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The girl with the most cake
January 9, 2012 3:33 PM   Subscribe

On June 3, 1995, Courtney Love played "Doll Parts" and "Softer, Softest" in what may be the only true solo performance of her career.
posted by Houyhnhnm (118 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Did you see all the charisma and presence on display in the Elvis birthday post? Her performance is the exact opposite of that.
posted by oddman at 3:46 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I WAS THERE!
posted by empath at 3:47 PM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I eagerly await Frances' memoir.
posted by Trurl at 3:49 PM on January 9, 2012 [12 favorites]


Hole was supposed to play that HFStival, but they cancelled for some reason, which I can't remember now, so it was a surprise when she actually came on stage.
posted by empath at 3:52 PM on January 9, 2012


Other performances that night: Tony Bennett and The Ramones.
posted by empath at 3:54 PM on January 9, 2012


I always thought it was a shame when she parted ways with Hootie and the Blowfish. A tragic day in grunge history, for sure.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:57 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


She was really riding on a wave of sympathy for that one, because...sorry, but that was unwatchable.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:01 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is difficult to separate performer from performance, especially in her case, but goddamn if Live Through This wasn't one of the most powerful albums of the 90s.

And the solo performance shows the songs still have intensity, even without the rest of the band.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 4:03 PM on January 9, 2012 [12 favorites]


Courtney Love is a horrific vampire creature who makes Madonna look like a stable and undemanding individual. However, yeah, in retrospect Live Through This was pretty fucking good. Of course, i kind of like some of Celebrity Skin as well.
posted by Artw at 4:06 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whoever wrote the songs on Live Through This did a good job. And Celebrity Skin has some good Billy Corgan songs on it. And Courtney Love had more guts than most performers to get up and do that. It's really a shame she's such a terrible singer, though.
posted by The World Famous at 4:09 PM on January 9, 2012


I remember the many '94/'95 Hole TV appearances, and this performance is pretty lucid by comparison. This performance probably demonstrates the fullest measure of talent that Courtney has in her person on her best day.
posted by anazgnos at 4:09 PM on January 9, 2012


Long ago I was living with a roommate in a one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. I slept on the couch. Late one night he comes home, stumbling smelling like Meisterbrau and Old Granddad. He has an equally drunk girl in tow. I was already resigned to being forced to overhear what was inevitably going to happen once they stopping knocking things over 3 feet from my head and made it into the bedroom. Unfortunately, instead of what I was bracing myself for,I was treated to Doll Parts played over and over on repeat for 4 straight hours.

I watched about 2 seconds of that video until that horror returned, there are some things a man should not be forced to endure.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:12 PM on January 9, 2012 [12 favorites]


I love Courtney Love. Call me, babe.
posted by maxwelton at 4:17 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like most of Hole's catalog and a lot of Love's solo stuff. I felt extremely relieved that the show I saw for the Nobody's Daughter tour was not Trainwreck Courtney, but was--instead--a night when she was relatively stable and doing her job because when not off her nut, she is really a dynamic, engaging and charismatic performer. But, seriously, whatever voice she may have had as a young woman, however, was devoured by hard living and poorly controlled screaming--even the professionally recorded tracks on Nobody's Daughter are too ragged to really listen to.

I think she's over-hated while being simultaneously over- and under-rated. Make no mistake that she is one of the women who broke some major barriers in the early 90's. I do thank god, however, that I have not had to live in her head, even for a moment.
posted by crush-onastick at 4:18 PM on January 9, 2012 [21 favorites]


Heh, empath, I was there too!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:20 PM on January 9, 2012


The only Courtney Love with even a milligram of talent or interest is Lois Maffeo.
posted by Fnarf at 4:23 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, she looked kind of healthy, and the part that I watched wasn't Amy Winehouse-train-wreck-at-the-end bad.
posted by Xoebe at 4:24 PM on January 9, 2012


I'm thankful I was not there!
posted by gman at 4:25 PM on January 9, 2012


Okay, I freely admit to having a soft spot for the album version of "Doll Parts." There's kind of a not at all good Corey Flood thing going on in this performance, though. In that way it's kind of masterful how she's turning that enormous crowd into an uncomfortable bedroom, but I honestly wish I dug this more.
posted by mintcake! at 4:26 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Courtney Love gets excessive amounts of shit for her 'lack of talent', when there are plenty of male lead singers of rock bands who had about the same (lack of) singing ability who got by on 'authenticity' and charisma, just like she did. Also, if she broke any barriers, it's not really evidenced by a huge amount of female rock lead singers who have had the same amount of mainstream success that she did.

