Site Redesign

Thanks to Dave Koehler for the recent redesign of this site.
Philly pot service bust update

I heard a news story about a Philly pot distribution service getting busted in Philly almost two years ago, but never found any news reports on it.

Now has the details on the breakup of a $4M marijuana sales ring in Philly that operated from 1999 through 2003. 12 nailed as feds reach for grass ring
(need a user id/login info? try

Jody Fienman wrote an article back in 2002 for Spin magazine about New York City's pot delivery service.
Fuck MTV and the VMAs

Read my latest article, "Fuck MTV and the VMAs," "MTV Get Off the Air" at

Update: This article had a different title which I ended up changing to "MTV Get Off the Air" after talking it over with my boss.

I've used f*ck in a headline before, and he's generally lenient when it comes to using something like that. However the last time I did it, one reader complained and it really rocked the boat at work.

Anyway, you get the idea - I hate MTV and all it stands for.
Brian Jonestown Massacre - We Are the Radio

Brian Jonestown Massacre has had an impressive string of above average albums, with "Give it Back" and "Strung Out In Heaven" among their best. And while they've never had a bona fide breakthrough hit, on record they've repeatedly proved their worth.

Lazy critics have tended to overlook the band's music, choosing to focus on bandleader Anton Newcombe's off-and on-stage personality and the band's unpredictable live shows which range from the utterly brilliant to the terribly disastrous. And those who've only been exposed to BJM via the documentary, "Dig," are getting a rather skewed view of what the band's music actually sounds like, which is what really matters if you ask me.

The key point is that the band is responsible for creating a legacy of unabashed and emotionally charged rock and roll that is forward thinking and vital, while paying homage to the psychedelic folky sounds of bands such as The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers.

BJM's latest offering is "We Are the Radio," a five-track mini-album that presumably is a teaser to their next full-length. Newcombe, who has been known to take many an up-and-coming artist under his wing (ex-BJM members have gone on to form bands such as the inexplicably overrated Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Warlocks.)

Here he introduces Sarabeth Tuceck, a newcomer to the BJM fold whose droney and subdued vocal style (reminiscent of Opal's Kendra Smith), compliments the band's continued foray into quasi-psych pop sounds.

Key tracks include "God is My Girlfriend" which has an epic and urgent druggy feel to it and "Never Become Emotionally Attached to Man, Woman, Beast or Child," an upbeat track that exudes a somber '60s psych vibe.

Listen to stream of "God is My Girlfriend" at Tee Pee Records

MP3: BJM - "Never Become Emotionally Attached to Man, Woman, Beast or Child"

While this stopgap CD isn't likely to win the group any new fans, it is a decent enough holdover until the band unleashes its next proper record, which can't come soon enough.

There are plenty of MP3s over at

Check out the Brian Jonestown Massacre discography at
Two McG articles in Delaware Today

I have two articles in the September issue of Delaware Today.

The first is a profile of Greyhounds Reach the Beach in Dewey Beach as well as GAFNE, which is a local greyhound rescue group.

The second article is a preview of the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Autumn 2005 Festival.

The issue is for sale on newsstands now, but you can get a free copy through Delaware Today's free trial subscription offer.
Big Boys singer Randy 'Biscuit' Turner dead

You can read more info about the death of Biscuit here.


"In the worst form of happenstance imaginable, Randy "Biscuit" Turner was found dead in his home late Thursday afternoon. Close friends had not heard from the local musician/artist for several days when Chronicle staff writer Marc Savlov, author of this week's cover story on the ebullient Austin icon, stopped by Turner's house to ascertain his whereabouts. Sensing something wrong, Savlov called the police, who arrived and found Turner's body inside.

As of 11:30am Friday morning, the medical examiner's initial autopsy report attributes cause of death to "gastrointestinal hemorrhage due to cirrhosis associated with chronic [alcohol] abuse." Although time/date of death has yet to be determined pending a final report from the medical examiner, it's believed that Turner, 56, had been dead for at least several days.

Needless to say, the entire Chronicle family is shocked and terribly saddened by this news. Pedazo Chunk, 2009 S. First, where Turner's art installation "Mental Volcano" was to be displayed this weekend, will instead host an informal wake tonight, Friday, Aug. 19, beginning at 7pm."
United States of Indecency

I decided to search for recent stories on indecency in the media.

