Larry Clark's new film, 'Wassup Rockers'

Director Larry Clark is back with a new film, 'Wassup Rockers' that looks like a killer blend of teen rebellion, skateboarding and punk rock.

His other films including 'Kids' and 'Ken Park' are definitely some of the more jarring, stunning and compelling films I've seen about the comples lives of teens who don't fit into the mold.

Larry Clark's official Web site looks like it hasn't been updated in a while, but there's some good info there to get you started if you're not familiar with his stuff.

Here's a recent interview Larry Clark did with's Lou Gaul.

CORRECTION: I erroneously wrote that Larry Clark directed 'Gummo.' Mike K. was quick to point out, "FYI, Harmony Korine wrote and directed 'Gummo,' and was the writer of 'Kids.' Larry Clark directed 'Kids,' 'Bully,' 'Ken Park' and 'Another Day in Paradise. '

And Mike K. also adds, "Used to read yakuza back in the print days of fanzines and also a huge Stern fan."

Sounds like my kind of dude.
Canadian Idol: Trimming the fat

Here's my recap of this week's Canadian Idol where four loser contestants got the boot.
McG on Canadian Idol

Yes, it's true. I'm writing about season four of Canadian Idol.

You can read all the gory details at
How do you make a car chase on live TV better?

In the words of one reporter following the car chase, "TASER! TASER! TASER!

VIDEO: Man tasered, arrested after police chase

On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give this car chase an 8.

The suspect pulls some unsuspected maneuvers including driving on the sidewalk to elude police. He also appears extremely agitated when he gets out of the car after he loses a wheel.

And then he gets a massive zapping from police!
Oh shit, Delawareans are THAT stupid!

Only 61 percent of Delaware students graduate high school in four years, according to a troubling new study from the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. Delaware's graduation rate among nation's worst
Bad news, good news

Bad news: Someone smashed my car window last night to grab my piece of shit $99 stereo, which I had installed so I could hook up my iPod for my work commute. The car isn't even two months old and people are already fucking with it. That's Wilmington for ya.

Good news: I bought about 2,000 LPs today. It's all pretty mindless $1.00 stuff, but there were a few gems in there including an original pressing of "Nuggets," which I'm listening to right now.
McG's flea market finds

Had a good morning out at the New Castle Farmer's Market.

I found a very clean copy of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messenger's "Drum Suite" LP, original presssing, which will go straight into my jazz LP collection.

Here's what I fished out the $1.00 CD bin:

Hazel - "Lucky Dog" (Sub Pop)
Love Battery - "Dayglo" (Sub Pop)
The Fluid - "Purplemetalflakemusic" (Hollywood)
Didjits - "Que Sirhan Sirhan" (Touch & Go)
DK3 - "Neutrons" (Quarterstick)
The Red Krayola - "Blues, Hollers and Hellos" (Drag City)
Trio - "Da Da Da" (Mercury)
Remains of the Day - An Underlying Frequency (Crimes Against Humanity)

I'm going to swing by tomorrow and see if I get lucky again.
McG on the Britney Spears Dateline special with Matt Lauer

I know, I know.

Why the fuck would I bother writing about Britney Spears' interview with Matt Lauer on Dateline last night?

For my day job, of course! Matt Lauer sucks, Britney Spears doesn't
Talking with Alex Bennett about Doctor Who

You may have heard me call in to Alex Bennett's show this morning on Sirius Left 146.

He started talking about the second season of the new Doctor Who.

I had to call in to say that Billie Piper, who plays the Doctor's sidekick Rose Tyler is a total babe.

We bullshitted about how good the new Doctor Who is, then I got to blurt out, "Fuck George Bush!" at the end of my call.

That's just one of the many things that makes Sirius so cool; being able to truly exercise one's free speech.

Anyway, check out Alex Bennett's official site.

