Need your weeds wacked? I'm your man.

I am the proud owner of a Toro 12" electric trimmer which I picked up for $29.99 at Home Depot.

It works pretty well and I finished weeding the backyard on Monday. If you need your weeds wacked, I'm your man.

On Tuesday morning, I hit the Cowtown Flea Market yesterday and got some cool stuff:

-Bush Tetras - "Rituals" 12" - $0.25
-Root Boy Slim & the Sex Change Band LP - $0.25
-Iggy Pop's book on 2.13.61 - $1.00
-St. Ives medicated apricot scrub - $2.00
-Bad Religion - "No Control" CD - $3.00
-Pharcyde - "Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde" - $3.00

Then I watched "Mystic River" which I thought was OK, but I'm not sure if it deserved all the hype it received.

I was watching "Amores Perros" the other day and was really getting into it. 25 minutes into the film, the DVD started skipping. I had borrowed it from the library and when I looked at the disc, I saw that it was all scratched up.

It's so easy to handle a DVD or a CD. Just handle it by the edges and don't touch the surface. Yet, so many people manage to get scratches on DVDs and touch the playing surface. Well, I rented it again, from a store, so hopefully I can get the entire way through.

I also rented "City Lights" by Charles Chaplin, which I can't wait to watch. His films are so amazing.

I was having a pretty good day yesterday when all of a sudden I got a nasty sinus headache. I ended up going to bed at 5:00 in the afternoon and sleeping the whole night through.
Government Issue First Demo 7" out now

Spontaneous Combustion has released Government Issue's "First Demo" 7" in an inital pressing of 500. Mailorder customers can still get the limited edition yellow vinyl version (only 100 made), but not for long.

The label is also releasing a one-time only, limited edition pressing of 400 copies of The Cheifs' "Blue" 7".
Tuesday MP3 action

I was stoked that one of my favorite music news and MP3 sites, Kingblind, had a link to my site recently.

I highly recommend Kingblind because they always have music news first and often have good MP3 recommendations.

And now, here are some MP3 recommendations of my own:

A Girl Called Eddy
A Girl Called Eddy's style is in the vein of Aimee Mann and other sophisticated female singers such as Tracey Thorn and Beth Orton.

Grandiose and baroque pop that will appeal to hip chicks and their nerdy boyfriends. Her self-titled album comes out later this year on Anti.

MP3: A Girl Called Eddy - "People Used To Dream About The Future"
MP3: A Girl Called Eddy - "Golden"

Clorox Girls
Clorox Girls' debut album clocks in under 18 minutes, but that's because the band knows less is more.

To-the-point, catchy punk ditties that have some of that late '70s mid-tempo punk action with the hooks of say ... the Buzzcocks or the Boys. Insanely good stuff. On Smart Guy Records.

MP3:Clorox Girls - "The One"
MP3:Clorox Girls - "Stuck in a Hole"
MP3:Clorox Girls - "Vietnam"
Saturday afternoon blah blah

Woke up this morning. Went to work and listened to some of Sound Opinions.

Then I left work and drove home. The commute is an hour each way. My CD player started skipping. Oh no. I listened to some of Anil Ki Awaaz's show on WPRB. Anil plays the latest Indian music, some of which is good stuff.

When I couldn't pick up WPRB anymore I switched over to WKDU and was stoked to hear some really cool punk and garage music. I even called the DJ to tell him he was doing a good job.

Came home and took a nap. I woke up about a half hour ago and saw that my order from Know Crap Mailorder arrived.

I'm listening to VEE DEE's album, "Furthur," on Criminal IQ Records. VEE DEE plays no-frills punk rock and roll and reminds me of the kind of punk Touch & Go used to put out. Here's an MP3 from the album:

MP3: VEE DEE - "Flashes of Her"

I also got a 7" by Suburban Reptiles who were one of New Zealand's very first punk bands.

Then I got a cool e-mail from my friend Mike Lenert who is an archaeologist or something like that. He digs up old fossils, inidian spearheads and fossilized dinosaur turds then writes reports about them and their historical significance.

