John Peel: Teenage Dreams So Hard To Beat

This special one hour documentary celebrates the life and work of John Peel.

Presented by Jarvis Cocker, it features contributions from artists and DJs such as Led Zeppelin, Billy Bragg, Pink Floyd, Ash, Orbital, the Cure and Captain Beefheart (...more)

Note: The show has moved. Follow link below.

Link: Teenage Dreams
Top 5 Rodney Dangerfield jokes

1. I was an ugly kid. When I was born, after the doctor cut the cord, he hung himself.

2. This girl was ugly. They used her in prisons to cure sex offenders.

3. I know I'm getting old. When I whack off I get tired holding up the magazine.

4. Hey, I gotta be honest with you. I'm not a fabulous lover. My wife and I were in bed on our wedding night and she said, "Well honey, this is it." I said, "Honey that was it."

5. With my wife I get no respect. I fell asleep with a cigarette in my hand. She lit it.

I love Rodney

Rodney Dangerfield is one of my all-time favorite comedians. I used to love watching his Tonight Show appearances and his ability to shoot off one-liner after one-liner and make it seem effortless.

I finally got around to reading Rodney Dangerfield's book, "It's Not Easy Being Me," which I thought was really great.

The book is full of Rodney's trademark hit-and-run jokes that are placed throughout the book.

Rodney's childhood sucked really bad.

His dad was a serial womanizer and was rarely around the house. Rodney's mother never showed him any affection whatsoever. There was little love in the Dangerfield household.

When Rodney's father and mother were together, they fought viciously. Rodney says, "most kids fall asleep listening to a fairy tale. I fell asleep listening to a guy yelling, 'Enough! I've had enough!'"

Rodney's talent bloomed early.

He got into the comedy scene at a relatively early age, worked hard and went for it whenever an opportunity presented itself. As a result, by his early 20's, he was a regular on the New York comedy scene doing gigs in Manhattan as well as upstate.

During that time, Rodney enjoyed himself like most men his age; he drank a lot and bedded women. Lots of them. And he worked hard on his act. Then one day, he met a woman and married her. He had a child.

Rodney decided to give up comedy to live a real life. He became a salesperson, hawking aluminum siding, which he did for over a decade.

As he endured the grind of a 9-to-5 job and the pressure of coming up with his next sale, he kept notebooks and continued writing jokes.

He did this for almost 15 years. At age 40 he decided he'd had enough.

He ditched the wife and lame sales job and pursued what he knew he was best at: comedy.

He had no problem making crowds laugh and word spread quickly that Rodney was back. He started catching some major breaks and ended up doing his routine on the Ed Sullivan show.

Slowly but surely, Rodney's popularity grew.

Because so little went right in Rodney's personal life, he thought he could make that the basis for his act. At the time, "The Godfather" was at the height of its popularity. Rodney went and saw it, and learned how the concept of respect was important to gangsters.

Rodney took the cue, and that's how the "no respect" joke was born.

Rodney eventually became a famous comic in his own right, opened his own comedy club, appeared on the Tonight Show numerous times and helped launched the careers of dozens of comics including Jim Carrey, Bill Hicks and Sam Kinison.

Throughout his life, Rodney was a habitual pot smoker right into his 80's. The funnyman also battled severe and chronic bouts of depression.

Rodney had a supreme gift of appealing to a huge audience and he gave us many years of laughter. His legacy is one that will be hard to eclipse.
Captain Janks

Here's a story I wrote about Captain Janks, whose phony phone calls are heard regularly on The Howard Stern Show. NBC10 at mercy of Howard Stern prankster

Link: The Interactive Captain Janks Website
Monday, Monday

It snowed in Delaware this weekend. About eight inches, though it seemed like more as I was digging out the car.

Two movies you don't need to bother with: The Forgotten and Paparazzi.

The first 30 minutes of The Forgotten were promising, the second 30 minutes started to get really cheesy and the final 30 minutes were laughable.

As for Paparazzi, bad acting and bad script add up to a bad b-movie disguised as a first-run movie. The only reason I rented it was because Robin Tunney is in it. I guess she can't get any good roles?!

Listening to the new one by Camper Van Beethoven, Joanna Newsom, The Narrows and Mike Lupica's Hip Transistor.

