McG's top 10 new release CDs

In my column this week I wrote about my pick for top 10 new CD releases including albums by Hot Snakes, Brian Wilson, The Clash and more.

I also reviewed new CDs by Mono, Mastodon, The Delgados and the awesome new CD by Social Distortion.

Read the column: New CD releases (phillyBurbs.com)
McG's MP3 recommendations

Some crazy Russian pinheads have the Ramones' first album which you can download for free here.

I really liked Neal Casal's "St. Cloud" which you can grab over at
Fargo Records along with tracks by several other artists.

Tychonaut has some great songs on their site including "Half Mast" from their album, "This Is." Tychonaut official site.

Register over at the Stern Fan Network and go into their file sharing section. You can find some cool stuff there including the new Eminem single and a cut from the new U2 album.

McG's obligatory MP3 commentary

I've noticed that U.K. and European bands often only post snippets of songs in MP3 instead of full songs.

I can sympathize with the "giving-it-away-for-free" argument, but bands have to realize that free MP3s has pretty much replaced the days of singles and getting your record played on the radio.

Another John Peel ass kiss

I listened to John Peel's show from this past Thursday and loved it. The Delgados were in session and Peel played a ton of cool stuff. Can I just say I love listening to this friggin radio show.

Peel says he's working on an auto-biography. That will be a must-read.

And by the way, the new Delgados album, "Universal Audio," is awesome.

Cheesey movie update

I rented "Mean Girls" today and can't wait to check it out.

Kelly was with me and she asked the video chick if any copies had been returned and one had just come back.

I would have really been embarassed to ask for that one myself.
Paris Hilton: Prepare to be blown

This high-larious article brought to you by Paris Hilton who released her first CD, "Screwed."

"Please, my album is so insane, people are going to be blown away."

Correction: People are going to be blowing themselves away.
F U Friday

When something makes me laugh out loud, it's usually really twisted, something dark or just something that is insanely funny. This story is all three:

Hi, My Name is Jeff and I Sometimes Smell Like Poop

Jonathan A. Zdziarski conducted an interesting experiment to test the theory that file-sharing benefits the music industry.

Jonathan's impressive and not-boring report on file-sharing

Listen up. Loo and Placido have done some interesting bootlegs. They have a couple of tracks you can download as well as some demos that you can stream. My favorite was:

MP3: Loo and Placido - "Get Your Green On"

Which mixes Green Day's "Stuck With Me" and Missy Elliott's "Get Your Freak On."

The result sounds kinda like The Bellrays.

First there was dirty dancing. But dirty dining? That's just gross.

Fave dirty dining quote: "After eating at this McDonalds in Erwin, Tenn., last March, one hundred people became violently ill. Some ended up in the hospital, dehydrated and even hallucinating."

Can you imagine tripping after eating chicken McNuggets?

That would freak me out.

Sometimes you get lucky on the Internet and stumble across great blogs such as Blogjam.

Other times people tell you about funny blogs such as Tard-Blog where special education teachers blow off steam.

Through Tard-Blog I found Stokie Jaye's Slow Children at Play which recounts his experience working in a group home for emotionally disturbed boys for the past decade.

Through Slow Children at Play I found Tucker Max's Web Site. This guy sounds like a real a-hole. He's got a lot of cool sites linked on his page though.

Oh, and the reason I called this "F U Friday" (other than I'm running low on ideas on what to call my posts) is that I work on the weekends.

So on Fridays I always hear people say, "...well, at least it's Friday!" and for me it isn't. I feel like saying to them ...

Well, you get the idea.

Have a good friggin' weekend.
MP3: Dan Rather gets pranked

Here's a good prank call by Kidd Chris who called up Dan Rather to discuss the whole CBS memo incident.

MP3: Kidd Chris calls Dan Rather (right click, save as)

I'm officially overwhelmed and sickened with the pre-election coverage. I guess this is how people become apathetic.

With empty debates about candidates' credibility, actions during and after Vietnam and hardly a discussion about key issues (economy, jobs and prosperity) it's no wonder many Americans tune out politics.

That said, I will be voting in November. Hope you will too.

Download this

If you're like me and are a torrent fiend, then you should check out Protowall. It's much like Peer Guardian, in that it blocks out unwanted IPs from connecting to your computer when it downloads.

It requires a few setup steps before you use it, but its easily to get up and running in no time.

How does Ali G do it?