I'm sad to report there is plenty anti-free speech activists and people attempting to censor 'The Land of the Free.'

For example:

I find it disturbing how and why Walmart plays a role in restricting content in Hollywood films.

In case you needed two more reasons not shop at Walmart, here you go:
1. The Wal-Mart Thought Police.
2. Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price

Decency activists are right in my own backyard.

William Devlin, a Christian activist in Philadelphia, is a jackass who has nothing better to do than to protest the Philadelphia Eagles' lingerie-themed cheerleader calendar.

Besides being an asshat, Devlin hasn't gotten the form letter complaint system down that places such as the American Family Association have perfected.

Speaking of my favorite group of loudmouth religious conservatives, the AFA wants you to protest against .xxx domains.

It seems that the AFA's letter writing campaigns have tapered off according to the LA Times, who say, complaints to the FCC are down sharply in '05.

It's likely due to fewer write-in campaigns, not necessarily cleaner TV and radio, officials say. Yeah, no shit.

Penny Young Nance, an admitted pro-life activist, became an FCC employee in July 2005.

More on Penny Young Nance and her decency crusades.

According to the Asbury Park Press, Penny Young Nance's previous role as a TV-indecency critic may spur a renewed FCC campaign against indecency.
Weird schedule

I've been working the early shift the past few days, covering for the news person who has been on vacation. My sleep schedule is all out of whack.

My latest masterpiece at work was creating photo galleries of what I feel are the forty foxiest celebrities.

This morning I read a moving story.

Listening to Mike Lupica's 'Hip Transistor' right now. This is my favorite radio show, second only to Howard Stern.

I'm sifting through all the links on Something I Learned Today right now.

I visited my grandmother today.

I bought her a Whitman's Sampler, which is her favorite candy. She was totally stoked and ate a bunch of them, then cleaned out the plate in her teeth. I could hear her cleaning it out - it was kind of gross.

I only had one piece - it was coconut. I did not have to clean my teeth after eating it.

I can appreciate the idea of limited edition records, but limited edition flavors of candy such as Almond Joy is a bit too much if you ask me.
World Trade Center audio

Today the FDNY released nearly 23 hours of recordings of 9/11 emergency response with transmissions from both EMS and FDNY units, covering the time-frame from about 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on September 11th.

Listen to audio of the World Trade Center attack.

More audio.

It's hard to believe that the government thinks that a country music concert is an appropriate way to commemorate 9/11, but it's true.
Hilary and Chelsea

About 11 years ago, I used to dog sit for a woman up in Greenville, DE.

The dogs were Hilary and Chelsea named after you-know-who.

The other day I got an e-mail out of the blue from the dogs' owner, Carolyn.

It turns out she remembered my zine, Yakuza, and googled me.

Carolyn said that Chelsea passed away and she got a grave marker for her.

She was so impressed with it that she started selling them at

So if you're looking for a unique way to make a little shrine or devote a space in your garden to your deceased pet, check out Carolyn's grave markers.
Two from the Buzzcocks

Note: This was originally published on May 25, 2000 shortly after the release of two Buzzcocks CDs, "Spiral Scratch" and "Time's Up."

For the past 25 years England’s Buzzcocks have toyed with, rewritten and loyally kept alive the three-minute pop-punk song. In that time, the group’s allegiance to loud guitars and catchy lyrics have earned them a large cult audience. The reissues of the Buzzcocks’ two earliest recordings, the “Sprial Scratch” EP (originally released as a 7-inch single) and the “Time’s Up” LP aren’t likely to win the group any new fans. However, for Buzzcocks devotees and punk rock connoisseurs alike, these CDs are essential nuggets of punk culture.

1976’s "Sprial Scratch,” the group’s very first release, finally gets its premiere official CD release (after appearing in bootlegged form throughout the years.) The record, a short, four-song blast of energy, unbridled enthusiasm and snotty vocals accurately represents the angst and excitement of the mid-‘70s punk scene in England. Taking cues from Johnny Rotten, vocalist Howard Devoto sounds like a tensed up schizo on “Breakdown.” Musically though, the Buzzcocks surpassed the Sex Pistols in sheer velocity and such tracks as “Boredom” blitz through initial sketches of what would become the group’s catchy verse/chorus framework.