At least that's what I think he does. I would get bored in a field in about 15 minutes. Digging for rocks and old artifacts seems like it would be boring. I guess that's why I'm a writer/editor, although that too is boring in its own way.

And that brings me up to right now. Not sure what I'll do the rest of the day. Hopefully go out to eat at Tijuana Taco Shop or India Palace.
Too many damn websites

I'm sitting here on friday night just going through a bunch of sites to find some new and interesting blogs, MP3s and the like. There's so much stuff out there!

Sound Opinions is the world's only rock 'n' roll talk show, hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot ... My friend Andy recommended I check out Pirate Cat Radio which broadcasts out of San Francisco. I'll be checking it out over the weekend ... same goes for KUSF which is another San Francisco radio you might have heard about.

I'm not sure if I like or hate Everything because the website is like shopping at Amoeba Music because it's easy to get lost if you don't know what you're looking for ... The Beat Surrender looks like a cool UK music site. I enjoy foreign music sites because they offer such a different perspective than what is going on musically in the USA ... Soviet Panda has some live music reviews and rock news from Pete who lives in Chicago and goes to school in Minneapolis.

Tiral looks like my kind of site. Just an ecclectic mish-mash of interesting stuff dealing with offbeat culture ... Parallax View has just way too many links to sift through in one sitting. Will be coming back to that one ... Also think The Big Ticket has some cool MP3 action worth investigating ... Fluxblog also has many MP3 links ... as does Scissorkick who has video clips as well as a load of well-selected MP3s.
Nick Drake revisited

In celebration of the release of "Made to Love Magic" by Nick Drake, phillyburbs.com is re-running my column, "Nick Drake: Born to make magic."

You may already know Nick Drake's music. But if you don't know Nick Drake's music, now is the time. It doesn't matter what kind of music you prefer. Every person should have the opportunity to discover the magic of Nick Drake's complex yet incredibly warm guitar strum and aching but always-lovely voice (...more)
The Briefs "Poor and Weird" major label EP

In 2001, The Briefs released a promotional only, three-song CD EP on a major label.

The songs were re-recorded versions of tracks found on the band's awesome debut album, "Hit After Hit," on Dirtnap Records.

The band and major label parted ways shortly thereafter without a proper release ever being issued. Here are the songs:

MP3: 1. Poor and Weird
MP3: 2. Where Did He Go?
MP3: 3. Sylvia

These tracks are available on the Briefs CD "Singles Only" which you can buy from indie-merch.com

The Briefs new album, "Sex Objects," comes out on June 29 on BYO Records, who has posted an MP3 from the album.
MP3: The Briefs - Orange Alert
Tell Congress to renew the Assault Weapons Ban

The NRA wants to put illegal military style rapid-fire assault weapons, including AK-47s and Uzis, back on our streets. Tell President Bush no way is this going to happen. The Assault Weapons Ban must be renewed. In this day and age, why would anyone want to put these killing machines back on our streets? (...more)

Sign this petition and tell President Bush and Congress that Americans want sane gun laws.
Stuff I'm reading now

Since I finished the Motley Crue book, I am getting a chance to read some of the other books I have bought recently...



I enjoyed Ben Snakepit's "Snakepit Anthology III" which chronicles Ben's everyday life. In a nutshell, Ben goes to work, goes and sees a band and then hooks up with a cute chick or gets drunk and/or stoned with his friends. While its repetitive at times, overall Ben's comics are enjoyable and amusing.

Read more about Ben Snakepit and his comics, or you can go to Microcosm Publishing and pick up a copy of "Snakepit Anthology III" for yourself.



I started reading "Ruining it For Everybody" by Jim Knipfel.

So far it's pretty good with Knipfel recounting his college days as an anything-goes misanthrope who goes about pissing off everyone on the entire campus.
I finished reading a book by Motley Crue

I'm sure that my grade school reading teacher would be proud that I'm still a reader.