I also think it's bullshit to claim that she had nothing to do with the song writing on the albums. There's a solid throughline and consistency to her material that seems to belie the idea that Cobain and Corgan wrote all of it.
posted by empath at 4:26 PM on January 9, 2012 [28 favorites]


I kind of like that first Hole album, but that's because Jill Emery played bass on it, and she's neat!
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:26 PM on January 9, 2012


Courtney Love gets excessive amounts of shit for being Courtney Love.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:27 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


For some there's Madonna, for others Gaga, but if I were to have my own drag show, I would have to be Courtney Love. She's no PJ Harvey, but who is?
posted by Houyhnhnm at 4:27 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


PJ Harvey (and Bjork) belongs to a different, more highly-evolved species than the 3 folks you mention.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:33 PM on January 9, 2012 [12 favorites]


I also think it's bullshit to claim that she had nothing to do with the song writing on the albums. There's a solid throughline and consistency to her material that seems to belie the idea that Cobain and Corgan wrote all of it.

Yeah, but the other throughline is that every single thing she has produced has had to be extensively babysat into existence by outside parties.
posted by anazgnos at 4:34 PM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Nobody messes with The Peej!
posted by Artw at 4:34 PM on January 9, 2012


PJ Harvey was also at that show.

Man, I miss HFS. You Klingon bastards!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:35 PM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Courtney Love gets excessive amounts of shit for being Courtney Love.

She bounced a check at the bookstore I used to work at in Seattle, so I reserve my disdain for her for purely understandable reasons.
posted by jessamyn at 4:35 PM on January 9, 2012 [19 favorites]


The current top rated comments on that video are GOLD. You can feel the teenage, spittle-flecked rage come through in the passionate defense of Courtney's talent.

@wheelmanstan kurt didnt fucking helped on the songs if you hate her get the fuck out of here bitch no one is holding you back you know?

courtney was at least as good as kurt

the only diference is that when hole was starting to get famous courtney first got pregnant and after that she had to take care of kurt ans his adiction to heroin so if hole is not as big as nirvana is pretty much kurts fault

hole´s lyrics hasve always been great just check the 1998 celebrity skin
twistedkarm 2 months ago [20 thumbs up]


and, honestly, can't tell if this is serious or not:

how does she sing so good.
gogoutube 3 months ago [16 thumbs up]

posted by piratebowling at 4:37 PM on January 9, 2012


Yeah, mixed feelings about Courtney.

On the one hand, I read an interview with her in Guitar World magazine, where she came across positively joyful at being asked about the sort of amp she uses, instead of about Kurt and heroin for once.

On the other hand, I saw Hole at the Big Day Out in Adelaide, where she flew in on a helicopter, bragged to the audience about the helicopter for 10 minutes, played a few songs, then she cracked she shit because she got bitten by a bug.
posted by Jimbob at 4:41 PM on January 9, 2012


Yeah, but the other throughline is that every single thing she has produced has had to be extensively babysat into existence by outside parties.

What bands do you think this was not true for?
posted by empath at 4:41 PM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


No matter who wrote it, "Violet" was one of the best songs released in 1994.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:42 PM on January 9, 2012 [16 favorites]


courtney is a drugged out mess and has been for as long as she's been famous - but i agree that the whole "oh, she didn't really write that/she can't sing/etc" is largely sexist. when a woman gets famous, everyone looks for the man behind her - when a man gets famous, no one asks who helped him get there.
posted by nadawi at 4:43 PM on January 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


That video made me want to throw up in my own lap, but I freely admit that if I was at that show, it would have gone down as one of the more memorable moments of my high school experience.
posted by phaedon at 4:44 PM on January 9, 2012


also, if you think billy corgan wrote all of celebrity skin, then why did Adore suck so hard?
posted by nadawi at 4:45 PM on January 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


What bands do you think this was not true for?

Um, lots?

I'm not talking about producers or managers or handlers, I'm talking these songs would not exist if a professional hadn't sat down and wrangled them into existence. There are lots of bands who don't need to hire a new co-writer every time they want to make an album.
posted by anazgnos at 4:46 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


also, if you think billy corgan wrote all of celebrity skin, then why did Adore suck so hard?

nadawi, you raise a truly excellent point.
posted by Jimbob at 4:49 PM on January 9, 2012


also, if you think billy corgan wrote all of celebrity skin, then why did Adore suck so hard?

