Alibi V.13 No.2 • Jan 8-14, 2004 

Music Magnified

Henry Rollins

with his giant, gaping pie hole

Henry Rollins: former punk rocker, actor, writer, big-mouthed comedian.
Henry Rollins: former punk rocker, actor, writer, big-mouthed comedian.

Wednesday, Jan. 14; Hiland Theater (all ages, 7 p.m.): I get it now. My former punk rock idol, Henry Rollins, has become a comedian in much the same way that Jello Biafra has become an almost grateful victim of “The System.” Both Rollins and Biafra are smart guys, magical public speakers and charming beyond any shadow of a doubt. They are not, however, orators of the James Campbell stripe. But because they both once fronted punk bands—Black Flag and Dead Kennedys, respectively—they still command a certain audience.

Frankly, Rollins promises more laughs, and that's apparently what most Americans have been reduced to longing for. Biafra, on the other hand, has more imperative political commentary to offer, but he's just not that much fun.

Both “spoken word” artists are worth seeing at least a couple of times before you reach your 40s, and I recommend Rollins over Biafra simply for the fact that Biafra's tirades tend to make you afraid that you're being followed home (which you just might be), and Rollins makes it seem sort of OK that you buy a lot of Pepsi and trust your government.