music reporter

Thinkers and lefties: Apply here for 'Rollins'

Henry Rollins emerged from the 1980s Los Angeles hardcore punk scene to become a triple threat: musician, actor and author. In fact, Rollins is a brand himself. Above all, he likes to speak his mind; it might be impossible for Rollins to do anything but be brutally straightforward.

Thankfully, the Independent Film Channel is willing to let Rollins be Rollins. So much so that even before Friday's second-season premiere of his late-night talk fest, "The Henry Rollins Show," a third season apparently is in the works.

"I can't believe I'm getting asked back to the table," Rollins says. "They are already talking about next season."

The show is chock-full of pop culture, politics, music and Rollins rants. This season, a few new segments will rotate in as well, including "The Disquisition," an in-the-mind-of-Janeane Garofalo spot, and "Letters From Henry," letters Rollins feels like writing to such famous folks as David Beckham, Toby Keith and a few yet-to-be-announced politicos.

Rollins asks many heroes of the modern counterculture to speak or perform on the show, including Marilyn Manson, John Waters, Billy Bragg, Ryan Adams, the Stooges, Steve Buscemi and William Shatner.

"If (the IFC) had had their way all the time, there might be more easily recognizable famous people on the show," Rollins admits. "The producers would love Lindsay Lohan every week. I'm in the other direction. I want thinkers and lefties. The challenge has been to balance what they want and what we want. I have to meet people in the middle. That gets uncomfortable at times because the show has my name in it. If something is really lame, I get the hate mail. I have to be very careful. I catch all the flak. I don't want to settle for lame, and thankfully they don't either."

And his guests are not on a promo tour.

"It's nice to be able to engage these people on something more than their last movie or what pretty person they go out with," Rollins says. "I don't care about that stuff."

When not doing TV, Rollins is on the road doing spoken-word performances or taking on a film or two. Asked if he would have seen himself in this role 20 years ago, Rollins says: "No. When I was in Black Flag, I never thought past the next meal. None of us did. Anything past that was honestly not a practical reality. I didn't think I'd be anywhere doing anything." Ah, how times have changed.

Composer Harry Gregson-Williams is hard at work. On May 18, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra will premiere his "Grand Orchestral Suite" from "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," which he will conduct. Gregson-Williams also is working on the music for the franchise's second installment, "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," which will hit theaters in May 2008 via Buena Vista Pictures.

For those seeking hot new talent for licensing deals, the Sunset Strip during the third annual MUSEXPO international music and media forum is the place to be. From April 29-May 2, the Key Club, the Roxy and the Viper Room will showcase 29 artists from around the world, including Australia's platinum-selling Lior and California buzz band A Fine Frenzy. There are certain to be some speakers from the event hanging at the clubs. Scheduled to attend the daytime conference are Sony/ATV Music Publishing's Martin Bandier, YouTube's Chad Hurley, Geffen's Ron Fair, XM Satellite Radio's Lee Abrams and Atlantic's Andy Karp, among others.