One of the few shows that makes me laugh out loud is Da Ali G show.

If you haven't seen the show before or want to catch episodes you missed, the place to go is Lando's Stinking Hole.

Here's an article that reveals how he's able to score so many killer interviews.

How Ali G keeps conning famous guests
MP3: Killed by McG #2 compilation

Since so many of you missed this the first time around, once again, here is the second volume of the "Killed by McG" series. Styled after the "Killed by Death" series, this collection of punk killers was assembled by yours truly.

Killed by McG #2 - download liner notes (.txt)

1. Really Red - "Too Political" - We start off with some vintage Texas punk circa 1981. This track is from Really Red's amazing 1981 album, "Teaching You the Fear." Unlike the overbearing politics of fellow scene mates M.D.C., Really Red tastefully spells out the injustices of the haves and the have-mores with poetic precision. Musically, the band taps into the post-punk vein like a seasoned junkie and 23 years later, this amped-up hardcore anthem doesn't sound dated in the least.

2. La Peste - "Better Off Dead" - In 1978, La Peste released this fine 45 on Black Records. The vintage proto-punk sounds have aged well, unlike that of, say, Throbbing Lobster, the Pixies, the Damnbuilders and any other number of shitty Boston bands. It ain't "This is Boston, Not L.A." but then again it ain't the Mighty Mighty Asstones either. Sad but true: Matador correctly issued an album's worth of studio and live sessions by La Peste in 1996. Only problem was everyone was obsessing on how great Pavement was, and the reissue was overlooked and went out of print faster than Wesley Willis' two major label albums.

3. Testors - "Time is Mine" - Believe it or not this is the b-side of the Testors one and only 7". Damn good! The remaining recordings are of varied quality and have surfaced in several different configurations, but the only collection you need is "Complete Recordings, 1976-9" which has it all. It's catchy and poppy NYC punk rock stuff. It's a wonder the Testors went unrecognized. Guess everyone was too busy marveling how Blondie went from being a punky new wave band to disco then to rap then to flat out sucking.

4. The Spelling Mistakes - "Hate Me Hate Me" - Before the '90s infatuation with New Zealand Pop and Flying Nun, there was a punk scene going on down under with bands such as the Spelling Mistakes, Scavengers and Suburban Reptiles. The best looking band was the Spelling Mistakes who liked to dress in funny clothes (Nazi uniforms, drag) and making lots of noise. This sucker dates back to 1980. The band's entire output has been reissued on a 2-CD set with a surprisingly good 1999 reunion recording of the album they never made the first go round. Ace.

5. The Quick - "Pretty Please Me" - Now this is more like it! Sublime melodies and hooky guitars all over the place. Yeah, yeah, the Dickies made this song their own on "Stukas Over Disneyland" but it's the Quick's original version that is the quintessential recording. Bands like Redd Kross copped this shit up and down the S. Cali boardwalk, but the Quick remain the true Cali heroes of power pop. This song was released on a 10" fan club record, in a limited edition of 200, after Mercury Records dropped the band. How could you pass on a killer cut like this? Oh well. My guess is that the Quick weren't made for their times.

6. Adolescents - "Who is Who" - They say this is classic OC hardcore (that's Orange County for all you Dischord-lovers) from the Adolescents' 1981 debut album. All I know is by the time I heard about this band, they were releasing records on one of the worst labels ever, Triple X. Mudhoney covered this song and I liked their version a whole lot better. What do I know? Oh well, back to scanning the MRR classifieds for punk pen pals...

7. Angry Samoans - "I'm in Love With Your Mom" - The 'Moans might be one of the best punk bands ever. Three guitarists. Three friggin guitarists to play the most retarded and fundamental punk rock ever written. Hitler's cock, homosexuals and lame parents, the Samoans sang about every kid's worst nightmares. But it's this ode to MILFs dating all the way back to 1978 that is the real shit. This demo finds the band honing in on the psychosexual appetite of every fourteen-year-old.

8. Flipper - "Ever" - They couldn't play their instruments that well, and the songs were retarded and kind of bad. They were so bad, they were punk. Flipper were yesteryear's Beat Happening except you actually would want to listen to Flipper. This is from their "Generic" album which is curiously out of print. In the post-Nirvana punk blitz it saw a major label reissue on Rick Rubin's American label, but went out of print again raising the question: who the fuck is running the music business anyway? The working man's anti-punk punk band. See also No Trend.

