This week, two completely different, high-profile, nationally touring artists take to the Wilma's stage on back-to-back nights: Current spoken word maven and former hardcore frontman Henry Rollins delivers his intense brand of stand-up storytelling on Monday, June 21. Then, on Tuesday, June 22, singer/guitarist Jewel cranks out dust-kicking pop country in support of her new album, Sweet and Wild. The artists couldn't be more different, and your ticket dollars couldn't be more precious, so we sized 'em up to determine which one deserved your well-earned presence.
Origin of Name
Jewel: Born Jewel Kilcher, but known simply as Jewel. Named after her Swiss grandfather, Juel, who first settled in Homer, Alaska, in 1940.
Rollins: Born Henry Lawrence Garfield. Took the last name Rollins when he joined Black Flag in 1981, but the name originally came from a threatening character he and his friend Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi) created.
Jewel: "Who Will Save Your Soul" and "You Were Meant For Me" helped make her 1995 debut, Pieces of You, go platinum 12 times, making it one of the best-selling debut albums of all time. She went country in 2008 with Perfectly Clear, an album that debuted atop the country charts.
Rollins: Something from Black Flag's classic 1981 album, Damaged, or The Rollins Band's "Low Self Opinion" and "Liar." But speaking strictly of his spoken word show? Has to be his stories about Ozzy Osbourne's parties.
Jewel: Obvious lip-synching of the national anthem before Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego. Also, her book of poetry, A Night Without Armor.
Rollins: Appearances in ill-advised sequels, including 2003's Bad Boys II and 2007's Wrong Turn 2: Dead End.
Example of Literary Prowess
Jewel: From A Night Without Armor: "I go back today/back to where I must move from/my toothbrush no longer welcome/my clothing canker sores/my altar a wound/whose bleeding can only stop/when there's nothing left/to remind him of me."
Rollins: Has written 15 different books, including Eye Scream (wherein he documents "how brutal the country is and how much ferocity, cruelty, and oppression are inherent in the culture and how much of it was in me") and A Dull Roar ("a journal of my life from April to early September 2006").
Jewel: Appeared as an actress in "The Young and the Restless" in 2006.
Rollins: Received praise for his role as a white supremacist in the 2009 TV series "Sons of Anarchy." Also spotted in Michael Mann's Heat and David Lynch's Lost Highway.
Before Making It Big
Jewel: Lived out of her car for a year, playing gigs around San Diego.
Rollins: Managed the Georgetown Haagen-Dazs ice cream store in Washington, D.C., until 1981.
Jewel: Crooked teeth.
Rollins: Tattoos and all-black outfits. Also performs barefoot.
Jewel: The Clear Water Project, which works to improve water systems in poor countries.
Rollins: Dozens, including gay rights. During one spoken word performance he said: "If I was gay there would be no closet. Why? Because I'd have burned it for kindling by the time I was 12."
Where to Hear More
Jewel: At the Wilma Tuesday, June 22, at 8 PM. $39.50
Rollins: At the Wilma Monday, June 21, at 8 PM. $20/$18.50 in advance.