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THURSDAY

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This week, Henry Rollins will fill a large portion of the 9:30 Club for an evening of spoken word. This fact invites the obvious question: Are there really hundreds of people in our metro area willing to pay $25 for spoken word? Probably not, but fans of Rollins’ speaking performances know they’re actually shelling out for stand-up comedy. Indeed, Rollins has studied the modern masters: The D.C. native spends a tellingly large amount of time dissecting Seinfeld-esque minutiae. (Air travel is a favorite target.) And like George Carlin’s, Rollins’ cadence rolls steadily toward paroxysms of abject outrage and is noisily reinforced by the audience’s hoots and applause. Rollins’ ascetic lifestyle and weighty published works might put off some who’ve seen only his live shows, but they shouldn’t be shocked. The former Black Flag frontman has always seemed to float above his shit-serious reputation with an ironic wink—take his predilection for playing cops in music videos and films, or his recent co-host gig on TLC’s Full Metal Challenge. So if it’s OK for Rollins to call himself a game-show host, why can’t he call himself a punk-rock comedian? I guess that’s just too much irony for his public to handle. So I’ll deal and laugh my ass off at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25. (202) 393-0930. (Mike DeBonis)