Record Review: McRad-Lion Pure (2LP)

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McRad- Lion Pure (2LP, Not Like You Records)

Read my review of McRad-Lion Pure on Core of Destruction radio here

Skate Punk O.G.s McRad from Philadelphia, Pa, raised the bar in the mid 80s with the release of the EP Dominant Force (1984), and the LP Absence of Sanity (1987), and a few weeks ago, founding member Chuck Treece  released a massive 2 LP  collection titled Lion Pure, which consists of Dominant Force, and Absence of Sanity, as well as a few songs from comps, with some live cuts added. Most striking of all are the two new tunes (Another Chance and McRad Dub for Andy) with H.R. of the Bad Brains singing! The latter is a tribute to Andy Morris, an early drummer for McRad, as well as a close friend, who passed away a few years ago. H.R. digs down to bring up a bit of the old thunder, it’s some of the best recorded vocals he’s done in recent years. In short, this double album is the culmination of Treece’s years in the music scene trenches, and to have H.R. be a part of that is truly huge.

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July 14, 2015 · 6:10 pm

Review: Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina

shots on the bridge

Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina

by Ronnie Greene
Beacon Press (Published 08/08/2015), Hardcover, 256 pages

Nearly 10 years after Hurricane Katrina pummelled the Gulf Coast, all but destroying the city of New Orleans, Shots on the Bridge by Ronnie Greene revisits the Danziger Bridge shooting, the outcome of a police action gone terribly wrong days after Hurricane Katrina battered the city into submission. The result left 2 innocent people dead riddled with bullets, and 4 critically injured, including one woman having her arm literally blown off by NOPD  officers, who were answering an erroneous emergency call claiming that an officer was under fire.

Utilizing thousands of pages of court documents, including transcripts of the hours of testimony, and interviews with key subjects, Ronnie Greene is able to vividly describe the incident, the cover-up, and the trial, as well as the intricate political climate of past decades- a political climate that some claim  contributed to the events of Sept. 4th 2005.  The author offers the reader a biography of each of the participants- from the NOPD officers accused of gunning down unarmed hurricane victims, to the lawyers, judges and politicians, as well as the victims and witnesses (real and manufactured).

Greene’s storytelling ability combined with his scholarship meld effortlessly, leaving us an exciting read, as well as a complete report of this heinous crime committed against desperate, disaster victims who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The crime itself, the killing of two and wounding of four, as explained by the defence team, can be attributed to the conditions the police were left in during the aftermath of the storm. No equipment, no supplies, no vehicles or communication, and most importantly- no leadership. Mayor Ray Nagin, and Police Commissioner Eddie Compass dropped the ball during Katrina and it’s aftermath- they had no viable plan for this eventuality.

This is troublesome on many levels, especially when the history of major hurricanes in the region goes back many decades. You would assume that a well thought out plan would be in place. We know now that this was not the case. Having said this, the segment of people who claim that the Mayor, and the Commissioner are just as responsible as those who pulled the trigger may have a valid point.

The fear and isolation experienced by the police, some of whom had lost everything in the storm, paired with the many false claims of rape and murder throughout the city, put forth by none other than Mayor Nagin and Eddie Compass, may have indeed contributed to the atmosphere that brought about this incident. That argument is not that far fetched when you examine all of the elements involved.

It is the second crime committed by the NOPD that should damn them. That crime was the attempt (a poor attempt to be sure) to cover up their terrible mistake. This is what this is all about-the fact that the officers involved conspired to hide the truth, while branding the victims as criminals who fired first,which was an outright fabrication. If it can be believed, this case is still ambling on to this day, even though some officers have come forth to tell the truth. If this erases your faith in Karma, consider the fact that former Mayor Ray Nagin is currently in jail serving 10 years for bribery and conspiracy, among other crimes. Small consolation for those impacted by this unfortunate experience.

With the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on the horizon, Shots on the Bridge is a timely reminder of how leadership in our cities can disintegrate rapidly during  major disasters. It is also another example of police violence against the people they are sworn to protect.  Greene presents a well written account of the events, as well as the issues responsible for the outcome on the Danziger Bridge in East New Orleans, and the effects that are still being felt by many today. Highly recommended to all readers.

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July 9, 2015 · 8:08 am

Review- Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese-American Internment in World War II




Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in Worl War II

by Richard Reeves

Henry Holt and Co. (2015), Hardcover, 368 pages

With Independence Day fast approaching, Americans across the country are gearing up to celebrate our great nation and it’s accomplishments. Our country was built on the idea of freedom, and justice-unfortunately the prize that our forefathers sacrificed so much to gain, would also be denied fellow Americans during WWII, based simply on their Japanese heritage.

Infamy, by Richard Reeves is more than an overview of  the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans; Reeves puts names to the victims,  emphasizing that many of these people were Americans, born and bred.

On December 7th, 1941, The Japanese attacked the United States Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii , and almost immediately, the Roosevelt administration ordered the removal of 120,000 people of Japanese descent from their homes, to be placed in squalid detention centers across middle America. The majority were American citizens, either by naturalization or birth, but that didn’t matter. Our hatred of the Japanese did not discern between the Japanese enemy, or the Japanese-American citizen-“A Jap’s a Jap”, as Lt. Gen. John DeWitt put it, and that unkind slogan would set the tone of the next several years.