I just finished reading, "The Dirt," by Motley Crue. I hate the band and their music is atrocious, but I have to hand it to them - they wrote an entertaining book. Well, at least 2/3 of a great book.

So here's my Motley Crue book report.

The members of Motley Crue got together in L.A. in the early '80s after playing in miscellaneous bands.

1. They had sex with lots of women.
2. They took lots of drugs.
3. They drank lots and lots of alcohol.
4. They fought with each other all the time.

Then Vince Neil killed his friend while drunk driving. Later Tommy Lee ended up in prison for six months for beating his wife, Pamela Anderson. Nikki Sixx overdosed and nearly died.

Perhaps the most interesting member of Motley Crue is Mick Mars. Mars remained out of the spotlight due to his grotesque ugliness, but he still managed to get his fair share of babes.

Towards the last 1/3 of the book, the narrative of over-the-top partying and bickering between band members takes back seat to Vince Neil's moralizing and Tommy Lee's pathetic love letters from jail to Pamela Anderson and his even more pathetic transformation into a rapper.

Overall I would give this book a solid B. It is funny, pathetic and amusing all at once.
Amusement Parks on Fire MP3

Amusement Parks on Fire has released their debut single, "Venus in Cancer," which is a catchy number. Kind of reminds me of Swervedriver, My Bloody Valentine and maybe even a little Dinosaur Jr. or J Mascis. It's hooky UK pop that can instantly become your favorite song.

The band has a ful-length, self-titled debut album that just came out as well on Invada records.
MP3: Amusement Parks on Fire - "Venus in Cancer"
(this track is offline)
Chuck Klosterman assesses Metallica documentary

Author Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, Fargo Rock City) analyzes the new Metallica film, "Some Kind of Monster," which itself is about analysis and therapy. Sounds like this film will have some laugh-out-loud funny moments. (...more)
McG's MP3 recommendations

I comb through the Internet looking for interesting music. Here are my latest discoveries and recommendations.

Devendra Banhart - I've seen his name around a lot lately and finally got to checking out a song or two. Really nice and intimate folk stuff on acoustic guitar, with just enough outsider twist to make it really interesting.
MP3: Devendra Banhart - The Body Breaks

M.I.A. - M.I.A. has a really colorful and intriguing Web site full of her art, which on its own is impressive.Her songs "Galang" and "Sunshowers" are creative and comprised of elementary but original beats and a confident and stylized way of singing/rapping. A pleasant surprise. M.I.A. official site

Juana Molina - Molina's exquisite vocals are amazing.
MP3: Juana Molina - No es tan cierto
MP3: Juana Molina - ¿Quién?
MP3: Juana Molina - Rara

The Fiery Furnaces - Interesting mix of styles ranging from stripped down guitar and drums to quirky and inventive arrangements with great female vocals. Hard to describe, well-crafted indie-pop for fans of the Delgados, The Shins and the White Stripes?! Everything I've heard by The Fiery Furnaces so far has been well above average. Don't take my word for it though, listen for yourself.
MP3: The Fiery Furnaces - I Lost My Dog
MP3: The Fiery Furnaces - Tropical Ice-Land (single version) courtesy of kingblind.com
MP3: The Fiery Furnaces - Crystal Clear
Sonic Youth interview on Studio Brussel

Listen to this interview with Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley on Studio Brussel which is a cool radio station that has lots of interviews you can listen to.

It's amazing how other countries' radio take American artists so seriously and give them airtime, while here in the USA it's like, "Who the hell is Sonic Youth?" You would never hear a 15 minute Sonic Youth interview on the radio - not even on college radio.

Other Studio Brussel interviews worth checking out:
Steve Albini interview
Bobby Conn interview
Mission of Burma interview
Stereolab interview

Or browse through the Studio Brussel interview archive.
Hooray it's Friday, now shut up!

I hate when people say, "Thank God it's Friday," because I work on the weekends. My Friday is on Sunday. Then I have off on Mondays and Tuesdays. It's always weird being out of sync with the rest of the world.
Sitting round at home

My friend Dave hooked me up with a cool Nina Simone CD "The Very Best of Nina Simone: Sugar In My Bowl 1967-1972" which compiles her recordings for RCA. Thanks Dave!

