Get yourself some free DVD and video game rentals

Here's a story I wrote for on how to get free DVD and video games rentals from Blockbuster Online.

Link: Top five reasons free DVD and game rentals are cool
Hey from Sharp of Ill Ease

I got an e-mail from Elizabeth Sharp who was cool enough to let me know about a gig she's playing in Philly later this month with her band Ill Ease.

Gig: 12/17/04, Ill Ease, Philadelphia, PA, Mill Creek Tavern

You can listen to a live set Ill Ease did for WFMU here:

Listen: Ill Ease live on WFMU, 9/13/04

Sounds like after a couple of CDs Elizabeth has hit full stride, having fleshed out Ill Ease into a pretty rockin' trio. They've even got a record out on Too Pure Records! It's called "The Exorcist."

Ill Ease official site
Fark me!

Fark has featured the Best and Worst of 2004 piece that I wrote for

That's almost as cool as when Howard Stern read one of my articles on the air (Unfrigginbelievable) or when Rolling Stone wrote about my old fanzine, Yakuza (twice!)

I continue to become famous ... at the slowest pace possible.

Read the Fark article: is named best website of 2004 by Bucks County Courier Times
More DVD consumption

I've been enjoying Blockbuster's free trial membership to their DVDs-by-mail service.

While I'm no fan of the chain store by any means, I'm more than willing to take advantage of some free movies on their dime.

The trial membership is two weeks only, but when I went to cancel, they offered an additional month at no charge.

So, that's six weeks worth of free DVD rentals along with four free in-store rental coupons. Not too shabby...

Anyway, I finally got around to seeing "Super Size Me" and thought it was an intriguing documentary.

It's less of an indictment against McDonald's and more a study of the American diet and sedentary lifestyle.

If that film doesn't encourage you to get back to the basics of eating well, exercising and feeling good about yourself, then you may be a hopeless case.

Shrek 2. The first Shrek was so fun and clever, but the sequel is neither. Too much story line, not enough laughs. What happened?

And since Eminem has a new album out, I figured I'd backtrack a little and check out his film "8 Mile."

There's no arguing Eminem is one talented mofo. His album, "The Marshall Mathers LP," is probably the strongest argument for him.

The film is pretty decent, but doesn't go that far in showcasing his unique and stylish rapping methods.

Fortunately one of the DVD extras is a 30-minute documentary that shows the rapper doing some improv battling which shows why he slays.

As for Eminem's new album, "Encore," there are some good moments, but overall it's not that thrilling.

What is up with Dr. Dre's production? The music is unimaginative and flat and really takes away from Eminem's otherwise solid rapping.

Topically, the album is kind of a retread of themes previously visited on "The Eminem Show" and doesn't break new ground in any significant manner.

But then what the hell am I expecting? It's just a rap album.

Peace out.
MP3: John Peel Show, October 1, 2003

Here's another John Peel show in its entirety.

This one dates back to the beginning of October, 2003 and features The Futureheads in session.

MP3: John Peel, Oct. 1, 2003 (70.6 mb, right click, save as)
See full track listing for this show.

See also: John Peel Show, September 2, 2003
Another good radio show

Hats off to Mike Lupica.

The November 20 edition of his show, "Hip Transistor," on WFMU is especially fine.

Listen: Mike Lupica's "Hip Transistor" - November 20, 2004
MP3: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Peel Session

This was a big hit over at Oink's Pink Palace, so I thought I'd post it over here (for a very limited time) for your pleasure.

This is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Peel Session from 2002.

The performances are solid and the versions are rougher than the ones found on the LP.

(Files are permanently offline. Look here for sessions by similar artists.
I'm Not Afraid

I checked out the film, "I'm Not Afraid" (Io non ho paura) last night.

Cinematically speaking, it's a very beautiful film with tons of Italian countryside scenery full of rich colors and crispness.

As far as the narrative goes, while there are two or three scary moments, this is film is primarily a suspense/thriller, and a good one at that.

Viewers beware: It's in Italian and has subtitles.

"I'm Not Scared" official site & trailer
McG's massive media consumption

I finished Monte Melnick's book, On the Road With the Ramones and thought it was great.

Monte was the Ramones tour manager throughout their entire career and sheds some insight on the interpersonal relationships (or lack thereof) between the Ramones.

Lots of good stories about life on the road, aiming for commerical success, Johnny's disciplinary attitudes versus Dee Dee's wild partying and more. A must-read for any Ramones fan.

I made it through the end of season two of Dead Like Me, which is my new favorite TV show.

It's so damn good, that I'm thinking of picking up the Dead Like Me season one DVD and enjoy it all over again.

Speaking of TV shows, I've watched most of the Greg the Bunny DVD.

While it's not rip-roaring funny, there are some good moments for sure.

I can see why this show failed on Fox. It's a show that would be more at home alongside some late-night, way-out programming on Adult Swim (although it's not a cartoon) or Comedy Central.

Dawn of the Dead exceeded my expectations.

It has everything I love in a zombie movie and things I didn't even know I loved, including a one-armed Asian zombie who can run about 35 mph, gratuitous scenes of cars and buses running over zombies and about 1,000 exploding zombie heads.

Hard to believe that the star of this film, Sarah Polley, is the same Sarah Polley who starred in the incredibly sad, but amazing film, My Life Without Me.

I watched Suspicious River the other night and have to agree that the film is disturbing. Had I known it was a grim tale of prostitution and rape, I might have skipped this.

