Evan "Funk" Davies filling in for Terre T, Cherry Blossom Clinic

Just got an e-mail from WFMU DJ Evan "Funk" Davies saying he will be on tomorrow afternoon (Saturday the 30th) from 3pm-6pm, filling in for Terre T's Cherry Blossom Clinic.

Evan is one of my favorite 'FMU DJs. He's got a great knowledge of old school punk and garage and often brings in some choice cuts from his personal collection.

If you miss it, the archive and handy-dandy clickable playlist will be posted here to review at your leisure.

All of Evan's past shows are posted there as well, including the morning-drive show he did this past Monday.
American Idol: How legit is it?

Here's the latest article ...

'American Idol' has had its share of scandals this season, but the most volatile controversy is just starting to rear its ugly head.

Idol viewers have been asking how truly talented contestants such as Nadia Turner, Anwar Robinson and Constantine Maroulis have been unjustly voted off the show, while the inferior and wholly unlikable Scott Savol remains in the competition.

Scott has a limited vocal range and is by all accounts a repulsive and thoroughly boring performer. Even judge Simon Cowell thinks that the oversized Idol and his lard ass should have been sent home long ago.

Yet Scott the anti-American Idol is still in the running. How could this be?

American Idol: How legit is it?
Delaware scene flashback: 1985

We had some great punk bands in Delaware back in the mid-'80s.

Bands such as Rude Awakening, High Karate, Your Worst Nightmare, The Stiffs, Infection, Mustard Trucks, Marcus Hook and so many more.

But there were also really cool people in the Delaware punk scene.

Here are two who you may remember, Becky and Lisa.

Becky writes me from time to time and says her and Lisa are still friends to this day. They both are living in Baltimore.

Becky and Lisa photo.

And Lisa's even the singer of a band called Secret Crush Society.

Very fucking cool if you ask me.
American Idol: What the fuck?!

Read my latest American Idol story.

American Idol: What the fuck?!

And if the only reason you're reading this is because you're trolling for MP3s, then you should just go here.
Quit your bitching

For those complaining about my American Idol coverage (all one of you), here's a thing I wrote about 10 of my fave punk albums of all time.

McG's must-have punk rock CDs

Hopefully some of my punk cred will be restored in your eyes.

If that doesn't do it, then check out the new site I've been working on here.
Will Paula Abdul bring American Idol franchise down?

I know 'American Idol' is a far cry from punk rock, but I get paid to write about Idol and people want to read it. Wish I could same the same about punk.

But a man has to pay the bills, so here is my latest Idol article.

American Idol: Could Paula Abdul bring down franchise?
McG's thoughts on American Idol

Here are two more articles on America's favorite show, American Idol:

1. 10 jobs for Scott Savol once he's kicked off Idol
(this one is pretty funny)

2. American Idol: Carrie poised to win
(this one is pretty mean)

People from the South get so bent out of shape when you call them hillbillies. I've gotten so many hate mails about that.

I said this week that America needs to pray to Jesus Christ that Scott gets kicked off. Not one complaint ...
McG on American Idol: Vonzell hot, Scott not

It's really lame that I've been watching American Idol every week.

But at least I get paid to do so. Here's my latest article:

phillyBurbs.com: Vonzell hot, Scott not.
Listening In to The Undertones

In case you missed it, you can hear The Undertones playing live on Terre T's Cherry Blossom Clinic here.

I finally got a chance to watch Teenage Kicks: The Story of The Undertones.

The hour-long documentary wasn't as brilliant as some of the press quotes on the DVD box would lead one to believe.

That said, it's still a well-done and above average rockumentary that traces the band's origins in Derry and it's quick catapult to international punk-pop stars.

There's plenty of great live footage and TV appearances from Old Grey Whistle Test and Top of the Pops.

Also included are seven videos from the band's original line up, footage of the 2000 reunion and extended interview segments.

The whole thing is narrated and presented by John Peel and is a fitting look back at how The Undertones' career was shaped by the influential DJ.

Here's a track from "Listening In: Radio Sessions 1978-1982."

The CD compiles the band's BBC sessions, six of them for none other than John Peel.

MP3: The Undertones - "Positive Touch" (Peel session).
(right-click, save as)

Link: The Undertones' Peel Session 2003
Former member of The Knobs debuts new band

Phil Young, (ex-Knobs), has a new band, The Cocks.

Also in the band is longtime Delaware musician Mark Stallard.

delawareonline.com: When this band takes the stage, two friends will be there in spirit
American Idol: Scott Savol next to go

It's amazing just how many people are into 'American Idol.'