I finally made myself sit down and watch a movie, which I've been wanting to do for a while.

I saw "Auto Pilot," the flick about actor Bob Crane (Hogan's Heroes) and his secret sex life. I thought Greg Kinnear was pretty good as Crane, especially in the later years of Crane's life. Decent flick. It was on HBO On Demand.

I have to get up for work early tomorrow morning, but I don't feel sleepy.

I hope this isn't turning into a dull blog.
I was O.J.'s second banana!

Oh my god! My favorite undercover writer, Harmon Leon, infiltrated the set of O.J. Simpson's prank reality show, Juiced.

Harmon was on the Howard Stern show last week talking about the article in Stuff Magazine which chronicles' Leon's collaboration with the king of high comedy, O.J. Simpson. Read "I Was O.J.'s second banana!" here.

I highly recommend you read more of Harmon Leon's articles and I highly recommend you check out his book, "The Harmon Chronicles."
Wantage USA, Total Fest and MP3s

One of my favorite record labels, Wantage USA, has totally redesigned their website. They have new releases including the debut recording by Big Business (feat. Jared, formerly of Karp, The Whip and Coady, formerly of Murder City Devils).

Wantage also just released a killer 2CD set called Wäntage USA's 21st Release Hits Omnibus which has tracks from badass groups such as Noxagt, Federation X, the Fucking Champs, the Joggers and dozens more.

Plus Wantage USA has announced the lineup for Total Fest 2004 in Missoula, Montana July 9 and 10 featuring Federation X, Big Business, Le Force, the Lights, the Fireballs of Freedom, Wadsworth, the Narrows, and damn near 30 others from around the country (...more)

Here are some loud and heavy MP3s you might like:

Federation X - "Slave Song"
Federation X - "Gone Too Long"
The Joggers - "Neon Undercarriage"
KARP - "Live on KSPC"
Noxagt - "Cupid Shot Me"
Noxagt - "The Hebbex"
Oblio Joes - "Captain of the Moon"
Point Line Plane - "Velvet Hole in the Head
GlaxoSmithKline to release Paxil clinical data

Earlier this month I told you about New York State attorney general Eliot Spitzer's lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturer of the anti-depressant Paxil.

Spitzer's lawsuit alleges that GSK withheld clinical data that showed Paxil not only could be ineffective in treating depression, but could cause suicidal tendencies leading to death in patients.

Spitzer's efforts have forced GSK to reveal clinical data regarding the safety and effectiveness of its antidepressant drug Paxil.

The clinical data reveals that Paxil is ineffective in kids.

If that weren't enough, the FDA issued GSK a stern warning over marketing of Paxil as it glosses over serious side-effects and suggests the pill is more effective than it actually is.

Kudos to Eliot Spitzer for looking out for the little people and holding corporations accountable to fraudulent practices.
Johnny Ramone not dying, his doctor says

The Ramones guitarist, who has been living with prostate cancer for the past several years, was recently admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with what his physician, Dr. David Agus, told MTV News was a "complication from the cancer.

Ramones' wife, Linda added today, "He's not dying. He was okay for years, and he's fine now. He's in the hospital, but he's not in ICU. And I think he may be leaving by tomorrow." (...more)
Benjamin Krass, as seen on TV, dead at 85

I saw in the paper last week that Benjamin Krass, of Krass Brothers in Philadelphia died.

I remember seeing his commercials on channel 29 in Philadelphia during wrestling on Saturday mornings.

He always had a bunch of women in bikinis and would scream funny stuff like, "If you didn't get your suit from Krass Brothers, you got robbed!" (...more)
Would you start a war for $36 million?

Let me break this down for you.