Update, 3.20 p.m.: Billie Piper to leave Doctor Who
Funny audio, video clips

1. Chick farts on Canadian Idol

2. Preachers gone wild
Grab a water ice, see a greyhound

Some dogs from will be doing a meet and greet at Rita's Water Ice on Maryland Avenue in Wilmington, DE this Saturday, June 17 from noon to 4:00 p.m.

If you've never seen a greyhound in person, you don't know what you're missing. They are one of the most docile and beautiful dogs on the planet.

The folks from adoptagrey are doing a noble job finding good homes for as many of these retired racing dogs as possible.

See for yourself why I've fallen in love with greyhounds.

Rita's Water Ice Meet & Greet
317 N. Maryland Ave, Wilmington, DE
Saturday, June 17, noon-4pm

Map: Rita's, 317 Maryland Ave., Wilmington, DE 19804
CD review: Pissed Jeans - "Shallow"

Pissed Jeans' debut album, "Shallow," (Parts Unknown) is musically mirrors the ugliness of our modern-day world circa 2006 with war overseas and political corruption at home. Pissed Jeans make morose and dirge-filled noise-rock that 99.9% of the population would say is without merit.

The band's sounds totally menacing on "Ugly Twin," that sounds as if it were modeled after side two of Black Flag's "My War." Then there's the ultra disturbing "I'm Sick" that rages out of control with the squealing feedback of guitars, that won't relent. And "Wachovia" features a deliberately-paced pummel a la Flipper that sounds downright sinister.

And then there are the lyrics which dwell on the pain and anguish of tortured humans as they reflect on their own disgusting bodily emissions, mental hell and unrequited love and sickness. On the whole, Pissed Jeans make music that embraces and sounds like the gritty underbelly of humanity. Yet sometimes the sickening sound of the band's nihilistic jams seems so right when the world seems so wrong, fucked up and out of control.

Why Sub Pop, a label with sugary-sweet bands such as Band of Horses and The Shins, would sign Pissed Jeans is beyond me. But for comparison's sake, if you go had to go back in the Sub Pop time machine, Pissed Jeans sound like a more pissed off and deranged Tad and rock harder than a schizophrenic Mudhoney would.

MP3: Pissed Jeans - "Closet Marine"
Movies I've seen lately

Here are recaps of five movies that I've watched recently: McG's movie picks
Japanese kids will wear anything

click to enlargeThis just in from Japan correspondent, KT ...

For those of you who don't believe that Japanese elementary school kids will wear ANY t-shirt that has English on it.

This is an actual photo taken by my friend Bryan at Inubushi Higashi school in Japan.

The kid is in fourth grade."
Thanks to The Consumerist

I just wanted to say thanks to, who picked up my story about trying to make a pet grooming appointment at PetSmart and getting nothing but lame customer service. has great anecdotal stories about frustrated consumers who are get crappy treatment by businesses of all sorts, but mostly corporations and their inherent ineptness.

The site also has great deals and dedicated forums to following Wal-Mart and Amazon. All hail!
Why can't PetSmart answer its phones?

I've called my local PetSmart the last three business days trying to make a grooming appointment for my dog.

I'm promptly greeted with a barrage of PetSmart taglines that employees have to rattle off before they're allowed to say, "How can I help you?"

I ask to be transferred to the grooming department - and that's where the trouble begins.

Over the last three business days, grooming doesn't answer their phone and I'm eventually bounced back to the first person I spoke with. They transfer me again and process repeats until I finally hang up out of frustration.

This has gone on for the last three days. I started keeping track of the time I've spent to date:

Avg. time spent on hold trying to make appointment:
9 minutes per call.

Avg. total time spent on hold trying to make appointment:
27 minutes.

One PetSmart employee I spoke with told me that grooming doesn't have a designated person to answer their phone and that they can't leave dogs on the grooming table to answer incoming calls to take appointments. Sounds efficient!

Today I called PetSmart's customer service number, (800) 738-1385 ext. 2518, explaining to them I just wanted to make an appointment for my dog and that no one will answer the phone during business hours.

