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October 26, 2005 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-26

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Rollins rages
full speed
to Ann Arbor
By Amos Barshad
Daily Arts Writer
Henry Rollins would like you to believe that he is
not an angry person. Beneath a
veneer of hard-edged intensity,
and the layers of tattoos, Rol- Henry Rollins
lins spoke calmly throughout Tomorrow at 7:30
his brief interview. This, how- At The
ever, cannot last; with a few Michigan Theater
well placed flourishes, Rollins,
commenting on his "25 Years of
Bullshit" tour, displays the spit and vitriol that are his
defining characteristics.
"Anyone I've said nasty things about, I can't wait to
meet them. I rip Sean Hannity, from Fox News, a new
one all the time, I've not yet met him, but put it this
way: if Sean Hannity was in my grill and if one of his
hands came any higher than his waist, I would go for
him in a heartbeat. Would I win or lose? I'd probably
lose. Would I go down swinging? Yes. Would I hesitate?
Fuck no."
Rollins has spent time pontificating amid an outspoken
liberal community. Unlike prominent and like-minded
celebrities such as Alec Baldwin or Sean Penn - who

Duo struggles with
mediocre performance


seem to preach from atop ivory towers - Rollins' punk-
rock pedigree grants him an everyman image. He even
excuses a certain level of ignorance among the God-fear-
ing middle-class populace. He notes, "They don't have
time to sit around and read books on the Russian-Afghan
war. ... They're too busy trying to feed the three howling
children at the dinner table and get in their barely OK car
and drive to that job."
Popping up on VH1's nostalgia fests, he has long
been known primarily for his non-musical output. In
his current role, he's slagged off on some rock legends,
most notably U2. "Bono came up to me and said, 'Why
don't you like me?' And I go, have a seat sir, let me tell
you what a hack you are," Rollins said.

He hasn't always made his living as a talking head,
It has been almost 25 years since a skinny, wide-eyed
Henry Garfield first jumped on stage with his favorite
band, Black Flag; Rollins fronted the group for five
years before starting his own project, Rollins Band. He
also has a publishing imprint/record label, 2.13.61, and
a hefty stock of dubious acting credits.
Rollins quickly dismissed his success, "I don't con-
sider myself a musician, I don't know how to play an
instrument ... I'm not trying to be an actor, I'm trying
to be employed ... I just consider myself basically a
bullshit artist that does a lot of different stuff. I don't
really feel that I'm any good at any of it. But I like to
give it my best shot."

night at the Michigan Theater. The
duo, who met at the Ann Arbor Folk
Festival a few years ago, showed that
sometimes a group can be less than
the sum of its parts and still have a
good time anyway.
Kottke and Gordon mostly stuck to
material from their two collaborative
efforts, which were enjoyable, if not a
little disappointing. The best moments
of the show actually occurred when the
two each did a solo piece. Gordon sang
an un-named composition and accom-
panied himself on bass, showing off

not only his chops, but his surprisingly
sonorous voice. Even more impressive
was Kottke's instrumental version of a
Bert Kaempfert tune. It was that taste
of the talent that's made Kottke a guitar
icon that he is that made the rest of the
show a little hard to swallow.
While certainly pleasing to the col-
lege crowd in attendance, closing this
show with two Phish songs criminally
underused Kottke's skills. "Yamar"
and "Twist" put Kottke in the back-
seat, and let Gordon's trademark syn-
copation drive the groove. Relegating
Kottke to an accompanist after hearing
him cut loose on previous tunes is akin
to putting a four-cylinder engine in a
Corvette and then driving it off the side
of a cliff.
In the end though Kottke, and Gor-
don delivered what they promised
- a laid-back set of roots music.
Kottke's self-proclaimed "geese farts
on a foggy day" vocals weren't the
strongest, but the harmonies between
the two were always right on and Gor-
don's distinctive bass stylings aptly
supported Kottke's dynamic finger-
picking. Still, as the stoned kids stag-
gered out, there was a palpable sense
of what could've been.
Rising star
plays his
new sound
at the Pig


r I

By Joey Lipps
By Daily Arts Writer


Those attending Matt Nathanson's
concert might expect a sound that has
been categorized with the modern
acoustic of artists
such as Jason Mraz
and Howie Day. Matt
But, Nathanson Nathanson
said that because with Matt
his music and lyr- wnth Matt


ics are so personal
to him, his style is
inherently differ-
ent. He contrasted
his songs by classi-
fying his music as

WVertz &
Katie Earl
Tonight at 8 p.m.
At the Blind Pig

an aggressive acoustic. "Lyrics are the
most important part of the songs, and so
I try to focus on that," Nathanson said.
When Nathanson listens to some of
his favorite lyricists such as Wilco's
Jeff Tweedy, he said he attempts to see
how they are expressing their thoughts
through music. "It's more just digesting
and being kind of blown away ... Hope-
fully it is becoming part of who you
are," he said.
Signing with major label Universal
for his latest, Beneath These Fireworks,
he's slowly been building a fan base.
Nathanson said each release is a vast
learning experience, and rather than
expecting or desiring a breakthrough
album, he is focusing on making the
best record he can. He said he admires
bands that can completely alter their set
list and still captivate their audiences,
and he hopes that during his musical
maturation he can reach this depth.
For his current work-in-progress,
Nathanson dropped his newly acquired
Universal label to focus on the impor-
tant details. He said his music parallels
his constant transformations and that
after five albums he has to find new
ways of expressing his feelings and
look deeper in himself. "The lyrics for
the next record are taking their time
because I'm at a certain time in my life
where I'm trying to write differently.
Lyrically I'm trying to figure out new
stuff ... about myself," he said.
"I love that people come to shows,
and I don't want them to stop coming,
but I don't want to be a slave to the
concept of the acoustic guitar. And so
I've just been writing what's happening
inside me and hope that people dig it.
It's funny 'cause it is all me, and so if
they like the older stuff they will like
this stuff, in theory, because its pretty
much all a natural progression for me,"
Nathanson said.
In addition to a method for personal
growth, Nathanson enjoys performing
music and is known for his personal
interactions with audiences. He said this
began in his junior high performances
in front of his friends, whose concerns
were not about musical aspirations but
rather about having fun. He confessed
the lack of talent and Def Leppard influ-
ences of his sixth grade band entitled
One Way Out. "We used to do, like,
Police covers and U2 covers. We did
that for a long time of terribleness, and
then we blossomed into writing our own


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