1. In 2000, vice-president Dick Cheney left Halliburton with an exit package worth $36 million. (proof)

2. Cheney was unwavering in desire to go to war in Iraq (proof)

3. USA declares war on Iraq. (no proof needed)

4. Cheney's former company, Halliburton gets awarded a contract to help rebuild post-war Iraq worth $7 billion. (proof)

5. Cheney denies involvement in helping Halliburton land the contract, yet a congressional investigation reveals Cheney himself and Cheney's top aide, Lewis Libby, helped Haliburton snag the multi-billion contract in October 2002. (proof), (more proof)

6. Halliburton then has the balls to charge the government for services that were never provided. (proof)

Conclusion: Conclusion: Cheney takes $36 million exit package from Halliburton, pushes for war in Iraq, then helps land multi-billion dollar contract for his former employer, Halliburton, to manage post-war Iraq services.
Johnny Ramone seriously ill

Rolling Stone reports, "Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone is in a Los Angeles hospital battling prostate cancer, according to his longtime bandmate, drummer Marky Ramone. "Johnny's been a champ in confronting this, but at this point I think the chances are slim," says Marky, who joined the Ramones in 1977 when Tommy Ramone left the band. (...more)

Reuters reports, "Johnny Ramone, the guitarist with pioneering punk rock band the Ramones is fighting a losing a battle with cancer in a Los Angeles hospital, Rolling Stone magazine reported on its Web site on Tuesday. (...more)

Ramones documentary fate still unknown

Over the last 15 months, End of the Century, a documentary about punk rock's founding fathers, the Ramones, has been shown at major film festivals in New York, Toronto and Berlin. It has attracted a following among influential figures like Nicolas Cage and the director Jim Jarmusch. It has been praised in Variety, Entertainment Weekly and the Los Angeles Times for its unflinching portrayal of the dysfunction that both fuelled and undermined the Ramones.

About the only thing the film hasn't gained is a release date. The film-makers, Michael Gramaglia and Jim Fields, say the movie has not been released after nearly seven years of work because of the very same tenuous relationships they hoped to document. (...more)

Why I find obituary headlines amusing

While death is no laughing matter, I do find reading obituary headlines to be quite amusing and entertaining. For example,

-Donald Gibbons Jr., 69, knew everybody
-Thelma Campbell, 72, strong will to live
-Alice Lendellman 54, took care of kids


Wouldn't it have been cool to meet the man who knew everybody?

How about the woman who had a strong will to live? The woman who took care of her kids? Fascinating!

I need to start writing more of these down as I come across them. I'll add that to my list of things to do.
More proof "public airwaves" are totally screwed

Radio stations have found a new and completely slimy "legal" payola scheme. Stations are accepting cash in exchange for playing records by artists such as Avril Lavigne, Sheryl Crow, Black Eyed Peas and A Perfect Circle, by playing their songs as "advertisements."

According to this Houston Chronicle article, "the practice is legal as long as the station makes an on-air disclosure of the label's sponsorship - typically with an introduction such as "And now, Avril Lavigne's Don't Tell Me, presented by Arista Records."

That's how Lavigne's song "Don't Tell Me" aired 109 times in on week on WQZQ in Nashville and ended up on Billboard magazine's top 10 national pop radio chart (...more)

Thanks to slashdot's music section for bringing this to my attention.
Sitting round at work

Here I am at work on a Saturday morning.

It looks like my column, "Am I a criminal?" was the top story of the day yesterday at phillyburbs.com. I'm happy about that.

I went to the flea market this morning hoping to find some cool vinyl or some records to resell, but no such luck.

I listened to some of NPR's Weekend Edition on the drive in, but there's only so much intelligent news coverage I can take before I need to rock.

Didn't feel like listening to any of my usual faves, so I am tuned in now to Grunnen Rocks Radio, which for some reason I never listened to before. It seems right up my alley.

I watched the worst movie I've ever seen last night. It's called "House of 1,000 Corpses" and was directed by Rob Zombie. HBO should be ashamed of airing what is arguably one of the lamest horror flicks and certainly the biggest piece of cinematic shit ever created.

I am finishing up a freelance article on allergies this weekend for Delaware Today's Health and Fitness Guide. Unfortunately, I know about allergies all too well from first-hand experience.