The woman confirmed my suspicion - this is indeed a bad business practice!

She even did perpetrated an annoying customer service that all PetSmart employees seem obligated to do; asking all sorts of inane questions about the dog including his age, breed, etc. - none of which has anything to do with, in this case, answering a phone.

The genuinely concerned cust. serv. rep. took all my info and said she'd look into it. She failed to give her name (in case I needed to call her back) and I failed to ask for it, because she actually sounded like she gave a crap.

I should have known better.

Call me naive, but I figure if somone says they're gonna call back, they will call back. That was hours ago.

Well, the cust. serv. rep hasn't called.
Nor has anyone from PetSmart.
And my dog still needs a haircut.

Update #1, 4:00 p.m., 6/6/06: I just called again to see if corporate HQ had cracked down and gotten its employees to answer the phone. When I asked to make a grooming appointment, the person who answered the phone said, "our groomers are incredibly busy right now" and gave me the option to leave a message or call back.

I chose the latter option because I've committed PetSmart's phone number to memory and I figure an incredibly busy groomer probably has a lot of dogs to deal with.

So, while PetSmart seems to have addressed the problem of bouncing around customers in phone purgatory, making a grooming appointment remains an impossible task.

I even called a local pet groomer to take my business elsewhere, something I should have done in the first place, but they were booked up six to seven weeks in advance. Meanwhile, my dog still needs a haircut.

Update #2, 11:30 a.m., 6/7/2006: My local PetSmart called after corporate followed up on my complaint. They were awfully wishy-washy and reiterated the "we're so darn busy" line I got yesterday.

I told them that this morning, after four days of being unable to make an appointment at PetSmart, I made an appointment with another business (who answered their phone on the first ring.)

Not surprisingly, the PetSmart representative made no effort to keep my business and offered a half-hearted apology, adding, "well, hopefully this won't happen the next time."

Next time?!

Update #3, 12:10 p.m., 6/7/2006: Even e-mailing PetSmart is a challenge!

I tried e-mailing the customer service e-mail listed on their Web site ( and I got an auto-generated response, indicating it's no longer valid and directing me to another e-mail form.
The end of Happy Harry's?

The Delaware mom and pop pharmacy, Happy Harry's, which was formed in 1962 and grown into a well-known franchise in the tri-state area including MD, PA and NJ, has been bought by Walgreen's.

For the time being, most Happy Harry's stores will retain the company name.

But it's only a matter of time before the corporate Walgreen's presence will take over, signaling the end of yet another local business, swallowed by corporate America.

Link: Happy Harry's, Walgreen Co. announce merger
Review: Don Caballero - "World Class Listening Problem"

It's been five long years since Don Caballero unleashed an album, but the wait is finally over. "World Class Listening Problem" finds the Pittsburgh-based group back doing what they do best: Amazing listeners and audiences with its uncanny ability to combine crazed yet melodic math rock that sounds like King Crimson at the height of their hipness.

Every new Don Cab is album is an adventure if only to hear what crazy things Damon Che has thought of behind the kit. Seeing him drum live is nothing short of amazing and is reminiscent of The Who's Keith Moon in that both of their styles seem contradictory; what it looks like they're playing doesn't necessarily correlate with what sounds come out of their kits.

"Palm Trees in the Fecking Bahamas" finds Che creating the aural illusion of two drummers simultaneously jamming while guitarists Eugene Doyle and Jeffrey Elsworth anchor down the song's jazz meets metal mania. Bassist Jason Jouver keeps up with Damon Che's spastic licks on "Sure We Had Knives Around," which is Don Cab at their best – creating challenging rhythms that raise the bar for innovative and creative instrumental rock.

Che is one of the premiere drummers of the underground music scene who has yet to get his due from the mainstream. And while Don Cab is always a fun and mesmerizing band to see perform live, on record they manage to capture the magic that happens when skilled musicians team to kick some serious ass.