Monday, April 27, 2009

The Further Vindication of Rollins

Recently, I felt the need to defend the honor of Henry Rollins in the face of criticism that he "ruined" Black Flag. Well, as if he needed further vindication, I now want to point out how great Rollins is as a DJ. That sounded rather fawning. But it's true. I had listened to his "Harmony in My Head" program on the now-defunct 103.1 FM radio station here in Los Angeles and sang its praises. By myself. While stuck in traffic. But it was indeed a great show.

Through the show, I was introduced to the music of Daniel A.I.U. Higgs and High on Fire, as well as the Bad Brains' amazing Black Dots record. Then he would throw a wonderful curve ball and play something I love like Fela Kuti or the entire first side of Here Come the Warm Jets. Just a great what'll-he-think-of-next kind of show. He published many of his early playlists (with commentary) in the Fanatics series of books, where I learned that he loves the music of King Sunny Ade as much as I do.

Now that "Indie 103" has been interred in the radio graveyard, Santa Monica's KCRW has taken Rollins in and given him his own show, following the same autonomous format of what he had before. I didn't realize that until this past Saturday, when my wife had KCRW on and I heard the recorded muezzin's call to prayer that was the signature beginning to Rollins's self-styled "sonic jihad" of "Harmony in My Head." The show that followed was a great show devoted to post-punk. Over the course of two hours, Rollins's playlist reminded me of the immensely creative period of the late 70s/early 80s that often also goes by the overbroad genre-title "New Wave." It was like stumbling across Andrea Enthal's great midnight show on KPFK circa 1981.

Here's the playlist from April 25, 2009, and there's not a weak moment in the whole thing:

01. Neu! - Super / Neu! 2
02. David Bowie - Art Decade / Low
03. Iggy Pop - Funtime / The Idiot
04. Public Image Ltd. – Careering / Second Edition
05. Magazine – Recoil / Real Life
06. DEVO - Mechanical Man (Booji Boy Version) / Greatest Misses
07. Pere Ubu - Nonalignment Pact / The Modern Dance
08. The Normal - Warm Leatherette / single
09. Gang Of Four - Damaged Goods / Entertainment!
10. The Slits - Typical Girls / Cut
11. The Pop Group - Words Disobey Me / Y
12. Joy Division – Interzone / Unknown Pleasures
13. The Fall - Bingo Masters Break-Out / The Fall Box Set CD #01.
14. Glaxo Babies - Who Killed Bruce Lee / Dreams Interrupted
15. This Heat – Sleep / Deceit
16. Wire - Being Sucked In Again / Chairs Missing
17. Cabaret Voltaire - Do the Mussolini (Head Kick) / The Original Sound Of Sheffield
18. Young Marble Giants - Music For Evenings / Colossal Youth
19. The Swell Maps - Steven Does / A Trip To Marineville
20. Spizz - Cold City / Where's Captain Kirk?
21. Family Fodder - Savoir Faire / Savoir Faire: The Best Of
22. Passage – Fear / Pindrop
23. Dum Dum Dum - Dum Dum Dum / Messthetics Greatest Hits
24. Ludus – My Cherry Is In Sherry / The Seduction
25. Crisis – Frustration / Holocaust Hymns
26. Scritti Politti – Bibbly-O-Tek / Early
27. The Cravats – Precinct / Land Of The Giants
28. The Pseudo Existors - Beyond The Zone / Stamp Out Normality
29. Desperate Bicycles – Handlebars / single
30. The Sound – Skeletons / From The Lion’s Mouth
31. Suicide - Ghost Rider / Suicide

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved the show - espeecially Dum Dum Dum (well I would!) Rollins is such an enthusiast for the music he plays - an enrgy that transmits through the speakers!