The internment of America’s Japanese population  was prompted by the fear that a percentage of Japanese-Americans would  engage in espionage or sabotage. That theory was proven wrong of course, as over 2000  fought  in the War, many were called heroes for their Bravery in the Italian theater, even while their families were being held in camps at home. Reeves underscores the hysteria that swept the country, and goes beyond the war time years by pointing out just how long it took for our nation to come to terms with these actions.

Infamy is written in a matter of fact style, purely written, I believe, as a reminder to us all of what we are capable of when we feel threatened.  Those who are interested in History, as well as History experts will find this book fascinating; by connecting the victims with their names, professions, backgrounds and most of all, their rights as American citizens, I believe that Mr. Reeves has added a level of humanity that enables us all to put ourselves in the place of the victims.  That said, there is no guarantee that this couldn’t happen again in our lifetime. Highly recommended.








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Filed under Books, Review

Lightsabres-Beheaded Out Sat. June 27th @12:00PM

stb records

Read my review of Lightsabres-Beheaded on the Core of Destruction Radio Blog at


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June 27, 2015 · 12:00 am

Review: Motherslug (NoSlip Records)

Read my review of Motherslug (Australia) on Core of Destruction Radio Blog



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June 20, 2015 · 12:11 am

Music Review: Sunstone-Sunstone

Follow the link to Core of Destruction radio for my review of the Debut release from British Doomsters Sunstone HERE


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New Review for Iggy Pop and the Stooges-Let’s have some fun: Live at Unganos.

Check out my new review of the RSD 2015 release of the Live Stooges album Have Some Fun: Live at Unganos. It’s on the Core of Destruction Radio music blog right HERE

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May 18, 2015 · 6:43 pm

Review: The Politics of Deception: JFK’s secret decisions on Vietnam, Civil Rights, and Cuba~ by Patrick J. Sloyan

The Politics of Deception: JFK’s Secret Decisions on Vietnam, Civil Rights, and Cuba

by Patrick J. Sloyan

Thomas Dunne Books (2015), Hardcover, 320 pages


The Politics of deception


Growing up as a kid in the 60s, I would hear the grown-ups telling stories about President Kennedy, mainly concerning the Marilyn Monroe connection, with the occasional mention of the Mob and the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Reading Patrick J Sloyan’s The Politics of Deception, I get that same feeling I had as a kid- the feeling that I am being let in on something that I shouldn’t know.

Sloyan, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, was a wire-reporter during the Kennedy administration. Unlike Seymour Hersh’s “The Dark Side of Camelot” back in 1998, Sloyan steers clear of the more tawdry aspects of JFK’s tenure as President, focusing instead on Kennedy’s deceptions, his power over the press at the time, and his disdain for Martin Luther King jr and the Civil Rights movement for starters.

Much of what he puts forth is information that many of us may have never heard before. Such as Kennedy’s fixation with eliminating Castro, the lie that the press corp perpetuated, stating that Khrushchev blinked first during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the President’s role in the assassination of South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem, leading to our involvement in Southeast Asia for a decade.

The Politics of Deception may very well shock some readers, while some may not believe any of it. Having said that, Sloyan has furnished citations, and official documents along with first hand knowledge to build another level to the Kennedy Bibliography.   The writing is concise, and fast-moving; Sloyan has constructed a compact, yet highly detailed account of the back-room deals that went on within the Kennedy White House. After a half century, it is a reckoning of the truth in many ways. I highly recommend The Politics of Deception.

Upcoming reviews: Infamy by Richard Reeves, How Gone We Got by Dina Guidubaldi and Without You, There is No Us by Suki Kim.

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May 10, 2015 · 6:59 pm

Upcoming Reviews

Due to work schedules, and other obligations, the reviews have been coming in at a drip, I know. Another factor has been the general ho-hum feeling I have had concerning some of the books  sent to me for review. I don’t write reviews for books I didn’t like, and I have read quite a few of these  unfortunately. But fear not, the last batch that I received contained some excellent titles. The following books will be reviewed right here in the coming days and weeks. I will be reviewing some music as well. Keep your eyes peeled, next review to hit in about 5 days. Thanks for your patience.


The Politics of deception

Killers of the King


Buried Giant

Girl in the Band

Saul Bellow


Filed under Review

More Books Less Music for The Thugbrarian Review

I’ve been mixing book reviews with music reviews since the beginning of the Thugbrarian Review- waaaaay back in 2014. Recently I was given a chance to write music reviews for a blog that specializes in most of the music I review, inspect it at your leisure.  It’s affiliated with Core of Destruction radio, an online station devoted to all music dark, heavy, and occasionally soothing.  Last night I posted my first review for them, for the Cherubs new album 2 Ynfynyty. It’s their first in 20 years.

Here is the link, if you’re into punk or noise, you should check Cherubs out.

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I will still be adding the Thugbrarian Set-List after each book review, and I will also be reviewing more regional music on here, but only sporadically. I will be concentrating more on the written word for The Thugbrarian Review. I will be posting links to my reviews on C.O.D., so please check them out at for news and reviews, as well as podcasts of radio shows for listeners of heavy music. And stay tuned for a few early reviews of upcoming books right here.

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April 15, 2015 · 8:19 pm