I got my allergy shots yesterday (three of them) and the nurse who gave them to me said I have tough skin. Cool, I guess. Back to work...

I haven't heard from my friend Taylor Roark in a while. I wonder what is up with him. He said he was getting married very soon. Maybe it already happened? He is a cool yet complex dude. I really respect him. He's traveled all over the world and has worked in Japan and is currently in London. Sometimes I don't think I could do what he has done. If you're reading this Taylor, drop me a line.
My new column asks, "Am I a criminal?"

So what does it mean when a consumer downloads an album before it is released, then goes and buys the CD when it hits stores? (...more)
New GHP MP3, Sonic Youth on Leno and Greyhounds

Go Home Productions has a new MP3 called, "Wrapped Detective" which combines Elvis Costello, The Police, Lionel Ritchie, Peggy Lee and Bob Marley.

Sonic Youth will be on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on Wednesday, June 9 (tomorrow) and will do a session for Morning Becomes Ecclectic on KCRW on Thursday, June 10.

My dogs Jazz and Augie went to visit some greyhound friends including Koko and Scooby (pictured below). You can read about it and see photos at Blaugie.



Trail of Dead demo of "Crowning of a Heart" MP3

I prefer Trail of Dead's demo version of "Crowning of a Heart" to the released version on "The Secret of Elena's Tomb" EP.
Slept in until 3:30 a.m this morning

I usually have off on Mondays, but I had to come into work today. I get the next three days off though. On Thursday I'm going to Baltimore to shop for books at Atomic Books and records at Reptillian Records.

Have you seen Wildboyz featuring Steve O and Chris Pontius? It's like National Geographic for retards. Funny show.

I also watch The Abrams Report for my fill of pop culture court cases. Some of the people interviewed can be quite hilarious defending their frivolous lawsuits.

I always make a point to tune into Trauma: Life in the ER. They show some of the worst and nastiest emergency room injuries I've ever seen. Tonight's episode features an ER in Denver as they treat car wreck victims, gunshot wounds and snowboarding injuries. Radical.

The Philly "alternative" radio station, Y100, had a contest to find the hottest student. Here are pictures of the winners. Here are some of the losers.

The station even has a contest where you can win a date with two interns. They have some photos of the interns with captions such as "Tracey and Nicole crave hot man meat!" and "Their private parts are almost touching."

What a shocking and wacky radio station! Too bad they play shitty music.

A few weeks ago I found a copy of Flipper's Generic on CD at the Farmer's Market. Amazingly enough, yesterday I found it on LP! I had been looking for that record for a while.

Hands Across Your Face is a cool Ramones site I hadn't seen before. I would say that Jari-Pekka Laitio's Ramones site is probably the best Ramones fanpage out there.

I stopped reading Pitchfork and started reading Kingblind for my indie-rock news.

I hate Pitchfork. From their say-nothing snotty music reviews and overuse of the first-person to their hipper-than-thou attitude and medicore assessment of music and culture, Pitchfork stinks all the way round. Kingblind is much timelier, tighter and offers non-opinionated info on music and even guides you to MP3 downloads.

I still listen to Motorhead and so should you

Much like the Ramones, Motorhead is one of those bands that have stayed true to its identity and more importantly, has never stopped rocking. Sure, a few bad albums here and there, but overall the band still kicks ass. Everytime they put out a new record, I buy it. They have a new album, "Inferno," that comes out in a few weeks.

More info at the Motorhead official site.
While you're at it, read this great interview with Lemmy from the Guardian.
"Bukowski: Born Into This" new movie and MP3s

The new film, "Bukowski: Born Into This," looks really awesome.
The site has some Bukowksi MP3s in the multimedia section.
It got a great review in the New York Times.
Jessica Simpson: Celebrity sellout of the day

Jessica Simpson wants her money dammit! She's suing Motorock for backing out of a product placement deal worth $140,000.

