Category Archives: Eye Opener

Henry Rollins – The Kent Stage – Kent, OH – 04/01/2010

Tonight was one of those nights I have been looking forward for quite some time now and now I find it coming to an end but have vivid memories of it still fresh in my mind.

A few months back Matt asked me if I wanted to join him and Mr. D.X. Ferris to see Henry Rollins perform a spoken word at The Kent Stage in, you guessed it, Kent, OH.  My response was of course a “HELL YES” and as time flew by I found myself meeting up with the vinyl addict and Ferris at the lovely Taco Tantos for a bite to eat before the show on the first warm evening of the year.

Before I start talking about the show I need to touch base with Taco Tantos.  The place is amazing if you fancy a burrito, taco, or any other traditional Mexican finger food.  Having been there a handful of times I have never had a bad thing to say about it, that is, until I wat there with Matt.

I don’t know if it is luck or fate but is seems like things go bad when Matt and I hang out.  I could bring up stories from the past but I would rather focus on the present.  I ordered my food followed by Matt and then Ferris.  I told the eye catching order taker that I wanted to eat on the patio and I thought all was fine.  Well 45 minutes later Matt and I are still waiting for our food, Ferris has a plate of tacos, and I am getting pissed.

I ask a kid if my order is ready multiple times and he just seemed to be getting annoyed with me.  Being calm and not trying to lose it I notice 2 plates of food next to the cash register that have been sitting there for a while and manage to get the freshman stoner’s attention once more and point out that those two plates look like the food we ordered.  The kid looked at me like I was crazy and said that since they were for the patio I had to ring a doorbell to let them know I was out there.

A doorbell?  Are you serious?  I was not told about said magical doorbell let alone how to get into the patio area nor did Matt.  We both waited by the pick up area in hopes they would call out our name and hand us our delicious, and damn were they delicious, burritos.  Instead we were ignored until I was about to erupt in obscenities.

Is there a moral to this little rant?  Yes, don’t order food to be eaten in the patio unless you are fully aware of the doorbell.

Now that I got that off my chest i might as well go into the point of this blog entry – Mr. Henry Rollins.

I was introduced to Rollins when I was a teenage music lover and have grown up with him since.  From Black Flag to Rollins Band I have always appreciated him as a musician but it was not until I started getting in to his books of poetry as well as listening to his spoken words did I realize how intelligent and inspiring this guy was.  I started to identify with him and used his smart words of encouragement and reality and put them in front of me daily.

The guy seriously saved my life.  Rollins had a huge impact of me growing up and as much as some people may not want to believe this, he helped shape me into who I have become as a person.  There was something about the way his words came out that attacked me and woke me up.  I learned that I was not the only one like me out there who took hell from the naive and dumbfounded.  I learned to chose my words wisely and be happy with who I am.  He was a punk rock psychologist for me through words and music, he was an idol and still is to this day.

When Rollins took the stage today I knew I was going to be in for something good.  I started thinking about all the times I saw him live when he was in the Rollins band as well as the only other time I saw him perform a spoken word in Kent.  Before he even spoke I was immediately in a good mood because I knew for the next three hours or so this guy was going to talk and I was going to listen to every single word he had to say to me.

Rollins, who is 49 years old, still looks tough as hell.  He came onto the stage in a black tee and black pants.  He looked a little thinner since I last saw him and over all had the same full forced charisma I have grown fond of.  The punk rock musician / actor / writer took the mic, put it up to his mouth, and began to speak.

For three hours Rollins took everyone in the Kent Stage on a tour of words with out taking one break.  He spoke about current events, the government, growing up, traveling, and just being himself.  The great thing about his storytelling abilities is that he would take a story, sidetrack for a moment, and then jump back to the original story with out causing confusion at all only to flow into a new story about something not related to the previous.  All stories were true stories from the internet loving punk rock hero.

Rollins had such a love for the Constitution and proved his intelligence on that stage tonight.  Admitting that he reads the document daily he shared his excitement for it and history for that matter to everyone.  I admit I was getting excited as well as he talked about the freedom of speech and why he loves America so much.  He dished our articles from that document like a professor would in a college history class with ease, it was impressive.

Adding his humor into some of the stories it was still clear that he had a point with his stories.  He would talk about the lesbian high school student who was denied the prom in Mississippi and then formulate a better generalization for a better outcome.  From there he went into organized religion and their intolerance for same sex relations only to find it as an escape and opportunity for those who were shunned from their beliefs for being who they are.