Adore is pretty awesome. (And I like Live Through This, too)
posted by KokuRyu at 4:50 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I also think it's bullshit to claim that she had nothing to do with the song writing on the albums. There's a solid throughline and consistency to her material that seems to belie the idea that Cobain and Corgan wrote all of it.

I don't think it's possible to credibly claim that she had nothing to do with the songwriting. But there's no way at this point of knowing what, exactly, her involvement in the process was. Formal songwriting credits cannot really be trusted for accuracy, and they do not provide any breakdown of what, exactly, a credited songwriter did.

On Celebrity Skin, Courtney Love is credited as the sole lyricist on the entire album. But she is not listed as a music writer at all on the tracks Dying, Northern Star, or Heaven Tonight. And she shares music writing credits on everything else. Billy Corgan gets music writing credits on Celebrity Skin, Hit So Hard, Malibu, Dying, and Petals.

also, if you think billy corgan wrote all of celebrity skin, then why did Adore suck so hard?

He is only credited for part of Celebrity Skin. Although it is true that sometimes people get credited as songwriters without actually writing, that is typically the case for the artist whose name is on the front of the album sleeve, not the person who gets songwriting credit but who does not perform on the album or otherwise make an appearance. I think it's fairly safe to assume that Billy Corgan wrote the music for the five songs on Celebrity Skin for which he gets official credit.

As for why Adore sucked so hard, I have a three-part explanation: 1. He gave the better ideas to Courtney Love; 2. He gave the other better ideas to Marilyn Manson for Mechanical Animals; 3. Flood.
posted by The World Famous at 4:50 PM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh, her. Poor Courtney. She failed to appear at a show I never saw a refund for. My friends and I called her Courtney Hole after that (I still do because: old habit). I still bought Live Through This though, because hey—good album.

The stage dive in that video was uninspired. Like the singing. Seriously, poor Courtney.
posted by heyho at 4:51 PM on January 9, 2012


I will never understand the appeal.
posted by pianoboy at 4:51 PM on January 9, 2012


(Also, I suspect that Billy Corgan's hearing had started to go at that point, which accounts for the increasingly bad mixing and mastering on his albums starting with Adore.)
posted by The World Famous at 4:52 PM on January 9, 2012


The hard pill he swallowed was the times that they had,
she put on display for all to be seen.

posted by doctoryes at 4:52 PM on January 9, 2012


What an irritating person. This makes me think of what a different place the world was in 1995. People like the Jersey Shore kids have elevated being an irritating talentless attention seeker to a new level. This is really little league self-absorption. Who is the dumbfounded woman at 2:42?
posted by shushufindi at 4:55 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


also, if you think billy corgan wrote all of celebrity skin, then why did Adore suck so hard?

Fuck to the yeah and I'll go one better and say I never thought Gish was any great shakes, either. What an awful poseur bullshit band that was. Courtney is hardly a gifted artist, but she has more intensity in her left little finger than is in his whole addled bald dome.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:05 PM on January 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Courtney Love clearly has had some problems, but Live Through This is still an incredible album. Yes, other writers collaborated on it, and Kurt's fingerprints are all over it. Imagery such as motherhood, milk, bodily pollution, nausea, dismemberment, roses- all point to Cobain's own lyrical obsessions. You can guess that he was at least involved in Softer, Softest, Asking For It, Doll Parts, maybe Violet. So what? The execution is nearly flawless. The album has an almost visceral force behind it. And they do a Young Marble Giants cover. Young Marble Giants. At a time when no one was listening to early 80s post-punk from the UK. Awesome.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:07 PM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


i'm aware that song writing credits are often bullshit (see- beyonce). but i don't think you can assume he wrote the entirety of the music for those songs - it could be anything from a single riff to the whole thing. they fight over this very topic and i find it telling that people usually rush to believe billy corgan (who has had his own issues in giving credit where credit is due).

again, i also think it's telling that this sort of conversation almost always comes up when there's a woman at the mic, but barely comes up if it's a man. people rarely write in a vacuum, but for some reason we're more likely to believe men are less influenced.

but, as will johnson of centro-matic sang, "you might as well steal it if it sounds ok."
posted by nadawi at 5:09 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


when a woman gets famous, everyone looks for the man behind her - when a man gets famous, no one asks who helped him get there.

