock 'n roll world. You cannot tell me that you've been to a Peaches show and she sucked. I won't believe you. Hey is that Samantha Maloney on the skins?. One of the coolest female drummers out there is Ms. Maloney (Shift, Hole, Eagles Of Death Metal). I used my shot, ice breaking line on her and it worked - true story! Hahaha. I'm such a pudd. Close second on the female drummer front - Carla Azar from Autolux. Awesome. She is way cute too. Is she married to actor Giovanni Ribisi? I dig the GR man. I stood behind him at a Beck performance at Coachella. Hahaha. Now I'm just name dropping.
So that was a typical Peaches performance. Nothing "uncut" about it. Maybe needed a cut on the backwards somersault! ha. That was some risky business right there. I kid, I kid. But guess what - it doesn't translate on TV so well. Get her in a club and she'll singe the pubes on your ball sac. Literally too, I'm sure.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Henry Rollins Show. He is a very likable gent. I'm sure he gets along with the majority of his guests or he only books the ones that he respects. Play it safe. Will I see HR interview peeps that he doesn't so much kiss their ass, but maybe kicks their ass in a verbal match of wit, smarts and control? Anything like that in the first season? I will suss that out. I want to see Hank pumpin' less with the weights and throwing more of it around. You know you are good for it Henry!
Thanks for reading. If you want to send me comments, please send them here. Sorry it was soooo long. Maybe as I get the hang of this writing stuff, I'll also get the hang of editing my junk...
Catch The Henry Rollins Show, Fridays at 11pm EST on IFC.
you can always check in on Marilyn Manson's official site to stay in touch with the original freakness.
Peaches' current release is called ImPeach My Bush out on Beggars/XL Recordings