Once he was done with one subject he would move to the next and just keep the flow going.  I am not sure if everyone in the house agreed with him 100% on everything he had to say but I know I did.  Once again I found myself sitting there relating with this punk rocker who I wanted to grow up and be when I was a kid.  I sat there with a stern smile on my face and found myself laughing at some of his jokes more than others.  I was not trying to be a super fan, like the girl next to me was, I was just enjoying his company.

For a few moments Rollins touched on the most recent election, where he was, and what he did.  I was jealous to find out that him and Ian MacKaye went to see Bad Brains at an afternoon show before the polls had closed.  The stories he told during that segment were humorous but also personal.  He talked about how MacKaye and him first discovered Bad Brains while seeing The Damned at a D.C. show and how they all became friends (he also bragged to the crowd he was at the first Minor Threat concert and saw Led Zeppelin).  Rollins shifted back to the show him and MacKaye went to and talked about the lead singer of Bad Brains who pretty much has lost his mind in the mid-eighties.

It was funny to hear what Rollins saw that during that show but also kind of sad.  Rollins admitted that he and MacKaye were floored when they were young and saw Bad Brains for the first time.  He admitted that HR’s actions were not welcomed by some of the crowd at the election day show and they seemed discouraged and not wowed like he and MacKaye were.

From helping Rupaul as a judge to acting on Sons Of Anarchy he just kept dishing out great stories about his life.  I found myself most interested in when he talked about the time he was invited to a college to give a commencement speech at Sonoma College.  Where he did not recite the speech word for word (you can read the speech in it’s entirety here), he did unload a good chunk of it and my God it was…inspiring and just wholesome.

I could see the honestly in Rollins’ eyes throughout the night as continued to speak to everyone.  Rollins was a great storyteller throughout and not once did he reach for a sip of water or lose his place.  Seriously, three hours of non-stop talking, and not the kind where you want to excuse yourself from the room.  This was energetic, fun to listen to material.  He was full of information that he just wanted to release though the entire crowd and that he did.  Before I, and everyone else, knew it he was closing the night telling everyone he was going to return everyone’s asses to them and exited the stage.

I left The Kent Stage satisfied and full of knowledge and I know I was not the only one.  Perhaps some people attended tonight because they know the name Henry Rollins and heard his spoken words are entertaining but I went there knowing about him.  I wanted some inspiration from a tough SOB that pretty much was there for me when I thought no one else was.  He may not know it and may never will but as he left the stage I clapped my hands heavily and gave a thank you to him for all that he has done for me over the last 15 years.

New Foxy Shazam Video For Your Viewing Pleasure

So one of the bands who I am most excited about releasing new material this year is Cincinatti’s Foxy Shazam.  I might have mentioned something about them before…

Today Foxy Shazam released a new video today that pretty music takes Peter Pan, The Darkness, and hot chicks wearing knee high tube socks making for a fun time all in a black & white format. The lead singer who looks like V from V Is For Vendetta guy is hyper awesome and I just see good things happening with this arena rock band.

Check out the new video for “Oh Lord”:

Front man Eric Nally had this to say about himself and what Foxy Shazam is:

I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was one of two white boys in an all-black high school. The band name Foxy Shazam came from a saying in my school meaning, “cool shoes.” If you had cool shoes kids would say those are “foxy shazam.” Because of this we have a lot of soul, and try to let it bleed through our music as much as possible. Mom and Dad were pretty poor as I was growing up but always supported my musical interests nonetheless. In the early years they bought my band cheap guitars and amps and drove us to shows in the family Thunderbird. I owe them big time and will someday repay them.

When I listen to a Foxy Shazam record I think of Evel Knievel, Bruce Springsteen, my childhood, Van Morrison, my old friends from high school I don’t talk to anymore, Elton John, the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and beyond, Iggy Pop and my first kiss. One of my favorite things to do when listening to my music is to close my eyes and picture a crowd of six million people all chanting “Foxy! Foxy! Foxy!” The lights go out and my band walks on stage. It gives me goose bumps. It all makes sense to me. When you listen to our record, think of your favorite things and it’ll make sense to you as well.

Foxy Shazam is not concerned with what category it falls into. We want to stand for our generation.