In exchange for the cash, Simpson agreed to wear a shirt with the Motorock logo in a music video. on MTV's TRL and during a live performance. The logo would also appear in the credits of her piece of crap show, "Newlyweds"

Makes me long for the days when Kurt Cobain would wear his Daniel Johnston "Hi, How Are You?" shirt or the shirt that said, "Corporate Magazines Still Suck" on Nirvana's cover photo for Rolling Stone.

Jessica should just wear a shirt that says "For Rent" on the front (...more)

Philadelphia police say dog ate man

A 75-year-old man's body parts were found strewn all over a house in the city's Fishtown section Thursday and police said that his dog had been eating him (...more)
McG's MP3 picks

1. Fiery Furnaces - Crystal Clear - interesting mish-mash of styles.
2. FM Knives - "Valentine" and "16 D.O.A."
3. Jim Florentine - "No No" - Jim terrorizes a telemarketer. Way funny.
4. The Girls - "She's Hysterical" - Seattle band on Dirtnap.
5. Kelis - "Milkshake (mcsleazy flavour)" - Remix by McSleazy.
6. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - "Coma Girl" - Sweetness.
7. The Thermals - "This is How We Know" - New album "Fuckin' A" is awesome.
Iraq vs. L.A.: The numbers

798 American troops have died in Iraq since March 2003 supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom (...more)

658 people were murdered in L.A. in 2002. Half of those were gang related (...more)
Pharmaceutical companies make me sick

Let's face it, the pharmaceutical business is all about profits over the health of consumers. It's scary to think that some of the prescriptions you or your loved one take could be of no use or even harmful to you.

We are lucky to have someone like New York State attorney general Eliot Spitzer looking out for everyday people and consumers.

Spitzer has filed a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline claiming that the company engaged in repeated and persistent fraud.

Spitzer claims GSK suppressed the results of at least four different studies that showed the antidepressant Paxil

-wasno more effective than a placebo
-doubled the incidence of suicidal tendencies among users in three of the trials

At the same time the company was said to be promoting the drug heavily to American doctors boasting of its efficacy and safety. An internal GSK document from 1998, cited in the lawsuit, said the company would have to "effectively manage the dissemination of these data in order to minimise any potential negative impact," according to The Guardian's article, "Glaxo faces drug fraud lawsuit."

GlaxoSmithKline's coverup adds irony to the pharmaceutical giant's mission statement: "Our global quest is to improve the quality of life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer."

That is if their dangerous medicine doesn't kill you or make you kill others.

Take Donald Schell. He killed his wife, daughter, granddaughter and then himself on February 13, 1998 after two days on the pharmaceutical giant's anti-anxiety/depression drug Paxil. The drug manufacturer settled out of court.

This isn't the first time Spitzer has gone up against a pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Just two weeks ago Spitzer's office announced Warner-Lambert, a subsidary of Pfizer, had entered a series of agreements worth $430 million to federal and state agencies to resolve allegations of illegal and deceptive promotions of one of its blockbuster drugs.

In conjunction with the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units, Spitzer's office uncovered the fact that Warner-Lambert engaged in numerous illegal and deceptive business practices to convince physicians to prescribe its blockbuster epilepsy drug, Neurontin, for other "off-label" indications for which the drug was not approved.

The investigation revealed that Warner-Lambert engaged in promotion of Neurontin for off-label indications for which there is little or no scientific evidence of efficacy to the tune of $2.7 billion in sales in 2003.

Among their many offenses, Warner-Lambert gave kickbacks and expensive perks to physicians who prescribed the medicine to patients for off-label uses.
Read the full press release, "PHARMACEUTICAL GIANT AGREES TO HISTORIC SETTLEMENT".
Blaugie update

Did you know that my dogs Jazz and Augie have their own blog?

It's called Blaugie.
Pics from Gehrett Ellis benefit

Jen O has posted photos from Saturday's benefit for Gehrett Ellis.

Click here to see how many ex-CDNOW'ers you recognize.

I wish I could have made it. Having to get up at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings for work pretty much rules out doing anything on Saturday nights.

Plus there's the whole smoke thing. I heard that Philly is going smoke-free soon. Anyone know the deal on that?