Henry Rollins - Provoked {Quintessentially American Opinionated Editorializing & Storytelling} (Cover Artwork)

Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins: Provoked {Quintessentially American Opinionated Editorializing & Storytelling}Provoked {Quintessentially American Opinionated Editorializing & Storytelling} (2008)
Henry Rollins

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: BrandonSideleauBrandonSideleau
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Henry Rollins is a man who rarely, if ever, takes a break. He lives for what he does and has no problem having little to no life outside of his work. This passion shows up in everything he does, from the music, to the books, to the spoken word. His 100% dedication to the work is apparent in every fo.

Henry Rollins is a man who rarely, if ever, takes a break. He lives for what he does and has no problem having little to no life outside of his work. This passion shows up in everything he does, from the music, to the books, to the spoken word. His 100% dedication to the work is apparent in every form of artistic expression he spearheads, and his latest spoken word release is no exception. With its suitably exhausting title, Provoked {Quintessentially American Opinionated Editorializing & Storytelling} is a seamless combination of stories taken from live shows in San Francisco on 11/06/07 and Amsterdam on 1/23/08.

Having seen this tour's stop on 11/10/07 in Santa Barbara, I was already familiar with all of these stories before picking up this release, but kudos to Rollins for making it sound fresh and hilarious every time. Henry discusses a wide variety of subjects at these shows, ranging from the stupidity of abstinence-only sex ed on "Sex Ed," homophobia on "Horses" and American obesity on "Van Halen" and "Invasion Force." He manages to get a good potshot at Bush on "Mandelaism," while admitting that he is burned out on talking about him and that, at this point, it's like flogging a dead horse.

My favorite tracks here are "Nature's Wild" and "Adrian," two wonderfully misanthropic, intelligent and absolutely hilarious takes on nature getting back at man. As Henry puts it, "If we're not gonna respect nature, we might as well fear it," he jokingly suggests that dangerous predators be dropped in random places around the U.S. to keep people on their twos and to make life more interesting. His description of a polar bear tearing man from his SUV is priceless, as his description of the aforementioned "Adrian" -- a man who got naked, took some crack and was attacked by an alligator. This sort of giddy enthusiasm and intelligent misanthropy remind me of some of George Carlin's best rants.

As a person who owns and has listened to every official Rollins spoken word release available, I can honestly say that the material here is definitely some of his best. My only problem with this release is its length; it is only 11 tracks long and two of those are very short. This is a limited release, available only at Best Buy and on the 2.13.61 website until it is sold out. For added bang for your buck, it is bundled with a never-before-commercially-available DVD of Henry Rollins' 1999 Comedy Central special "Live & Ripped from London." A must-have for all Rollins fans, George Carlin fans or for fans of comedy/storytelling in general.


People who liked this also liked:
Flipper - GenericThe Clash - London CallingRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyHenry Rollins - Fanatic! [book]Black Flag - Slip It InBlack Flag - My WarChuck Dukowski Sextet - Eat My LifeAmerican Nightmare - The Sun Isn't Getting Any BrighterJawbreaker - Dear You

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Biped_Casserole (April 8, 2008)

score's for Wrong Turn 2. oo-rah.

kidentropy (April 8, 2008)

Man, the story about Henry meeting David Lee Roth at an art gallery is fucking hilarious. The rest of the CD is quality as well.

kgen (April 6, 2008)

I'm not gonna lay off the guy. He claims to support record stores, even has a big quote about his love for the record store on the record store day website. I work at a record store. Releasing an exclusive release to Best Buy is not helpful. Why not give the release to Best Buy and real record stores as well? If Henry Rollins and those like him aren't behind the record store, little hope is left for us. We're not surprised when the Eagles do it but Henry Rollins? Sorry didn't expect it, it doesn't make sense, and it's disappointing but I'm moving on.

weegmc (April 6, 2008)

Not sure why people consider henry some great sage. he comes up with some funny and/or interesting points occassionally but generally his delivery blows and most of what he says is stupid.

thomas7155 (April 6, 2008)

[I]Henry Rollins is good[/I]

BarleyPat (April 6, 2008)

Everyone on here has that one influential punk band they think is overrated. Mine is Black Flag. Don't get me wrong, I like them, I just think WAY overrated.

BrandonSideleau (April 5, 2008)

I was talking about the full length records....not the spoken stuff. Henry's spoken stuff didn't really hit it's mark until after Black Flag. A lot of that 'Family Man' stuff is very silly, but I will admit I do like "Armageddon Man" and "Family Man." Plus the instrumentals on that album are, as always, fantastic. But, as far as the actual music goes....they were always on target.

joeg (April 5, 2008)

i like rollins...but man some of the stuff he did with black flag with the spoken word stuff is cringe worthy. let your fingers do the walking let your fingers do the walking...

BrandonSideleau (April 5, 2008)

I'm just gonna come out and say it....I like all Black Flag's full lengths equally. I find myself listening to My War, Slip It In, Loose Nut and In My Head just as much (if not more) than Damaged. Probably because they are very exciting and interesting albums with great songs. And the reason Henry is releasing this at Best Buy is because it is a limited only quantity and will never be available again once they are sold out and Henry plans another, non-Best Buy, release this year as well (probably an addition to the "Talk Is Cheap" series) and BTW this release was available 3 days earlier on the 2.13.61 website than it was at Best Buy. Lay off the guy, at least he releases his own records and does what he wants....unlike 90% of the major label owned shit bands out there.

kgen (April 5, 2008)

Punk news...? How punk is it to release an exclusive to Best Buy? Selling at Best Buy is not a problem but a special version released early to Best Buy??!! Like Best Buy needs (or deserves) an edge in music/CD sales. Why don't you hammer the final nail into the coffin of Independent records stores yourself Henry?

swank (April 4, 2008)

"I feel like if I passed him on the street and gave him a "Hiya Henry! Whaddaya say?" he'd put me in a texas cloverleaf. I dunno."

Honestly, the couple of times I've met ol' Hank over the years he's been ridiculously nice, friendly and accomodating. I even have a picture of him bearhugging me. Very sweet dude.

LookBackAndLaugh (April 4, 2008)

ugh... as for the Black Flag thing... All the members killed Black Flag. I like Rollins, but all the songs he wrote were "I kill you, I hate myself" at that point in time. And Ginn was just being a general asshole and making it a jam band.

GlassPipeMurder (April 4, 2008)

Fuckin' Rollins, man.

smelltheglove (April 4, 2008)

I love everything the man has done.

But I still find it strange to see him in his spoken word performances where he is telling humorous stories. Part of me thinks, "how can a guy this genuinely funny and engaging be such a super-serious downer in most of his interviews?" (that's an actual quote from my mind, by the way) I feel like if I passed him on the street and gave him a "Hiya Henry! Whaddaya say?" he'd put me in a texas cloverleaf. I dunno.

Dean Malenko > Henry Rollins...but barely

bikeage (April 4, 2008)

first to say that flag went downhill when rollins joined

sugarfull (April 4, 2008)

he's such a Bad Boy.

SydBarrett420 (April 4, 2008)

LOL am I the only one who see sthe irony in Henry Rollins having an exclusive promotion with Best Buy?

VictorIkpeba24 (April 4, 2008)

Only a 9 ??? To Henry Rollins ??? What happened ???

jamespastepunk (April 4, 2008)

Before I even saw the review, I knew the score and who it was written by.

billnye (April 4, 2008)

only available at best buy

NotPatriotic (April 4, 2008)

that dvd that comes in the bundle sounds rad

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