Been working on a new mix CD. Need to finalize it, write some liners and post it. It'll probably show up here sometime.

Latest work project: Michael Jackson trial blog.

I'm writing up daily synopses of Wacko Jacko's pending child molestation trial. The allegations that are surfacing in the case are pretty disturbing, to say the least.
Lamb of God - "Ashes of the Wake"

Holy hell, can I just say how killer this album is?

Lamb of God's blend of wickedly tight metal brings to mind the precise crunch of Helmet's first album with a slight nod to math metal (i.e., Opeth, Confessor, Loincloth) and a whole lot of metal ass-whuppin throughout.

I heard the band played on Sirius' Hard Attack channel and have been diggin' em ever since. Here's the leadoff track from the album and the album's closer.

Official site: Lamb of God
By the numbers

Just the other day the guy who sits next to me at work was bumming out that his blog, Numeralist, wasn't getting any traffic.

He was thinking of giving up, but I encouraged him to keep on with it.

Just two days later, he wrote up an interesting analysis of the U.S. before and after four years of Bush.

Now his site is getting hammered and his page views are through the roof because sites such as Totalfark and MSNBC have picked up his story.

I told him that his piece was his "Catcher in the Rye" or "The Great Gatsby" of blog posts.

Here's another thing that the Numeralist wrote:

Analysis of a debate between George Bush and Jacques Chirac set to a Dr. Seuss poem.

Cranked out a few record reviews like I promised myself I would do. Also posted some MP3s since a lot of you enjoy that sort of thing.

Uh, Something I Learned Today has an MP3 by 76% Uncertain from one of my fave hardcore albums, "Nothing But Love Songs."

I spent some time reading Suze's rants on her site. Actually her writing isn't ranting.

She puts together free-flowing accounts of her life which involves seeing LOTS of live music, taking pictures and hanging with her buds. Yeah, it's usual kind of spew, but she's got a knack for drawing in readers with her cool off-the-cuff style.

Things I'm going to buy today: Puppy training pads, breath busters, a humidifier, take-out dinner.

Things I already bought today: Frozen cauliflower, Kleenex, diet black cherry soda, diet coke (regular and caffeine free), spring water, gouda cheese from Holland, Blueberry Morning cereal.

Things I want to buy, but can't afford or don't want to spend on: TiVo, Slayer "South of Heaven" CD, pair of New Balance sneakers.
The Fastbacks: The band that didn't exist

The Fastbacks formed in 1981 and toiled nearly two decades crafting and perfecting a blend of punk rock and roll that drew inspiration from the melodic tinge of the Buzzcocks as well as the hooky melodies that marked the heyday of '70s AM radio. For a spell, The Fastbacks got caught up in the media frenzy that was grunge, with several albums on Sub Pop, and continued to crank out great music right up until the end, with 1999's "The Day That Didn't Exist."

2004 saw a "new" Fastbacks CD, "Truth, Corrosion and Sour Bisquits," an "Odds and Sods" collection, comprised of a generous portion and fulfilling sampling of the band's many cover versions, non-LP tracks and other songs that just missed the final cut for proper release.

Several tracks are worth noting, one of which is "All in Order" which rips with one of Kurt Bloch's many terrific guitar solos. Throughout the band's existence, Bloch proved himself a stellar guitar player and above average songwriter.

"I'll Return" excels with an emphasis on vocal harmonies wrapped around a clever chorus. Why this was an outtake from the 1996 album, "New Mansions in Sound," is a mystery, but it could have easily been a pleasant addition to what many feel was the Fastbacks' finest recorded work.

As far as cover versions, the group is all over the place, ranging from their spot-on cover of the Raspberries' power-pop classic, "Go All the Way," to a faithful rendition of the Pixies' "Allison" then hitting hard on the pogo punk of the U.K. Subs' "Time and Matter" and rounding things up with a kickass cover of the Supersuckers' "On the Couch."

Once you reach the album's final track, "Out of the Charts," one can't help but wonder why the Fastbacks weren't more popular.

Why no breakthrough album or major label deal?

And why did The Fastbacks seemingly come and go without a more lasting impact on the punk rock/indie rock collective conscience?

