Thursday, May 13, 2010
Is there a better test of someone's ability to separate art from the artist than Courtney Love? In a field riddled with fleshy headed mutants there is an extent to which weirdness is accepted - expected almost - of artistes. But then there's Courtney. She's more of a milk curdling electrical storm of creepy crackhead sociopathic doom. And that doesn't even make sense, except, well, in her case it sort of has to because anything less seems trite and woefully insufficient. I mean, there wouldn't be so many loopy theories about Kurt Cobain's "suicide" if he'd been married to a nice passive girl like Squeaky Fromme or Bernardine Dohrn.
Hole's Live Through This came out like a week after Kurt Cobain had made a brain slushie of himself, and I was in no mood to do anything but reflexively vomit at the sound of her voice. Their first single did nothing to elevate my regard. Nor did the second. Not that I tried very hard, mind you, as I'd probably given them five seconds more thought than I had to getting a tattoo of Screech from Saved by the Bell on my perineum.
But some time later I was with friends playing pool at our favorite dive - a bar which tends to play full albums rather than a steady stream of singles. It was, oddly enough, a place also frequented by Hole's guitarist and his then girlfriend Drew Barrymore - at the peak of her public boob flashing phase. And on this particular evening the bar was playing Hole's new album. About halfway through one of my friends and I looked at each other like we'd both been struck by lightning and commented on how awesome the album was. Somewhere in the sequence it had grabbed us by the balls and wouldn't let go. The sum was so much greater than the parts. And to this day it is one of my favorite albums.
With the long awaited new album Nobody's Daughter finally out, it is once again time for me to cut up my Vast Right Wing Conspiracy membership card and give the crazy junkie bitch her due. I haven't bought the new album yet, but I've heard all of the tracks and will give it an enthusiastic thumbs up. I'm partial to the more punk numbers like Skinny Little Bitch (above) and loser Dust myself, but the earnest, more classic-rock-accented Letter To God (below) would likely be closer to the average hipness-deprived winger's heart.
Her self-awareness is almost endearing, and her self-absorption at least spares us from what you can only imagine her politics are. So add in the relief that she isn't your mother, sibling, lover, friend or neighbor and maybe you too can see fit to appreciate the one thing in life she seems to get right.