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June 16, 1998
CitySearch Music!

Love and Other Disasters

So, this Hole album that has been gestating for about five years now while Courtney Love prances her designer-clad ass around the globe is supposed to finally come out sometime in the fall. There's always been speculation as to how much of Courtney's musical output could actually be attributed to her Grunge martyr late husband--remember all those sad little stories about how he would lock himself in the closet and write his songs as quietly as possible so his blushing bride wouldn't bust in and demand custody of the riff? The post-Kurt album, "Celebrity Skin," has been awaited as a measure of what Miss Love can do alone. Well, not quite alone: Smashing Pumpkinhead Billy Corrigan spent a few weeks contributing production work and arranging on some of the tunes for a few weeks, nothing big. Or that was the original party line, because in two recent interviews Corrigan has proclaimed himself the "svengali" behind the project, saying he is tired of downplaying his role and letting the Widder Cobain grab all the glory (oh, but she's so good at that). "I was actually writing songs and arranging--the full monty," he told "Guitar World" magazine, "getting the whole thing together to be given to a producer." Sure, Courtney may have been "just so rusty," but we ain't talkin' finished product here, just demos, for God's sake. The band couldn't knock off some four-tracks on their own? Geez.

Then there's the matter of Jordan Z., an otherwise obscure musician that Courtney has announced is also helping out on songwriting duty. Who he is, exactly, and what their relation to each other is remains undisclosed, but, considering that Miss Love used to date Corrigan before moving on to Cobain, one can only suspect that Jordan is getting a little extra credit, if you know what I'm sayin'. (If I respect anything about this woman, it's that she must give really great head.)

I've always credited Love's ascension to the fact that journalists need work. "Spin" recently proclaimed her "the most controversial woman in rock 'n' roll history," a laughable statement by even that rag's standards. Courtney came along and volunteered to a be a symbol for a movement that she didn't start, providing a focus for hundreds of feature articles on angry chicks. The fact that her husband conveniently died a week before her major-label debut was released only added to her cachet.

But how relevant will the new record be? Can you be splashed all over the cover of "Harper's Bazaar" as one of "America's most stylish women," date clean-cut movie star boys, and prance around in Versace ads like Cindy Goddam Crawford and still speak to pissed off, anti-social 14-year-old girls who hate themselves? How will they react to a Courtney that has become another of those militantly dieted-down, prettied-up, rich girls with fancy friends that made them so miserable in the first place? Will they buy an album with songs about LA and Malibu and movie directors with titles like "Reasons to be Beautiful?"

Let me tell you a little story about a friend of mine's Courtney encounter. It was outside of Godiva Chocolatier Madison about three years ago. A big black limo pulled up and Miss Love got out, looking emaciated and toting several upscale shopping bags (apparently afraid to leave them in the limo). She gazed into the store window, and then proceeded to pace back and forth before it. Have the chocolate? Stay on the diet? Oh, the torment! Finally, after several minutes, she turned and lept into the limo, which peeled out, probably bound for Barneys. And y'all wonder why I can't stand her: Lil' Kim woulda had the damn chocolates.

Eat Meat!

As long as I'm here, why don't I tell you another story that will make me even more unpopular, one which has been crawling across bars and backstages in our fair city. The Dalai Lama and his minions were in town recently for one function or another, staying at the Waldorf-Astoria--His Holiness don't fly coach or even business class, and, well, most high-profile American Buddhists can sure as hell afford to maintain him in appropriate god-on-earth style. So, these nice American Buddhists arranged to have their orange-robed brethren catered to by Zen Palate, NYC's leading overpriced, Pan-Asian, vegetarian food huts, who whipped up all sorts of tasty cruelty-free tidbits. The Dalai and his monks ate, were grateful to their hosts, and returned to the Waldorf. Whereupon they called room service and ordered up a whole mess of steaks. It's only ex-hippie AmeriBuddhists who operate under the misconception that they're supposed to be vegetarians. So if you want a burger, it's okay with His Holiness, and, in fact, he wants cheese on his.


The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Lounge Lizards, and Afrika Bambataa & the Soul Sonic Force.


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