While this CD doesn't offer any answers to the above questions, it is an excellent reminder of the band's rocking sound, the invigorating and wicked guitar solos of Kurt Bloch and the Fastbacks' skills at taking punk rock chords, heartfelt vocals and the spirit of rock and transforming them into something special.
The Rude Kids - "Raggare is a Bunch of Motherfuckers" b/w "Charlie" 7"

cover scan courtesy of 7" single by The Rude Kids was released in 1978 by Polydor Records.

Even though they were from Sweden, The Rude Kids were singing the same "us-versus-them" shit punks worldwide were hollering about at the time:

You know, songs about stupid thugs beating up punkers just because they dressed, looked and acted different.

Take a look at the lyrics to "Raggare:"

"Raggare is a gang of freaks,
Who always beats the geeks,
Going around,
In their big American cars,
Think they are owners of the town,
But they're not,
They are nothing,
Nothing, nothing, nothing but animals,
Monkey, donkey, kangaroo,
They've got no,
No, no, no, no, no, no,
No IQ"


Hmmmm ... otherwise it sounds like they could be singing about the angst and tension found in any number of American suburban neighborhoods that spawned the U.S. hardcore punk scene in the early '80s.

Fact: The mighty Turbonegro covered "Raggare is a Bunch of Motherfuckers" on their 1996 album, "Ass Cobra."

Thanks to: This is Punk Rock for the cover scan.
Tonya Harding kicks Newark Delaware man's ass

On a night when millions of Americans watched a tsunami benefit on NBC television stations, a few hundred people packed into a New Castle bar to watch "America's Bad Girl" Tonya Harding box Mark Mason, a Newark man.

Mason complained that his eyes were tearing up and said he was overwhelmed in the ring.

"She got me with a couple of punches I didn't expect," said Mason.

After Saturday night's fight, fans waited in line to buy $10 Polaroids of themselves with Harding. Tressa Sharp, of Middletown, walked away smiling with her Harding-signed photo. When asked why she and her friends came to the event, she said, "Because we have no lives."

Link: Newark man no match for Harding
The Knockout Pills – "1+1=Ate"

The sophomore effort from Tuscon, AZ's punkest quartet is a sizzling affair, with dueling guitar riffs, pulsating and pounding skins and apt songwriting. "1+1=Ate" (Estrus) and The Knockout Pills seem influenced by the Buzzcocks' school of songwriting; there's a considerable emphasis on melodies and '77 punk's sonic spirit seems omnipresent.

The album is worth it alone for the opening track, "Target H," which has more hooks than an entire Green Day album and is topped off with a flaming guitar solo and even has some handclaps tossed in for good measure. It's the kind of song you want to hear again and again - after you just played it.

Fortunately the band doesn't blow its load on the first track. On the whole, "1+1=Ate" is a rewarding experience because of tracks such as "Teller 159," which sounds like a lost Mudhoney outtake and "Wait For the Apex" which pays homage to the garage rock of yesteryear. The Knockout Pills rank right up there with The Thermals and The Marked Men (and any of the Dirtnap Records roster) for top of the line pop-influenced punk-rock-and-roll.

MP3: The Knockout Pills - "Target H"
Newark, Delaware man hit by train for second time

Once wasn't good enough for an unidentified man who was hit by a train for the second time behind the Deer Park Tavern.

The victim was struck by the train at 2:31 a.m. while attempting to cross the tracks behind the Deer Park Tavern, said Kelli Starr-Leach, New Castle County Paramedics spokeswoman.

This is the second time the victim has been struck by the train behind the bar, Starr-Leach said.

Obvious punch lines:

-Three strikes and you're out
-Third time's the charm

Read more about this Darwin Awards wannabe here: Newark man hit by train
Career Suicide - 'Anthology of Releases: 2001-2003'

Career Suicide hail from Canada and have released a string of 7"s and an LP that have all been acclaimed for their killer "old school" hardcore sound. Think Circle Jerks circa "Group Sex" meets S.O.A. with some vintage G.I. thrown in for good measure.

Career Suicide's modern hardcore has a retro sound and is seething with the same venom that fueled bands such as MDC, DRI and Black Flag. It's as if the band jumped in a time machine back to the days of Rock Against Reagan and Tim Yo rants in MRR.