9. Helen Keller - "Dump on the Chump" - The Helen Keller 7" was the stuff that Killed by legends are made of. Scarce pressings, little band info and a ridiculous collector scum price tag. Well, pay through the nose no more, because the original 7" was reissued along with some previously unreleased sessions, including this alternate version of chump dumping. It's pretty good stuff, but not essential.

10. Scavengers - "Mysterex" - Don't confuse these Kiwi fruits with the resurrected Avengers, who have been performing under the Scavengers moniker. The New Zealand punk scene spawned newspaper headlines such as "Mums and Dads Were Shocked" and "Punk Rock Claims Victim." Sounds like a pretty rough scene! From 1978, here are the Scavengers.

11. Suburban Reptiles - "Razor Smile" - Here's a previously unreleased cut from this great New Zealand ensemble. With a chick named Zero and a dude by the name of Jimmy Zero delivering wicked saxophone solos, the Suburban Reptiles offered more than the usual punk fare. Practically impossible to find their stuff, so hopefully someone will get to comping up their stuff soon.

12. The Adverts - "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" - England's The Adverts had a string of killer singles including this morose ditty receiving a serial killer's eyes in a transplant operation. Now that's friggin punk. They re-recorded all those singles for their debut, "Crossing the Red Sea with the Adverts." If you don't have this album in your collection, shame on you. The band dropped a bomb of a second album and promptly broke up.

13. Robin Johnson & Trini Alvarado - "Your Daughter is One" - This diamond in the rough is culled from the "Times Square" soundtrack, which you could find in the cut-out bins in the early '80s. On RSO records, the same label responsible for the Bee Gees and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Obviously the label rep wasn't paying attention too closely when previewing this release.

14. The Diodes - "Red Rubber Ball" - The Diodes were allegedly the first Canadian band to sign to a major. For that, they faded into obscurity faster than Nice Strong Arm and Love Child. This is from their debut album from around 1977 and is a cover of the Paul Simon composition. Curiously, the bass player's name was Ian MacKay.

15. The Left - "Fuck it" - This awesome D.C. band kicked some major ass in the early '80s right before the Dischord boom. For some reason, there's not much fanzine ink about this killer cut or what the band was all about. They were recently comped up on the first volume of "Killed by Hardcore" which just came out on CD not too long ago.

16. 999 - "Emergency" - This U.K. band never really made a big impact over in the USA, despite being on Polydor, the same label that brought us the Jam. This is one of their more catchy and melodic efforts that you'll often find comped up on shitty punk comps like this one.

17. Pere Ubu - "Final Solution" - OK, the singer is really fat and can't really sing. Despite the fact that they still put out records on shitty labels (spinArt, Tim Kerr), this 1976 self-released gem is really a great punk track. Unfortunately the rest of their output wasn't up to snuff. In fact, Pere Ubu falls into the same category as Captain Beefheart: allegedly important music that is godawful to listen to.

All files are currently offline.
New column this week

I reviewed CDs by Rogue Wave, The Lovekill and Mike Keneally in my column this week

I still have a lot of CDs on my desk that I need to review for next week.
Coffee drinking Mike checks in

I got an e-mail from my friend Mike the other day.

I remember one morning at college I was riding my bike on Main Street in Newark at 7:00 a.m. putting up flyers for my band and I saw Mike walking to work.

He was drinking coffee. Since then I've always associated him as being a coffee drinker.

Some people associate Mike as the dude who tried to break a baseball bat by slamming it against a telephone pole. Of course, the bat bounced right off the telephone pole and back into Mike's face.

Anyway, here's what Mike had to say:

"Just thought I'd tell ya Fran and I saw Nels Cline the other night, quite impressed. I never thought that monkey'n around with yr effects pedals could garner a crowd -- and he did it w/ a jazzy style, very inspiring.

It reminded me of shite that occasionally burbles out of my amp here at home with Debbie going "that's weird" and me digging it but thinkin this would never hit it off w/ the kids at clubs.

Fran and I have started a new two-piece project doing some of the mellower folk-psyche-noisey Lettuce Prey material. We jammed last weekend and it sounded damn good. He's using two floor toms, kick, snare hat, cymbals and I'm using two amps through some crazy-ass effects I've collected over the years. We hope to incorporate Debbie on accordion. Sounds like a more lively Dirty Three meets Sonic Youth meets VU and Donovan (not his candy-ass shit though).

