Thursday, September 20, 2007

Henry Rollins: Provoked - Spoken Word Show at La Zona Rosa

Last night I went with a friend to see famed musician, Henry Rollins, do his one man, spoken word show at La Zona Rosa, Provoked. I had seen Henry perform live on TV, caught a few of his shows on the Independent Film Channel, and watched a Punk Rock documentary, that he had hosted. I can't really say I was a big fan of his music, but he always left me with the impression that he was an articulate and a deep thinker. His viewpoints were often anti-authoritarian and contrarian.

We arrived around 7:15 or so and there was already a respectable crowd of approximately 200 people. It was surprising to see a merch-table with multiple books for sale, rather than just the normal fare of T-shirts and CDs. I picked up one of his books and realized that we were exactly the same age, both from the Baltimore/Washington area, and listened to a lot of the same music in the late 70's (such as Devo). My expectations for the night had been elevated.

Henry walked out promptly near the advertised 8PM start time, and launched into his monologue which lasted close to 3 hours. He spent the first few of minutes talking to the crowd like his friends, and about his great love of Austin with its unique quirkiness and the number of kindred spirits. This praise seemed very genuine, and he claimed that he didn't hand this type praise out very often or lightly.

He covered a lot of politics and the action in Iraq, his invitation to fill-in as leader singer for a reunion of the Ruts in London, his USO tours, and travels in the Middle East to Iran, Syria, and Lebanon (He seems to target places he's not supposed to go to). In all the 3 hours went by way too fast, and nobody left early. He is very engaging, sometimes self deprecating, and extremely humorous.

Great show. I will gladly go see him perform Music or Spoken Word again, when the opportunity presents itself. Will also have to look and see if his IFC show is available on DVD, from Netflix.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ravens vs. Jets

My Ravens beat the Jets in their home opener, yesterday, but it looks as though there's much to worry about. Two more injuries, Trevor Pryce and Demetrius Williams. Ouch!

In addition, the Defense gave up 177 yards passing in the fourth quarter and almost blew the game. Our ability to hold on to a victory was in doubt, up until the last minute. On the plus side, the much derided, Kyle Boller had a respectable outing and Figurs looked good returning kicks.

ACL for the 3rd and Final Time

I decided today to catch the Ravens game in its entirety, before trekking down to Zilker Park today. As a result, I was only able to catch 2 acts since I arrived at 6PM, and unable to catch a third.

As I entered the grounds, Austin native, Guy Forsyth was playing the BMI stage near the front gate. He was already halfway through his set. He always sounds good, and did last night, as well. I have heard him enough locally, that I decided to attempt to get near Ziggy Marley's show.

After seeing the crowd about 100 rows deep outside of the WaMu pavilion, I gave up. So, rather than fret, I went to go find a decent position for Bob Dylan. Not having a chair, I managed to get about 150-200 ft from the stage. I could have gotten closer, but I don't enjoy standing shoulder to shoulder.

Dylan played for over 90 minutes. He started the set with Rainy Day Woman #12 and 35 (aka. Everybody Must Get Stoned). Other recognizable songs for me were Tangled Up In Blue, and Like A Rolling Stone. His voice was even more gravelly than even I remember, and he spent the bulk of the set playing an Organ. His band was absolutely phenomenal, and I would have liked to have found out who was in it. I unfortunately opted to start heading out of the park 9:50, and heard the last 2 songs headed towards the shuttles back to republic square.

All in all, ACL was good this year. Other than the heat, the weather mostly cooperated.

The Front Gate

The ATT Stage 2 Hours Before Bob

Bob Dylan Closing ACL 2007

It's pretty difficult to get a good shot at night, I see