Listening to Career Suicide's latest CD 'Anthology of Releases: 2001-2003' (Deranged Records), a collection of their vinyl-only releases, revisits the same excitement one felt when first discovering the underground hardcore punk scene.

Originally released as an EP in late 2003, the 'Sars' 7" is a great encapsulation of Career Suicide's blazing hardcore style. The songs are built for speed, the vocals are full of genuine angst and the key is the production, which falls somewhere between lo-fi and an upscale 8-track recording. While three of the four songs here are out and out thrashers, "Quarantined" sounds as if it could be culled from a lost Killed By Death 7" by an obscure SoCal punk band from the late '70s.

The band's self-titled 7" from early 2003 is hardcore heaven for those who like their punk angry, brief and shot from the cannon. "Brought to the Brink" sounds like it could have been lifted off any of the early Dischord 7"s and the band takes the tempo down just a notch on "Jonzo's Leaking Radiation."

The lengthiest effort here is Career Suicide's self-titled LP, also from 2003, which benefits from the clarity offered by compact discs and has superior sound to the original vinyl pressing. Unlike a hardcore band that gets slower with each successive release, Career Suicide manages to keep the momentum rolling forward, surging with blazing intensity on "Punitive Damages" while on "You Call This a Life?" the band makes its way through two verses, two choruses and a bridge in under 40 seconds.

Tacked on for good measure is the band's first demo from 2001, which has muddy sound and is noteworthy only for some numbers which were re-recorded for official release. The band's second demo from 2002 shows the band was well on its way to perfecting its hellishly hardcore attitude and ass-kicking sound.

The CD booklet has a band timeline, tons of cool pics and flyers and on the whole this CD leaves the listener with the sense that invigorating hardcore punk can still be made in modern times.

MP3: Career Suicide - "You Call This a Life"
MP3: Career Suicide - "Quarantined"
MP3: Career Suicide - "Brought to the Brink"

Official site (has MP3s): Career Suicide
Order direct from: Deranged Records
Wilmington, Delaware musician found dead

Wilmington singer-songwriter Jeremy Hare had a large following at local nightclubs and was looking forward to the release of his second CD in March.

But the musician's long-held dreams of being a rock star ended Thursday morning on the loading dock of the AIG parking garage in Wilmington, where passers-by found his body lying face down.

News Journal: Wilmington musician found dead
Official site: Jeremy Hare
Not my day yesterday

Yesterday wasn't a good day for me. I woke up feeling fine, but it didn't take long for a dark cloud full of depression and the blues to form and follow me around like a puppy chases after it's owner.

That said, I made the best of it. I tried watching Jim Jarmusch's latest film, "Coffee and Cigarettes" and had to turn it off about 40 minutes through.

I haven't seen a film so awful that I had to bail midway since I tried watching that shameful piece of celluloid, "How High" starring Redman and Method Man as two cheebah-huffing bros trying to make it at Harvard.

Hard to believe those jokers had a TV show on Fox. It was called "Method and Red" and followed the adventures of Redman and Method Man as the rap moguls move into an upscale gated community.

Oddly enough the direct link to the show on Fox's site is no longer working. Nice!

Then Kelly and I were watching disc 3 of "Freaks and Geeks" and at one of the episode's climactic scene, the DVD started skipping. Despite many attempts to fast-forward or skip over the bad chunk, digital hell ensued and we couldn't watch the end.

Reminds me of the time I went to see "Sling Blade" and the projector bulb broke five minutes before the film's end. As everyone filed out of the theater to get a refund, one of the ushers took it upon himself to blurt out the ending. Nice!

Anyway, I guess all this huffing and puffing about what a bad day I had doesn't really mean anything given the plight millions are facing overseas. But, that's what makes America what it is: its citizens have a tremendous ability to whine bitch and moan about how awful their lives are, when in fact, they aren't really that bad.

I'm hoping to get to review some new CDs soon. Just need to carve out the listening time and all.

I got another comment saying I should post some more John Peel shows. I'll work on that as well. I have the bandwidth available. It's just a matter of FTP'ing them to the site. Maybe this week?!