I'm sure you have others in mind here, but I can pretty much only think of Courtney Love in terms of people this phenomenon applies to.
posted by Hoopo at 5:10 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Courtney Love gets excessive amounts of shit for being Courtney Love.

I get this, I really do. And I don't think she's untalented. I think she has a rawness which comes through so palpably that she couldn't be denied. I watched The People vs. Larry Flynt for the first time in forever a few weeks ago and holy shit she was affecting in it.

And even in the early to mid-nineties, getting something like "Doll Parts" on the hit list is astounding. She is not without talent, and I will never claim that.

No, Courtney Love gets shit from me because I am almost 100% sure that she murdered her husband. And she couldn't even manage a solo job on that one.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:10 PM on January 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


I saw her on tour in '99 with Marilyn Manson. I went to see Manson. Turned out that I really enjoyed Hole, and Manson...well, I was waiting for him to come out on a unicycle and honk his nose.

If that somehow says I have bad taste in music or something, well, all I can say is that clearly I'm more alternative than all the people who hate Courtney & Hole. :)

(Also: Went to G'n'R and Metallica to see G'n'R, walked away unimpressed but having discovered my love for both Metallica and Motorhead. Funny how this happens to me.)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:11 PM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am almost 100% sure that she murdered her husband

Is this about that documentary by the English guy in the bomber jacket? Cuz that guy was a douche
posted by Hoopo at 5:22 PM on January 9, 2012


For the record, I have proof that all of her songs were written by Sir Francis Bacon.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:23 PM on January 9, 2012 [19 favorites]


3. Flood.

4. Alan Moulder (or lack thereof)
posted by LionIndex at 5:24 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


i'm aware that song writing credits are often bullshit (see- beyonce). but i don't think you can assume he wrote the entirety of the music for those songs - it could be anything from a single riff to the whole thing. they fight over this very topic and i find it telling that people usually rush to believe billy corgan (who has had his own issues in giving credit where credit is due).

Yeah, I think you're absolutely right.

again, i also think it's telling that this sort of conversation almost always comes up when there's a woman at the mic, but barely comes up if it's a man.

Sure, but Mechanical Animals came out around the same time and the scuttlebutt at the time was that Corgan was the writer behind both albums. That said, I do think people are more likely to accuse a female performer of being a phony than a male performer. Desmond Child and Glen Ballard get a lot more public credit for writing hits for Joan Jett (Child), Katy Perry (Child and Ballard) or Alanis (Ballard) than for Kiss (Child) Meatloaf (Child), Weezer (Child), Van Halen (Ballard) or Michael Jackson (Ballard).
posted by The World Famous at 5:25 PM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


You know, if it hadn't been for John McCain turning his gaze to Sarah Palin, no one would ever know who that untalented moron was - same thing here, but instead, it took Kurt Cobain to give this talentless nothing a platform from which to build a "career". Blech. That performances cement it - Courtney Love is a useless fraud.
posted by dbiedny at 5:35 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bounced checks aside (and from old-timers at my store, I've heard similar stories) certain songs of Hole's ("Rock Star" "Violet") still resonate with me, probably because back in the early 90's I was dating some seriously messed up women. And the riffs and choruses were pretty good, too.
posted by jonmc at 5:35 PM on January 9, 2012


It could be worse - the forty-somethings in this thread (including me) could be arguing about real estate prices and car insurance.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:36 PM on January 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


(I really fucking hated "Doll Parts," I have to admit.)
posted by jonmc at 5:38 PM on January 9, 2012


God, I clicked on that thinking I was going to see Courtney Cox...
posted by DarkForest at 5:38 PM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


For anyone who might have missed it live, the notorious clip of Courtney Love crashing Kurt Loder's interview with Madonna at the 1995 VMAs can be found here.
posted by argonauta at 5:44 PM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whatever happened to that Dominator dude?

(pretty sure that if she murdered Kurt it was on her own via a Drain Soul attack)
posted by Artw at 5:44 PM on January 9, 2012


My best friend at the time got the job as Hole's new bassist only for Courtney to disband the group before her first show. Perhaps she dodged a bullet.
posted by sourwookie at 5:47 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but the other throughline is that every single thing she has produced has had to be extensively babysat into existence by outside parties.

