Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Is 50 just mad because Game made a much better album than he did, despite 50 being the better rapper? Or is 50 scared that The Documentary is going to sell better than The Massacre? This whole ridiculous situation is almost as depressing as last night's non-blizzard. 50 needs to relax and enjoy his success. How does "New York" hurt him? How would his reputation be damaged by a Nas/Game collaboration? Why is he organizing his entire battle-plan around a weak-ass dis track? "Piggy Bank" is more a flat collection of one-liners than a masterful broadside like "The Takeover". It's like the existence of the dis track has become more important than the track itself.

I can't believe I let myself go like fifteen years without ever going to an NBA game. Sunday's game wasn't perfect - the Wizards could've won, Peja and Larry Hughes and Juan Dixon and Bobby Jackson could've been healthy, the Kings could've not traded C-Webb away a couple of days before. The entire arena probably made less noise than my row at the Ravens game I went to last year. But Gilbert Arenas scored 43 points and tied his career best. Steve Blake ended up in the double digits, almost winning the game with a three-pointer at the buzzer. Etan Thomas played like Ben Wallace-Lite or something, hanging on to rebounds for dear life and dunking offense boards and missing almost all of his free-throws. Almost as good: when people aren't playing, they really do their best to keep you from getting bored. This was retro day or something, so the teams wore throwbacks (Bullets jerseys!) and all the kids trying to make half-court shots or whatever during time-outs wore afro wigs and the Trammps were the half-time show. My favorite extra was the Wizards' secondary mascot, G-Man, a dude who dresses up like a superhero in blue spandex with big fake muscles and rides around on a scooter and makes dunks off a trampoline and has a little kid sidekick who dresses like him and makes dunks on a shorter hoop. The entire arena probably made less noise than my row at the Ravens game I went to last year.

The High on Fire album has nothing to do with the whole resurgence of 70s rock that I was talking about a couple of weeks ago. It's a metal album, and it never tries to be anything else. It doesn't surge or throb or swoop. It just fucking hammers at you, just swings away. The production is huge; you can feel every cymbal crash. The riffs have force and swing and crunch; it isn't a tinny scrape like that last Hate Eternal album. It does its job. I need to listen to more metal.

Scott Walker's Tilt was one of those albums that I'd been meaning to buy forever because so many critics loved it so much. I was totally flummoxed when I finally heard it. There's nothing there. I barely noticed it was on when it was on. It was like whale song or something. And when I did notice it, it was fucking dumb, like that song about haggling over the price of cows or whatever. The Anthony and the Johnsons album is like Tilt except good. It's got the same loose song structures, the same high-pitched drama-queen warble, the same cryptic lyrics. But the album's net effect is a sort of sweet haze, a sweeping operatic sad blanket. Anthony's voice is just silly at first; I put the album on in the car the other night and Bridget busted up laughing when it came in. But by the time that track with Lou Reed came on, she was feeling it, sinking into the seat, letting it bleed into the empty road in front of us, letting it carry her away.