Heard Zen Guerrilla is releasing a new record soon -- anxious to hear that. Not sure if the new Zen record will be live or if they recorded new material. I doubt the latter. Andy is going to send me a copy soon -- I'll let you know.

Debbie and I plan to get a new dog after we move and have a park or backyard. I think Ben would dig it too. We miss Stevie so much, but as George says "All things must pass."
Johnny Ramone dies at 55

Say it ain't so...

Remembering Joey Ramone
McG's must-have music guide

Check out the Must-Have Music Guide I wrote for phillyBurbs.com.

It lists the top 10 CDs in a number of genres including jazz, punk and a whole lot more.

And in case you missed it ...

A few weeks ago I wrote how you can get 50 free MP3s from emusic.com.
In search of new Don Cab CDR

Can anyone hook me up with a copy of the Don Cab CDR floating around? It's got five new songs on it.

E-mail me if you can help. Dying to hear it.

In the meantime, check out Don Fanallero

Just listened to John Peel's radio show. The guy is awesome. I hope archives of his old shows turn up one day.

I started using the Opera browser last night. Should be interesting to see how I like it.

Today is my girlfriend's birthday! She is the best. Happy Birthday.
Link-a-licious

This is awesome (registration required - but totally worth it)

This is also awesome (registration required - but totally worth it)

I think the Hot Snakes website looks totally cool

MP3: Hot Snakes - "Hi-Lites" (from "Audit in Progress," due out October 5)

Flipside is one of my fave punk zines of all time.

I wish Jimmy Johnson would reissue some of the old issues of Forced Exposure

Prank video: Dude screams like a sissy

Prank video: Plumber gets bejesus scared out of him
Friday should be fantastic

I should be happy because it's Friday.

I'm not.

It's usually the kickoff to the weekend, but for someone like me who works all weekend, it's kind of a bummer.

Fortunately, my work schedule will be changing soon ... for the better.

My friend Becky reminded me that Hampdenfest is next week in Baltimore.

Tons of bands playing including The Rogers Sisters, The Apes and The Fleshtones.

My pal Taylor e-mailed me today that he quit his job and he's moving to France.

His goals:

"I'm looking into property renovation and other crazy schemes. Ideally, I might actually get into shape, but I may just be dreaming. I'll probably have lots of time for writing, but i never really liked my writing. You might get lots of random shit sent your way."

Tay is a good dude, very smart and a good writer. I hope he sends me some good shit.

MP3 downloads at NME.com

Free MP3s of Q Not U, New Rhodes, Neon, Micah P Hinson, Kaito and more ...

MP3 downloads at NME.com.
(need a user id/pass? click here).

Slowly back to normal

Things are getting back to their normal state of messed-up-edness.

Computer problems continue with invalid drivers, cd drives that vanish and reappear on their own and "serious error" messages from Microsoft. Other than that I'm loving this new computer!

I dropped the dogs off this morning at Fluff Pet Salon to get a haircut and shampoo. Actually just Jazz needed his haircut. Augie went along for moral support. They're brothers and they've spent so much time together they're inseperable.

Think I'll just sit in front of the computer today and catch up on writing, work on a new column for this week and read stuff online. What else is there to do?
So much for the vacation

I hadn't had a vacation in over two and a half years and was looking forward to some time off.

Well, Hurricane Frances put the big kibosh on the entire vacation. Instead of flying down to Florida for some R&R and attending a wedding, I watched reports of impending disaster on Fox News.

I did get to see some good movies (Garden State, The Girl Next Door) and have lunch at Angelo's Luncheonette, which is my all-time fave place to eat here in Wilmington. I went to a couple of parks and walked with my girlfriend and my dog.

Still, I can't help but feel a little cheated out of an actual vacation.

Yesterday afternoon I got sick with some stomach bug and laid in bed all day yesterday and most of today.

I am off until Thursday. Hopefully I'll feel better and can do something productive.

I may work on a new column for work this week. I haven't written one in almost six weeks. I was really busy with two work projects, one was creating rss feeds and the other was building a must-have music guide.

I got my new computer, but it hasn't been steady sailing. Right out of the box the thing didn't work properly, and I ended up reinstalling Windows XP. The mouse didn't work and the CD burner on the machine is acting suspect.

Ya know, sometimes you just wish things would go the way they're supposed to.