As part of my job as entertainment content editor at phillyBurbs.com, I write about 'American Idol.'

So, almost 5,000 people read my article yesterday on Nadia Turner.

Holy crap, that's more readers than my crappy site gets all month!

That said, here's my prediction of who will get tossed from Idol this week:
phillyBurbs.com: American Idol: Scott next to go.
On American Idol and Nadia Turner

Yeah, yeah, I know ... getting paid to write about 'American Idol' for your day job is a dream come true to some people.

Personally, by the time Ryan Seacrest announces who is going home that week, I'm cursing at the TV and myself for having to watch such vapid programming.

Here's the latest article, American Idol: Nadia Turner was over-qualified

Shows that I've been digging lately include Shameless, which is about a crazy-assed Manchester family with a drunk loser for a father.

The Staircase is a really well-done documentary about the mysterious death of a socialite and her husband, who becomes the main suspect in the case.
American Idol running my life

There's not much time for leisure when I'm writing American Idol articles for work.

Been listening to The Undertones a lot lately.

Picked up the remastered version of Stiff Little Fingers' classic 1979 album, Inflammable Material . It has three bonus tracks ("Suspect Device" single version, "78 RPM" and an interview with Jake Burns).
Delawareonline.com article on zines

Here's an article about D.I.Y. Revolution: Zines and Other Underground Publications, a zine exhibit in Philadelphia at the Design Center at Philadelphia University.

I got name dropped in the article as being a zinester in Delaware.

I told the writer there were at least two other Delaware zines worth mentioning in the article including Expresso Tilt and Odor.

I'm sure there were/are more zines from Delaware, but this part of punk rock culture has all but faded into obscurity.

delawareonline.com: Before the Web, there were the zines

Thanks to Kurt B. for sending the link to the story.
Fireballs of Freedom – "Greasy Retrospective" CD

One gets the impression from listening to The Fireballs of Freedom that they're the type of band whose best efforts come across in a live setting. And while little can replace the live experience, "Greasy Retrospective," on the esteemed Wantage USA label, does an admirable job.

The CD features previously released singles, unreleased demos and three new tracks and delivers the type of musical ass kicking these guys must put forth on stage.

The Fireballs of Freedom, who have been going strong for 10+ years play brash, punked-up rock that is heavily influenced by guitar greats such as Mudhoney and Jimi Hendrix Experience. In fact, the band's cover of Hendrix' "Ain't No Telling" does some serious justice to the original, with plenty of whiskey-drenched swagger to give it its own spin.

Additionally, "Give it a Rest (You Fuckin' Bitch)" combines the hard-edged blues of Zen Guerrilla and invokes the golden era of early Sub Pop (We're talking waaaaay pre-Shins) when loud punk-friggin-rock-and-roll was actually in vogue.

"Scream Therapy" and "Shitting Rubber Nickels" are culled from a 1997 session with Conrad Uno and are full of intense guitar action and heavy, manic drumming. And other tracks such as "Viva El Gato" and "Vonferno" are rambunctious rock and roll mini-epics that are reminiscent of The Riverboat Gamblers.

Perhaps most appealing about The Fireballs of Freedom career-to-date is their unabashed love to rock the fuck out, irregardless of what musical trend is in with the folks who read shit like Pitchfork or shop at Insound. "Greasy Retrospective" is pure punk rock and roll meant to be played loudly and proudly.

MP3: Fireballs of Freedom - "Ain't No Tellin'"
MP3: Fireballs of Freedom - "Give it a Rest (Youfuckinbitch)"

Buy "Greasy Retrospective" at wantageusa.com
Fireballs of Freedom discography at cduniverse.com
The problem with MP3 bloggers

Sure, MP3 bloggers link to MP3 files that they find online.

But where these bloggers go wrong and do a disservice to fellow bloggers is when they link directly to an MP3 file rather than the permanent link.

MP3 bloggers are depriving readers of reading and the experience of the originating blog.

It's nothing but a weak move.

Essentially, these MP3 bloggers strip out the template, framework and whole of the blog and the blogger's hard work, for the sake of the MP3 file.

To compound the problem, originating bloggers, such as myself, often switch the server which the file is hosted on, when there's high traffic when enough of these MP3 bloggers start linking to your file.

Then, the link becomes dead and no one can access the file. It's a losing proposition all the way around.

I don't discourage linking, but I do expect bloggers to exercise courtesy and link to permanent links and not just the individual file.

MP3 bloggers who don't give their readers a chance to visit other blogs are lame.

