Henry Rollins

‘Salad Days’ Is the Documentary That Will Make the Mainstream Understand DC Hardcore

If there was ever a testament to punk as an evolving document, forever building on its past, it was the Washington, DC hardcore scene and the growing pains its experienced in the mid-’80s. Nothing makes that more clear than Scott Crawford and Jim Saah’s exhaustive new documentary Salad Days, which premiered late last year in DC and makes its New York premiere this week at the IFC Center. Though Crawford’s personal history with DC punk began when he was the preteen writer of MetroZine, his documentary is more for the hardcore novice — the person who recognizes the significance of the DC hardcore scene but couldn’t name more than a few Dischord bands. … Read More

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The Year’s Worst Cultural Criticism

A couple of days back, we reviewed the best cultural criticism of 2014, which really was a rather edifying and pleasurable exercise. But for every yin, there’s a yang, and in this case, the yang involves snobbery, asinine arguments about everything from marriage to Brooklyn DIY, another page for the “Gavin McInnes is the worst” annual, and the ongoing misogynist temper tantrum of #Gamergate. As well as, yes, of course, Lena Dunham. Welcome to the year’s worst cultural criticism! (And don’t worry, we’ve DoNotLinked the most egregious articles, so click with a clear conscience.) … Read More

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Fuck Suicide? No, Henry Rollins, Fuck You

Last week, I wrote here about depression and suicide, apropos of the death of Robin Williams. In the week since, I’ve thought a lot about the media coverage of his death, and how impressive and non-sensationalist most (albeit not all) of it has been. Well, the tone changed yesterday afternoon, when Henry fucking Rollins waded in with a column for the LA Weekly entitled “Fuck Suicide.” In it, Rollins addressed the death of Robin Williams with his usual sledgehammer subtlety — leading with an acknowledgement that “I am sure some will strongly disagree with what I’m about to say,” and wheeling out pretty much every manifestation of the “suicide is weak/selfish/etc” trope one can imagine. … Read More

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10 Musicians You Never Knew Had Their Own TV Shows

The folk at Dangerous Minds specialize in unearthing fascinating obscurities from the depths of the Internet, but they outdid themselves this week by finding a clip from a pilot for a sitcom Kraftwerk made in the early 1970s, circa The Man-Machine. The spectacle of what must surely be the strangest TV show you’ve seen in quite some time got us thinking about other musicians’ curious TV ventures — so here are ten of the most weird and wonderful, from Snoop’s sketch comedies to New Kids on the Block not playing themselves in their own… Read More

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New York, I Love You But You Killed the Art Bar

I moved to New York ten years ago this month because I wanted people to drink with. I liked the idea of living in a city where I would be able to wander down any street and find a decent bar with a few interesting patrons. So within weeks of making New York City my home, the bars I drank in became the map I used to get anywhere from my first apartment deep in Greenpoint. But recently, like some strange omen, many of the bars I frequented a decade ago have closed up shop for good. I hear that ten years here makes you an official New Yorker — but the city sure does have a funny way of ushering me into its ranks. Yet I suppose that is also very apt, considering that becoming a real citizen of the the Big Apple means that I officially have reason to complain about how great our dear city used to be. … Read More

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Musicians Past and Present on the Idea of “Selling Out”

There’s been quite a bit of discussion online about an interview Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy gave to the Chicago Grid earlier this week. Specifically, Tweedy discussed the fact that he licensed four of his songs to Volkswagen for a series of commercials, and the inevitable accusations of “selling out” that followed. Tweedy was unrepentant, arguing that “the idea of selling out is only understandable to people of privilege.” It’s always interesting to read what artists think about the whole idea of selling out, given that it’s something that fans seem the need to discuss ad infinitum. Here are some other perspectives from over the years. … Read More

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Watch Henry Rollins’ Inspiring Message to America’s Youth

Hipsters aside, Henry Rollins — like any good punk — is all about the kids. The former Black Flag frontman addresses the youth of America in a new Big Think video to kick off the school year. Acknowledging the unique economic difficulties today’s young people face, Rollins urges, “If you have an idea of what you want to do in your future, you must go at it with almost monastic obsession, be it music, the ballet, or just a basic degree.” He preaches the value of hard work, as well as maintaining “your moral compass, your decency, your sense of civility, and your sense of community.” It’s a genuinely inspiring speech — colleges should really start considering Rollins as a graduation speaker — despite offering no easy solutions. Watch it below, and if you could use more straight talk, consider seeing Rollins in person on his spoken-word “Capitalism” tour. … Read More

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Your Favorite Musicians’ Unexpected Favorite Records

You may have read recently that Mitt Romney Paul Ryan is the world’s most unlikely Rage Against the Machine fan, and the spectacular WTF-ness of his inexplicable declaration of fondness for left-wing agitrock will endure as one of the stranger moments of the 2012 campaign trail. The whole strange business also got us thinking: well, there are plenty of features around wherein artists have been asked to choose a selection of their favorite albums or songs. Surely there are some wacky choices in there? We got reading, and yep, there are some real winners to be found… so here’s a selection of such choices that we found particularly interesting — either selections we’d never heard of, or selections we just wouldn’t have expected. Who’d have thought that Bradford Cox was the only person in the world to like the second MGMT album, or that Frank Black was into weird faux-Greek music, or that both Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull were experts on reggae? Read on for more… … Read More

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A Selection of Famous People’s Yearbook Quotes

Well, it’s that time of year again. Colleges and high schools across the country are about to kick their overachieving students out into the world. Here comes the biggest question for every graduating class, though: What are you going to put in your yearbook bio? After all, if you become insanely successful people are going to look back on that quote from Mark Twain or Oscar Wilde and judge you for it. Check out what some of your favorite movie stars, musicians, and politicians put down in ink for their fellow classmates to remember them by, and maybe you’ll be inspired — or, if you’ve already graduated, jealous. … Read More

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