We want to be the biggest band in the world.

We are the Michael Jordan of Rock N’ Roll.

I have the feeling Eric will be repaying his folks in no time.  He has such a positive and energetic attitude about what he is in and loves to do.  This band is going to be getting a lot of attention in 2010, or so I think.

Jay Reatard Homicide?

In a recent blog, I posted the news about Jay Reatard‘s death.  At the time it was undetermined about how he died but apparently his death is now being investigated as a homicide.  According to The L.A. Record Memphis Police are looking for a possible suspect in the musician’s death.

Hearing this I decided to so some internet surfing and found out some interesting info…

It appears as if Jay Reatard had some hate towards someone according to  Reading though the article it stated that Reatard had beef with New Jersey band Liquor Store.The garage punk outfit allegedly slashed the tires on Reatard’s tour van recently and Reatard did not take it lightly.

What is crazier is I read the last Twitter posted by Jay Reatard on 01/11/2010 at 3:24PM:

@jayreatard“I will give anyone a hundred bucks per tire that they pop on the band liquor stores van ! Yes I’m serious”

So who is this Liquor Store band and why did they slash Reatard’s tires in the first place?  Not trying to be CSI BHP here but looking at their MySpace page I noticed they just so happened to be in Tennessee for a couple of shows…right around the time Reatard was discovered dead.

Coincidence?  Only time will tell…

Regardless the world lost a good artist who may not have been well known but really made in impact with his style.

According to a post on the Terminal Boredom message board, Reatard threatened members of Liquor Store with a chainsaw and hit a band member in the face with a disco ball.

Wait… did you say a chainsaw and a disco ball?  Well no wonder they slashed his tires!  Still the cause on the initial brawl is still unknown at this time as well as there is no proof that foul play has been involved.

Nashville Scene posted funeral information as well as supplied a Fox News cache to a story that was pulled off the internet.

Matador Records posted funeral information as well as well a personal entry from Matador co-owner/Matablog blogger Gerard Cosloy:

I was on a flight to NY this afternoon and when I landed there were about two dozen text messages about Jay Reatard’s passing. It is the height of understatement to say I’m upset, confused and deeply saddened by the loss of one of the more amazing people I’ve been fortunate to know.  In record company parlance, yeah, we’ve lost (let’s go down the checklist) a phenomenal performer, songwriter, and insatiable music lover.  But we’ve lost a great friend as well, and that’s the part that hurts the most.

We’re not the only ones feeling that way right now, obviously. Jay’s friends all over the country, heck, all over the world are dealing with this. I know his various scrapes over the years have made for cheap internet fodder, but the people who cared about him are gonna remember a real person that mattered to them.  Our thoughts are with that very large group of people this evening.

Check out this well done short documentary on Jay Reatard:

Waiting For Something – a short documentary about Jay Reatard

Jay Reatard | MySpace Music Videos

Name That Band – Seriously.

I was just killing some time this morning and wound up on Radiohead’s Blog only to find out that front man Thom Yorke is starting a new band!

Don’t worry he is not leaving Radiohead or anything.  This is just a little side project of his that will play Yorke’s The Eraser live as well as some new material too.  The band features Yorke, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, long time Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, drummer Joey Waronker (who has worked with Beck, Elliot Smith, and R.E.M.), and Mauro Refosco.

The nameless band will be playing two shows.  Once on Oct. 4th and one on Oct. 5th in Los Angeles.

Thom Yorke posted the following:

in the past couple of weeks i’ve been getting a band together for fun to play the eraser stuff live and the new songs etc.. to see if it could work!
here’s a photo.. its me, joey waronker, mauro refosco, flea and nigel godrich.

at the beginning of october the 4th and 5th we are going to do a couple of shows at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.
we don’t really have a name and the set will not be very long cuz ..well …we haven’t got that much material yet!
but come and check it out if you are in the area. we’ve also got locals Lucky Dragons playing.
all the best

Just in case you have not heard any of Yorke’s solo material…

Shwayze’s “Get U Home” Video

Shwayze‘s music video for “Get U Home” got my eyes popping out of my head thanks to some good looking sisters, sorority sisters that is.  The music video features the Malibu based hip-hop act playing live with some fine ladies from the new movie Sorority Row (in theaters September 11).  Check out the video and get ready for the release of their new album, Let It Beat, available on October 27th.