Saturday, February 16, 2008
in the spirit of kenneth anger, i put a curse on you:
Why bother with an introductory sentence. You know what's an unfairly neglected record? In Name And Blood by the Murder City Devils. Pitchfork predictably shit all over it when it came out in 2000 -- does that website still exist? -- but in truth, it's the sublime sound of what happens when the depression finally switches over to an angry mania. Punk rock for your late 20s. "I wish you coulda been a fly on the wall/ when I was 12 years old/ crying over my homework/ I woulda slit my wrists if it wasn't for/ rock and roll!" Screeching Weasel once made an EP called You Broke My Fucking Heart that didn't come through on its thematic promise. MCD picked up the standard. Remember when they played at CBs, like November of 2000? Right after the record came out? Remember there was some asshole loudly demanding "Fields of Fire"? Well, at work the next day, I said to my friend Tanya, what was up with that asshole screaming "Fields of Fire" over and over? And she was like, yeah, that was me.

OK, couple others. Wild Gift by X. The X debate is about two camps: people who favor the first record, and people who favor Under The Big Black Sun. I'm here to tell you it's Wild Gift you should be praising. "Universal Corner" has one of the sexiest, evilest guitar lines ever committed to vinyl, and you could write a graduate thesis decoding the lyrics. With "Beyond and Back," "Year One," "I'm Coming Over" and "We're Desperate," they fuse the Doors-y L.A. noir with the punk with the rockabilly, a mixture that Under The Big Black Sun kind of overseasons. (The first record is a very, very good salad, but it's not a meal.)

Curtis by 50 Cent. Yeah. What. That's right. What. How many times have you actually listened to it? Look, when it came out, here's what you thought: Curtis is appalling crap, except for "I Get Money." Me too. But if you let it play out after "I Get Money," you'll see there's some gems on it. Have you noticed that "Fully Loaded Clip" and "Bring Em In" are showing up as jacked beats on people's mixtapes? Or that "Hands Up High" actually features a hot verse by Tony fucking Yayo? ("These OGs talkin' 'bout back in the days/ I'll put an RIP sign on your MySpace page!") Yeah yeah yeah he shouldn't have done the Justin Timberlake collaboration, or the Robin Thicke (what the fuck were you thinking?) collaboration, and the Mary collaboration is unsubtle and beneath her talent. But "I Still Kill" and "Curtis 187"? Solid. I'm not saying it's a good record, I'm saying it's not as bad as you think.
--Spencer Ackerman