American Idol is a catastrophe

I know you're just dying to read my thoughts on this week's American Idol.

First off, I thought the final 10 really stunk up the stage on Tuesday.

Kellie Pickler's performance was mediocre at best. I then launched a brand new anti-Kellie Pickler site,

Although it was a momentary error, Idol producers showed an incorrect phone number while Mandisa's performance was played. Read about that here.

And Wednesday's show when Lisa Tucker got booted off was full of obnoxious product placements.

Please keep in mind that I do actually get paid to write this garbage, before you e-mail me telling me what a loser I am.
McG makin' headlines with Kellie Pickler quote

Well, almost.

The New York Post quoted one of my recent articles on American Idol contestant, Kellie Pickler.

It was then was picked up by Fox News. And then blogs such as Bile, Snark & Sneer picked it up. It's like a friggin virus!

You can read my original article here: Who is the real Kellie Pickler?

I can't tell if it's an honor or an embarassment to be quoted by two of the sleaziest news organizations around.

I admit, my American Idol writings are far from great literature.

But may just be my "Great Gatsby" of sleazy pop culture scribble.
What's on McG's iPod?

I never thought a 60GB video iPod would be overkill, especially for a music fanatic like me. But damn - that's a lot of friggin songs you can fit on there.

I'm up to about 5,000. Here are some recent additions to my iPod:

-Sonic Youth - "Sonic Youth" Reissue of first record with xtra early live trax)

-Chris Brokaw - "Wandering as Water" - Former Come guitarist is rad

-Ambulance LTD - "New English EP" - Is it just me or is this band really good? (Download this for free at - legally!)

-Charlie Parker - "Charlie Parker" - Rented this one from the library for free!

-Deep Wound - "Deep Wound" - Boston hardcore outfit gets an official reissue on LP. CD coming soon.
Bad Religion vs. American Idol

I wanted to just sit down and enjoy Bad Religion's new DVD, "Live at the Palladium," but instead I had to watch American Idol for work last night.

Here's my round up of Tuesday's craptacular American Idol episode with Barry Manilow.

And here are all the songs that the Idols sang.
Randy from Delaware's QVC porn testimonial

This clip would only be better if there wasn't the audience laughter, but it's still pretty awesome. Plus the guy is from Delaware! Way to go Randy.

As seen on
American Idol: Sick of Kellie Pickler yet?

Kellie Pickler's family hardships continue to play a role in the Idol hopeful's chances at winning this season of American Idol. Many Idol fans have tired of her "woe is me" stories about her broken family and tough upbringing.

But the sad sack stories are just beginning: Sick of Kellie Pickler yet?
Stevie Wonder's pitiful performance on American Idol

Here's my take on Stevie Wonder, a true musical legend, performing on Wednesday's episode of American Idol. Stevie Wonder's pitiful performance
Why Carrie Underwood won't follow in Kelly Clarkson's footsteps

Here's an article I wrote about Carrie Underwood's performance on Monday's Late Show with David Letterman.

I also discuss why Carrie's lack of charisma and proper guidance from management will keep her from being a breakout star like Kelly Clarkson has become. Carrie Underwood in need of salvation

Also, readers comment on my assessment of Carrie.
Mudhoney - "Under a Billion Suns"

Here's my review of Mudhoney's latest record. The review originally appeared in Philly EDGE magazine.

Before Sub Pop was peddling bans such as The Shins and The Postal Service, the once-esteemed record label actually put out loud punk rock and roll records. Bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney ruled the roster and rocked out in the extreme.

With the Seattle scene of the late '80s/early '90s now a footnote in music history, it's interesting to note that Mudhoney are still active. Their latest album, "Under a Billion Suns," is an 11-song storming session of fuzzed-out guitar leads and primitive post-punk wailing that brings back the vintage days of Sub Pop love.

Mudhoney's melodic mania is immediately recognizable on tracks such as "On the Move" and "Empty Shells," which are unapologetic three-chord anthems. The band employs a horn section on several tracks while showing a lyrical maturity on others with the recurring theme of frustration over modern politics as it does on "Hard on For War." The end result is an album that a listener can bang his or her head to, while remaining socially conscious.

MP3: Mudhoney - "Blindsopts"
McG's punk CD pick: Offenders - Wanted by Authority

Amsterdam's finest punk label, Kangaroo Records has recently issued "Wanted by Authority: 1981-1985," a 31-track CD compiling the work of Texas punk badasses, Offenders.

The band is most well-known for the track, "Face Down in the Dirt," which appeared on the legendary P.E.A.C.E./War compilation. This caustic cut is representative of the band's fury-filled venom. Offenders reigned in the Texas hardcore scene in the early '80s and displayed some of the most fierce bass playing, astonishingly fast drumming and complex punk rhythms of the day.

While this isn't the first CD to compile Offenders material (see Grand Theft Audio's "Died in Custody" CD), this CD does offer a more comprehensive overview of the band's studio output with both of their LPs and both 7"s including the misanthropic thrasher, "I Hate Myself."

Offenders - "I Hate Myself"

The highlight is the "Endless Stuggle" LP, their second full-length, because it's so well-recorded. This hardcore classic was way ahead of it's time and sounds like as if you mixed the Big Boys' most hardcore songs with the velocity and explosiveness of Black Flag. In short, the album fucking shreds in the same way that Suicidal Tendencies' debut does; even 20-plus years after the fact, it's still vital punk.

Offenders - "Face Down in the Dirt"
Offenders - "Endless Struggle"
Offenders - "Side by Side"

The band's first LP, "We Must Rebel," is comped here as well and while it's somewhat rough around the edges compared to "Endless Struggle," there are plenty of examples what made Offenders great: ripping fast bass lines, improbable thrash beats and insanely intense punk attitude all over the place.

Offenders - "We Must Rebel"

As great as this CD comp is, it's worth noting that the tracklisting is completely screwed up. While a fan like me was able to piece together the proper running order (the 1st LP, the second LP, the "I Hate Myself" 7"), there are several tracks that are most likely from the "Fight Back" 7", but it's difficult to make out which songs are which, as there is at least one unaccounted-for track.

Also, the liner notes and CD booklet design (with the requisite flyers and photos fare) are by Welly, who publishes the acclaimed zine, Artcore , which chronicles the history of many unsung U.S. hardcore bands, such as Offenders.
What ever happened to Zen Guerrilla?

Steve, an old school Delaware dude who used to work at Wonderland Records, e-mailed me the other day asking what ever happened with Zen Guerrilla?

The band's last album was their 2001 Sub Pop release "Shadows on the Sun." They toured quite a bit for this album, as they always did.

They made a recording of their final U.S. show, at CBGB. I heard rumors of a limited edition release of this show, but I don't think that ever materialized.

ZG did one more show which was in Spain, where the band had drawn quite a following, and they reportedly played to a huge crowd over there.

Their breakup was totally low key and there was never an official announcement that ZG was done.

Since their breakup, here's what I heard everyone is up to.

Last I heard, Carl did a tour with the Supersuckers. Marcus seemed to just vanish. Rich got married to Jamie and they now have two kids.

Andy has done several one-off shows with his brother Al and Van Stone. He also did a tour with Hater, which is Ben Sheppard's band (ex-Soundgarden). Not sure if they will record any new material with this lineup.

Andy's old band from the late '80s/early '90s with his brother Al, High Karate, did a one-off show in San Francisco earlier this year.
People I know

I've been reading blogs by friends I knew way back in the day including one by Becky and the other by Meri.