What bands do you think this was not true for?

empath:
The Beatles
The Rolling Stones
Lou Reed
Devo
Talking Heads
John Pryne
The White Stripes
The Breeders
Liz Phair
The Mediæval Bæbes
Boston Philharmonic
Adele
...How many examples do you need, BTW?
posted by IAmBroom at 5:54 PM on January 9, 2012


BTW, there's an openly worried-looking blonde to Courtney's left at 2:25 (and other spots). Is she really there to catch CL if she falls, as it looks? in shock that CL took the mike from her? Generic large animal handler?
posted by IAmBroom at 5:57 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Beatles

That's the best joke I've heard all day.
posted by The World Famous at 5:58 PM on January 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


She really should've gotten that role in the movie 'Sid and Nancy'. She would've been great in that role. History would've been different.
posted by ovvl at 6:01 PM on January 9, 2012


Live Through This puts her in the pantheon whether we like it or not.

And even if Kurt wrote every chord, he didn't produce those vocals. Love's "Fuck you" in "I Think That I Would Die" is up there with Daltrey's "Won't Get Fooled Again" scream in my book.
posted by Trurl at 6:01 PM on January 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Good grief, that was atrocious. Is it possible that Zeus himself chucked a thunderbolt at Courtney and accidentally struck Kurt? Because she deserved a godly damning for that performance.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:19 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyone this divisive has to have something going for her.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:31 PM on January 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


I saw Hole a couple of times in Vancouver, before Kurt's suicide, and those performances were pretty damn fine. I believe that she's a deeply damaged individual and a Class A narcissist, so I don't follow her any more other than reading her Twitter feed back when she had one. It was very, very sad. I hate the whole "crazy famous lady" thing and resent it whenever it appears in discourse around Bjork, but you can't deny that there's something that's just gone wrong there.

I was a huge fan of Pretty On The Inside, and still think it's one of the most... primal albums I own. You don't often get such a vivid splatter of female rage, and parts of it are brilliant. Live Through This was good; I think Celebrity Skin is terribly underrated-- Malibu and Boys on the Radio are perfect pop songs-- and I give her credit for the lyrics, too (most of the motifs on Live Through This were already present in her earlier writing).
posted by jokeefe at 6:39 PM on January 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah, her expression pretty much sums it up.
posted by Flashman at 6:40 PM on January 9, 2012


Someone recently sent me this video of Courtney covering Pearl Jam's Jeremy.

Needless to say, I was not as shocked as the sender thought I would be. I've seen Hole live.
posted by purephase at 6:50 PM on January 9, 2012


Say what you will, she's no Liz Phair.
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:54 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Beatles
The Rolling Stones
Lou Reed
Devo
Talking Heads
John Pryne
The White Stripes
The Breeders
Liz Phair
The Mediæval Bæbes
Boston Philharmonic
Adele


Just off the top of my head, the Beatles wouldn't have done much interesting without George Martin, and Adele's songs on her last album were heavily guided by producers and song writers like Paul Epworth. I don't know much about the others, but there are a lot of really amazing bands that leaned heavily on producers to get albums out. Even Nevermind was heavily influenced by Bitch Vig and probably wouldn't have been a hit record without him.
posted by empath at 6:56 PM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


also, if you think billy corgan wrote all of celebrity skin, then why did Adore suck so hard?

Jimmy Chamberlain made the Pumpkins. They were garbage without him.
posted by empath at 6:59 PM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Just a data point, following empath: Radiohead have been quite upfront about the fact that they can't work without Nigel Godrich, as well. They put off the recording sessions for In Rainbows for months while they waited for him to be finished with another project. Bands are collaborative for a reason (and even those who you might think of as purely solo artists, like PJ Harvey, work with the same circle of musicians release after release).
posted by jokeefe at 7:00 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


In the mid-1990s Courtney Love got onto the Internet and posted comments on some Usenet news groups, an environment colonized by the nerds, introverts, and freaks of America's college campuses. I wasn't sure whether this meant that Courtney Love was now in my social circle, or that the Internet wasn't my social circle anymore. And I also wasn't sure which one was the more disturbing idea.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 7:04 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Every time I see Old School Grungy Courtney, I'm reminded of when a blatantly messed up Courtney Love crashed an MTV interview with Madonna.
posted by Panjandrum at 7:21 PM on January 9, 2012


I could be wrong, but I think Cobain taught Love and Grohl everything they know about writing. They both owe their successes to Kurt. (I doubt the either would contest that.)