MP3: Buzzcocks - "Boredom" (from "Spiral Scratch")

By the time of their first album, “Time’s Up,” the Buzzcocks had already written many of the songs they would become famous for including “Orgasm Addict” and “Love Battery.” However the group had yet to fully mature musically. Drummer John Maher’s clumsy time keeping is preserved on tape as is the group’s failure to gel as a whole. Still the charm of three chords, a distortion pedal and a ferocious singer is evident on “Friends of Mine,” which has all the anti-social trappings of a punk with a foot-high mohawk in the deep South.

MP3: Buzzcocks - "Orgasm Addict" (from "Time's Up")
Link: Buzzcocks discography at

Singer Howard Devoto left the group after these two records were initially released and guitarist Pete Shelley took over vocal duties. This pivotal moment in the band's career sparked the beginning of a string of readily catchy singles (compiled exquisitely on “Singles Going Steady”) and the band’s explosive live shows.

By no means essential, “Sprial Scratch” and “Time’s Up” are curious punk artifacts worthy of picking up every now and then to reminisce about the birth of punk in England when bands such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Buzzcocks themselves were unstoppable.

Link: Buzzcocks official site
RSS feed update

Please take a second to make sure you are using my current RSS feed:
Dixon Edge Coulbourn: We've lost another one of us

Even though you may not know another punk rocker personally, often one feels bummed out to learn that someone whose life was influenced, guided or radically changed by punk rock dies.

So, I was definitely bummed when I went over to and learned that Dixon Edge Coulbourn, who ran the amazing Texas punk zine and Web site, Idle Time, died just a few days ago.

I suggest you go over to Idle Time right now and aquaint yourself with all the work that Dixon did to document punk culture and specifically the Texas punk scene.
Julie Delpy

I finally got around to listening to Julie Delpy's self-titled CD.

I've really dug her acting for years now in films such as Voyager, White, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

You may remember at the end of Before Sunset, she sings a really sweet song called, "Waltz For a Night."

Unfortunately the version that appears on the soundtrack (and her own CD) is not the acoustic version that is in the film. Here is the studio version:

MP3: Julie Delpy - "Waltz For a Night"

... and here is the video of Julie Delpy's version from the film:

Julie Delpy is in the new Jim Jarmusch film, Broken Flowers, which I am looking forward to checking out.

I hope it's better than Coffee and Cigarettes which I really couldn't get into and turned off halfway through.

Link: Julie Delpy Tribute Site
American Idol's Kimberly Locke

I interviewed Kimberly Locke today for work.

In case you have no idea who she is, Kimberly was a finalist on season three of 'American Idol' and was one of the final three alongside Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken.

I know getting paid to write about AI and AI contestants is a dream come true for many, it's just another dopey thing I have to write about.

Speaking of which, season five of AI will be here at the beginning of next year, which means another three months of my life will be dedicated to following the show and chronicling it.

It's insane and sick how many people are into that show. I am not one of them.

But sometimes you have to do stuff you could care less about (or in my case HATE) to pay the bills.
CBGB spiel and photo gallery

I wrote a spiel about the best bands to come out of CBGB in the '70s which you can read here.

I also put together a CBGB photo gallery.

Spin has a good article about the movement to save CBGB.
'Corin' out has the 1982 punk comp LP, The Master Tape, up for grabs. It's a shame this hasn't come out on CD. There was a second volume of The Master Tape LP as well.

I picked up a copy of Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotting Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982 which is an excellent collection of significant dates in punk history, which digs pretty deep into the history of punk and hardcore.

The book is well designed, well written and has lots of images. I recommend you pick up a copy.

I also got my copy of Going Underground, which is a strictly DIY effort chronicling American punk. The design and layout leaves a bit to be desired, but what do you expect from a punk rocker publishing his own stuff?!

Recent spins: Fucked Up, Dead Stop, 400 Blows, Torche.

Dressed For the H Bomb looks like a great punk MP3 blog.