And if you don't know what a permanent link is, you probably shouldn't be blogging.
Tell Congress: No censorship on cable & satellite radio

Censorship in the name of decency on the "public airwaves" is bad enough.

But cable TV and satellite radio?

No friggin way!

Congress and the FCC are more hell bent than ever to regulate decency on cable TV and satellite radio.

Howard Stern has been saying for almost a year and a half that these guys mean serious business.

Below is the same type of form letter that the Parents Television Council has used to effectively get the decency bill pushed through the House of Representatives.

Stern fans and people who believe in free speech need to take the time to speak out to Congress and let them know they need to back off.

Use this ACLU form to tell your member of Congress to protect free speech and leave Cable TV and satellite radio alone.

Send a letter to your Member of Congress online right now!


From ACLU:

Would "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart be half as funny with his jokes screened by Congress? Can you imagine "South Park" without the cursing? Is "Sex and the City" sexy without any sex? Without the cursing, the sex or the violence, would "The Sopranos" be a mob hit?

Washington's self-appointed arbiters of morality are targeting cable TV -– home to some of America's most popular and cutting-edge programming -- with new federal laws and FCC rules that jeopardize our most basic personal and creative freedoms. According to them, adults can't choose for ourselves what we or our children see; the government must serve as our chaperone, art critic and censor.

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), and new FCC Chairman Kevin Martin want to extend censorship to cable TV (that you pay for) and even to satellite radio.

Already, the furor over broadcast and cable "indecency" is at a fever pitch. In February, the House of Representatives passed legislation permitting fines of up to $500,000 for individual instances of "lewd" content on television or radio. Last year indecency fines rose to $8 million from only $32,000 in 2000.

We all understand that many parents don't like a lot of the vulgarity on TV and don't want their children watching it. But that should be their choice, not the choice of Congress, the FCC, and the "morality police."

Send a letter to your Member of Congress online right now!
Bloc Party Lamacq Session 2005

Already a hit in the UK, France and the American underground, it's only a matter of time before the mainstream latches onto Bloc Party in a big way.

Their debut album, "Silent Alarm," is a refreshing blast of guitar rock with loads of hooks and riffs delivered in an urgent manner.

The song "Helicopter" is an instant alternative classic with its early XTC melodic approach and slightly dark tone a la The Cure.

What Franz Ferdinand was to alternative music in 2004, Bloc Party may become in 2005.

MP3: Bloc Party Lamacq Session, January 3 2005
(27.3MB, click through link)

Link: Bloc Party postpones Philly show
Early Man a-ok

Ended up having a three-day weekend and being stranded at home yesterday because of car troubles.

I'm back in the game today.

Big night tonight - American Idol, which I have to watch it for work.

I have to admit, it's kind of fun to watch all the bad performances and then ridicule them.

Some of the fan mail I get from irate readers is great. For example:

I have read page after page of your inane blather regarding this year's American Idol contest, and I have come to the conclusion that Belleview is short an inmate.


Why do you need to be so cruel in your column about the "American Idol"
contestants? Are you trying to be funny? Your comments are cruel and
hateful...maybe you're just jealous that you don't have the talent to
compete (and are probably too old)?

I'm listening to Mike Lupica's Hip Transistor on WFMU right now.

I love listening to the radio online.

I really miss John Peel and hearing all sorts of new bands and older bands that I'd never heard of.

I picked up the Early Man self-titled CD EP on Monitor.

The band is a heavy metal duo in the vein of early '80s California metal.

The abbreviated format is perfect for the band, as anymore than a handful of songs by indie kids playing metal riffs might become tedious (with the exception being The Fucking Champs).

Two of the songs really cook, and one of them, "Death is the Answer to My Prayers," is kind of so-so.

The band seems to have everything going for it right now: An opening slot on the Mastodon / Burning Brides tour and an already much-hyped full-length due on Matador later this year.

MP3: Early Man - "Fight"
A massive swelling

I picked up Cintra Wilson's book, "A Massive Swelling," while I was on vacation.

Only read a few pages, but it seems like a scathing indicment of pop culture, something I can totally get behind.

I also picked up Jim Knipfel's "Quitting the Nairobi Trio," which seems like an interesting read - an unabashed account of Knipfel's time in a psych ward after a failed suicide attempt.

I've been getting into the Damned a lot lately.

I picked up, "Music For Pleasure," which was their 2nd album, which was pretty much panned upon initial release in 1979 and was a contributing factor towards the band's breakup.

While not as killer as "Damned Damned Damned" and not as diverse as the band's masterpiece, "Machine Gun Etiquette," the album has some killer cuts including the often comped track, "Problem Child."

MP3: The Damned - Problem Child