That said, like it or not, that bitch is rock 'n roll royalty. She can dish up a fuckin' world class show...if that's the kinda show you're into.
posted by snsranch at 7:21 PM on January 9, 2012


TALKING HEADS?! are you KIDDING ME? Brian Eno was FUNDAMENTAL to their later sound.
posted by radiosilents at 7:22 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


the Beatles were a rock n roll cover band before George Martin taught them how the studio worked. saying "the Breeders" is ignoring the fact that Kim Deal hardly came to that tabla rasa. those years she spent in the Pixies (you know, working with people like STEVE ALBINI counted for something. the Stone' producer Andrew Loog Oldham is the person who TOLD THEM TO START WRITING THEIR OWN SONGS.

and Liz Phair doesn't even EXIST outside of the studio.

this list is so woefully underinformed that i'm just astounded someone could even have put it together. it seems like a troll.
posted by radiosilents at 7:26 PM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


also

Over the next four years, Grohl toured extensively with Scream, recording a couple of live albums (their May 4, 1990 show in Alzey, Germany being released by Tobby Holzinger as Your Choice Live Series Vol.10) and two studio albums, No More Censorship and Fumble, on which Grohl penned and sang vocals on the song "Gods Look Down".
posted by radiosilents at 7:29 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jimmy Chamberlain made the Pumpkins. They were garbage without him.

Sure you're not thinking of Butch Vig? something something Garbage something
posted by joe lisboa at 7:36 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whenever I think of bands writing songs all I can think of is the members of Red Hot Chilli Peppers sitting inside an enormous glass condo with no shirts on, ready to go surfing, and one of them is all "Hey, we need one more song for our new record" and they stop for a moment, surfboards under their arms, furrowing their tanned brows, and one of them goes "Well, maybe we could write a song about California?" and there's a few seconds of silence until in unison they're all "FUCK YES LET'S GO SURFING!" and there's a guy from Rolling Stone there with them and he tweets it and the RHCP forums are all "omg omg omg new RHCP album!" and "what's your favourite song about California by the Peppers? [survey]"
posted by tumid dahlia at 7:37 PM on January 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


For me Hole begins and ends with Pretty On The Inside.
posted by Sailormom at 7:41 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus. You people are like the Tea Party for music. This attitude that Back In The Day, when people were Real and Authentic, everyone managed to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and did it without any collaborators, teachers, mentors, backers, supporters, influences or friends? It's bullshit when aging neocons talk that way about their entrepreneurial heroes and it's bullshit when aging punks and rockers talk the same way about their musical heroes.

Hell, even if it were possible to do something worthwhile all alone with no help or input, why would you want to? Making good art (or building bridges that don't fall down) is hard enough when you do have the full support of the people around you. Why make it even harder on yourself just to prove an ideological point?
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:06 PM on January 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


I make all of my comments without help. Comments are like songs, just without instruments and lyrics and stuff, right? If I can do it, why can't Courtney?
posted by maxwelton at 8:16 PM on January 9, 2012


Sure you're not thinking of Butch Vig? something something Garbage something

Nah, he didn't have much to do with Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which was a better album. They went off the rails when they started using a fucking drum machine.
posted by empath at 8:53 PM on January 9, 2012


Perhaps of interest: Courtney Love Does The Math (2000)
posted by user92371 at 9:53 PM on January 9, 2012


Count me in the Courtney fan club. I think she's talented and would happily go see her perform again. The Vanity Fair interview she did late in 2011 shows her as lonely and obsessed with lost riches from Kurt's estate. It's a shame that her relationship with Frances is so broken, she strikes me as a really lost soul.
posted by arcticseal at 11:40 PM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hasil Adkins did it all himself, and woe to you if you say otherwise.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:04 AM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm in danger of raising the wrath of the metafilter taste police, but Amanda Palmer has something to say on this subject.
posted by seanyboy at 12:48 AM on January 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


TALKING HEADS?! are you KIDDING ME? Brian Eno was FUNDAMENTAL to their later sound.

Eno produced their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th albums.

Their later sound was not marked much by his influence, but more by their working relationship with Bernie Worrell and Byrne's discovery of world music.

Also, working with Steve Albini doesn't necessarily make you a better songwriter. His technique, as he professed a trillion times, is to make the band "sound like themselves" or sound like they do live. His interest is not in informing their songwriting or even their sound.