Don't get me wrong, it's a decent film, but it's not a pick-me-up by any means. If you're looking for a film that will make you feel that your life isn't that bad, this is your movie.
John Peel Show, September 2, 2003

Here's John Peel's show from September 2, 2003 in its entirety.

MP3: John Peel Show, September 2, 2003 - (70.2 MB)
(right click, save as)

John Peel Tracklistings September 2, 2003
John Peel Show, September 2, 2003 tracklisting (.txt)

Miracle Chosuke - 'Loop (LP- The 7/8 Wonders of the World)' (Dim Mak)
Disciples RS - 'Roots Workout (10")' (Jah Tubby's)
The Blueskins - 'Girl' (Peel Session)
Gossip - 'Lesson Learned (LP- Movement)' (Kill Rock Stars)
The Jimmy Smith Trio - 'The Sermon (LP- Get Yourself' (MGM)
DJ Hazard - 'Rubber Chicken (EP- No More Games)' (True Playaz)
Willis - 'The Space Within (7")' (679)
Camera Obscura - 'Before You Cry (LP- Under Achievers Please Try Harder)' (Elefant)
The Coachwhips - 'Just One Time (LP- Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine)' (Narnack)
Tarli Digital - 'Mundey Patey Jann Geh (LP- Desi Nation)' (Stern's/ Earthworks)
The Blueskins - 'It Makes The Room Look Bigger (EP- Saucy Haulage Ballads)' (Probe Plus)
Cyde FX - 'Time Scape (12")' (Nu Electro)
The French - 'The Wu Tang Clan (LP- Local Information)' (Too Pure)
DJ C (feat Capleton) - 'Conscience A Heng Dem' (Mashit)
Army of Flying Robots - 'The Goths Brought Revels and I Felt Cheated (EP- Army of Flying Robots)' (The Audacious Art Experiment)
The Caretaker - 'I Saw Your Face In A Dream (LP- We'll All Go Riding On A Rainbow)' (V/Vm)
Wine Lord - 'Sex On A Stick (LP- Wine Lord)' (Bloat)
The Blueskins - 'The Stupid Ones' (Peel Session)
Polmo Polpo - 'Farewell (LP- Like Hearts Swelling)' (Constellation)
Freddy Fresh - 'I Can't Compete (7")' (Howlin')
The Thermals - 'Goddamn The Light (LP- More Parts Per Million)' (SubPop)
Digital - 'Gateman - Keaton Mix (12")' (Phantom Audio)
Lutan Fyah - 'Never Surrender My Faith (7")' (Jah Warrior)
The Original Surfaris - 'Failsafe (LP- Big Noise From Waimea!)' (Sundazed The Blueskins - 'No 23' (Peel Session)
Knifehandchop - '2 Sexxxy Booty (LP- Rockstopper)' (Tigerbeat6)
The Fall - 'Touch Sensitive (LP- Touch Sensitive)' (Castle Music)
MP3: Ol' Dirty Bastard press conference UNCENSORED

Here is ODB's infamous press conference, which Howard Stern has played repeatedly throughout the years.

Here it is, finally uncensored! The gang talks over it a bit too much, but it's still pretty awesome.

MP3: Ol' Dirty Bastard - Press Conference - (2.4 MB)
20% off at Borders this weekend

I always try to buy from indie bookstores or direct from the publisher when possible.

That said, I always take advantage of Borders' coupons and this is the best one I've seen yet.

20% off almost everything in the store, plus 40% off all food and beverages.

I may just go and have lunch there this weekend and pick up a book.

Borders 20% off coupon
(Valid Friday Nov. 12, 2004 - Monday Nov. 15)
John Peel radio shows surface

In the weeks following the death of legendary DJ John Peel, quite a few of his radio shows have turned up online in newsgroups and torrents.

Here's a show Peel did for the great VPRO (Netherlands) in 1986.

The John Peel Show - January 29, 1986
(click on uur 1 when you get to the page)

I have a bunch of Peel shows which I may post here, especially if anyone drops me a note of encouragement to do so.
This is one of the best friggin videos I've seen in years

Video: Dizzee Rascal - "Dream"
Blockbuster is a bomb

I signed up for a trial membership to Blockbuster's DVD-by-mail trial membership.

I make a point to patronize local video stores over corporate stores such as Blockbuster, but I wanted to take advantage of getting some free movies.

They e-mailed me a coupon for two free in-store rentals, so I went for the first time in years.

I have NOT been missing much. What I found were half-stocked shelves, a mixture of VHS boxes with faded covers, softcore sexy thrillers and a crapload of Shrek 2 DVDs. Not impressive.

Plus they've got the store littered with cheaply priced new and previously viewed DVDs, video games and crap candy and microwave popcorn.

I couldn't even find a DVD I wanted to rent - for free - so I just left, more certain than ever that I would be cancelling my free trial membership just before they charge my credit card.
Request: Oxes on BBC Radio 1, November 3, 2004

Let me know if you can help me with a copy of the Oxes in session on BBC Radio 1.

It aired November 3, 2004 and was recorded for the John Peel show.

E-mail me at daveATdavemcgurganDOTcom. Thanks.
McG's new blog at

I have a new blog about pop culture at that launched today.

The blog will be updated daily and will muse on all things that go "pop" in our culture.

Read: McG's phillyBurbs pop culture blog