My understanding is that a number of songs on pod were written before the Pixies ever got together.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 3:48 AM on January 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


TALKING HEADS?!

Weren't they a Television cover band?
posted by sydnius at 5:01 AM on January 10, 2012


I stand corrected by music Experts. Those bands were all fairly talentless gobs of clay, formed into what they were by cigar-smoking producers.

Lennon - talentless hack.
McCartney - pretty-boy idiot.
Phair - dick-sucking studio musician.
David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison: "Television" cover band, that produced a string of original hits under at least 2 band names/configurations.
Adele - probably autotuned.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:27 AM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, working with Steve Albini doesn't necessarily make you a better songwriter.

Jesus Christ, he practically murdered Jarvis Cocker!
posted by KokuRyu at 6:40 AM on January 10, 2012


Hey, empath! Hey robocop is bleeding! I was there too!
posted by kcds at 6:54 AM on January 10, 2012


We're HFStival buddies! I went to all of them up till 1999, I think. I actually got fired from Safeway because I called in sick to go to one of them.
posted by empath at 7:11 AM on January 10, 2012


Anybody want to reminisce about waiting in line all night to get tickets?
posted by empath at 7:12 AM on January 10, 2012


'Clouds' is probably my favorite song on Pretty on the Inside.

I wonder whose idea it was to do a loud-soft-loud Joni Mitchell cover.
posted by box at 7:17 AM on January 10, 2012


I loved Live through This at the time, but then Rolling Stone also said it was the "most potent blast of female insurgency ever committed to tape," which is bullshit, so what the hell do I know?
posted by blucevalo at 7:20 AM on January 10, 2012


I love/d Courtney; at her best, she was so shiny, exciting, and smart, with such a distinctive voice and point of view it felt like I knew her personally. Seeing her all pretty at the Oscars felt like a victory for awkward girls everywhere. I still love black dresses with white collars. Live Through This is an amazing album. It's disappointing and sad for me to see her so fractured now; to see the tour of her house with pictures of Frances frozen in time; to hear about her firing her assistant for getting her to Australia too early for the Tony Robbins seminar.

But! Some people did survive Hole and the 90s, and the documentary about Patty Schemel getting off drugs (Hit So Hard) was good.

Still feeling nostalgic? Courtney and Kathleen: A Riot Act includes a chalk outline of a body with "1994" written inside...
posted by armacy at 8:00 AM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Never played with Hole or Courtney Love but I have played with a lot of second or third tier bands who did, and they agreed to a one that she was a horrible, shallow, user-type human being. And no, I don't think any of that was sexism or jealousy. Her long, studied trip to the ivory tower was made on the backs of unknown cool and/or truly 'punk' people; she got what she worked so hard for, but it certainly doesn't seem to have made her happy.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:45 AM on January 10, 2012


There's really no mystery - if you look at the song credits on the last three or four Love/Hole albums you will reasonably conclude that Courtney Love does not write songs on her own. She clearly prefers to have someone like Corgan or Linda Perry or Michael Beinhorn or Eric Erlandson there to add some amount of meat to the process. Given that this is almost without exception, that is notable and somewhat unusual among her peers. Unless you consider her peers to not be the Kim Deals or Kim Gordons or Cobains of the world, but instead the Katy Perrys or Avril Lavignes or Alanis Morissettes. I don't personally see a sexist root to this dichotomy so much as a "self-motivated songwriter/musician" vs. "stage managed talent" divide. Without getting into tiresome "authenticity" arguments: there's certainly nothing wrong with being an Avril Lavigne and having outside writers, but I tend to look at someone like that a bit differently than I do, say, Joni Mitchell.

Say what you will about Kim Deal, the girl can sit down and write a song. Billy Corgan, asshole that he is, can sit down and write a song. Joni Mitchell, batshit crazy though she may be these days, I'll bet she can still sit down and write a song. Pretending like any producer or manager or anyone who's every helped or assisted anybody in the studio or in any musical capacity is the same thing as what Courtney Love quite evidently needs to produce any music at all is pretty disingenuous. There are authors who write their own books, and then there are books that were written by Snooki. We don't generally then turn around and insist that these are really the same because hey, Jonathan Franzen had an editor too.

She doesn't have "nothing" to do with the music on her records, but Courtney Love does not write songs on her own.
posted by anazgnos at 10:50 AM on January 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


But Courtney never claimed to have written her songs completely on her own, with very few exceptions ("Retard Girl" and "Doll Parts" come to mind). She always operated in the context of a band until that terrible "solo album" she made with Linda Perry after the crack wrecked her voice. That's when the songwriting credits really began to swell. Regardless, Courtney's visceral performances are what distinguish her songs, so this authorship debate always seems redundant to me when it (inevitably) comes up. Kim Gordon never wrote a song on her own either and I question her ability to do so; however, she was an integral part of what made Sonic Youth great.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 11:10 AM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Adele - probably autotuned.

Do you really think there is no pitch correction or Melodyne anywhere on her album? Really?
posted by The World Famous at 11:13 AM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


(That little gripe aside, I completely agree with anazgnos.)
posted by The World Famous at 11:21 AM on January 10, 2012


Kim Gordon never wrote a song on her own either and I question her ability to do so; however, she was an integral part of what made Sonic Youth great.

That's true, Kim Gordon's the definition of a "band" person, a team player who contributes a lot without having to always be out front or be the main driver. She's great in that capacity, I don't see her doing an acoustic solo album like Lee or Thurston.

But then Courtney Love could hardly be accused of being a "team player" type, right?
posted by anazgnos at 11:38 AM on January 10, 2012


Dudes. You need to hear some Free Kitten.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:41 AM on January 10, 2012


Y'all do know that if you call her name enough times, she'll appear, right? I'm just sayin....
posted by dejah420 at 11:47 AM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Empath, Lou Reed has often required serious babysitting, at least before he cleaned up. Used to be he was terribly fragile (or brittle) when he wasn't full of confidence (or belligerent). Moe Tucker's account of him leaving the Velvets makes him sound like a lost child, and indeed he went straight from Max's Kansas City to move back in with his much-feared parents and work for his dad as a typist for a year and a half. As for the work, Transformer never would have been a hit without Bowie and Ronson (after Sally Can't Dance, which he was mentally barely there for, sold even more, he said, "It seems like the less I'm involved with a record, the bigger a hit it becomes. If I weren't on the record at all next time around, it might go to Number One"), and he stopped playing guitar for years until ex-Voidoid Robert Quine pushed him to pick it up again for The Blue Mask. (Of course once he got his confidence back he started mixing Quine down and pushed him out of the band, but without him his '80s records would have likely been all whoever the '80s equivalents of Dick Wagner and Steve Howe were, plus the continuing keyboard stylings of Michael Fonfara.)
posted by Adventurer at 5:51 PM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


As far as contributing music vs. lyrics, the closest equivalent to Courtney I can immediately think of who is also considered a "real" musician would be Marianne Faithfull, who can write excellent lyrics but often doesn't even do that. I would point to, say, Jim Morrison, whom most people consider to be The Doors even though other Doors were always the ones writing the tunes, but of course Courtney's collaborators have generally come from outside the band.
posted by Adventurer at 6:07 PM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Robby Kreiger wrote The Doors' first hit single Light My Fire.
Lou Reed wrote songs for KISS.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:22 PM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I never understood the popularity of Hole or Nirvana. Both bands sounded like heroin-soaked junkies playing out-of-tune instruments.
posted by prepmonkey at 7:04 AM on January 11, 2012


what may be the only true solo performance of her career

Not really. She played a bunch of two-song solo sets at various Lollapalooza dates in 1994. I saw her do "Miss World" and "Doll Parts" on August 1st in Philly. The routine was that Billy Corgan ceded some Smashing Pumpkins set time to Courtney whenever she wanted it. She also spoke a bit.

She told us to "Go read some Simone de Beauvoir, you fuckin sexists..."
posted by snottydick at 10:15 AM on January 11, 2012


Awesome, thanks! I've been searching for videos of Courtney playing alone forever. Unfortunately they're not as amazing as I hoped they would be, although that version of "Miss World" is pretty spirited…
posted by Houyhnhnm at 10:58 AM on January 11, 2012


Both bands sounded like heroin-soaked junkies playing out-of-tune instruments.

Psh. The heroin was fake and their perfectly-tuned instruments were detuned in post production using auto-out-of-tune.
posted by The World Famous at 12:15 PM on January 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I highly doubt Billy Corgan used heroin
posted by KokuRyu at 5:25 PM on January 12, 2012


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