What do Courtney Love and James Iha have in common? Well, besides being ’90s alt-rock survivors, both have had long, fraught relationships with Billy Corgan. (They also shared a band mate, Melissa Auf der Maur, but we digress.) So we can’t help but wonder what the Great Pumpkin might say about their collaboration on Love’s… Read More
We greeted the prospect of listening to Oceania, the new album by Billy Corgan and some people who he’s calling Smashing Pumpkins, with the same trepidation shown by pretty much everyone else who grew up in the 1990s. Quite why Corgan insists on calling his band Smashing Pumpkins these days is unclear — when the classic line-up of that band split in 2000, Corgan formed a new band under a new name — but he chose to exhume it in 2006, and with the departure of Jimmy Chamberlin in 2009, he’s the only remaining original member. Frankly, we wish he’d stop it and move on to something new — and he’s not the only one, as you’ll read after the jump. … Read More
They say music moves in 20-year cycles, and the surfeit of ’90s-influenced bands on the scene at the moment seems to suggest that maybe they’re right (whoever “they” are.) It also seems that there are plenty of original ’90s bands playing at the moment, both renascent (Garbage, Pulp) those who never went away (Pearl Jam, for instance), or those who have no right to actually exist either way and are yet somehow touring together. Anyway, with all this in mind — and, specifically, because the new Garbage album is out this week — we thought it was high time for another of our stereotyping posts. Obligatory disclaimer: this is all in fun, so don’t take offense — and also, as ever, our stereotype is in there with the rest. See if you can guess which one it is! … Read More
1. Not to totally ruin your Monday morning, but apparently Maggie Smith would like for the next season of Downton Abbey to be her last playing the Dowager Countess of Grantham — at least, according to The Daily Mail. [via Deadline] Update: A press representative for Carnival Films says that the… Read More
Last night, the afterparty for the premiere of Hit So Hard, a documentary about former Hole drummer Patty Schemel, was held at Public Assembly in Brooklyn. As the Village Voice reports, the musical entertainment for the evening was Trinity Jam, a band comprised of Schemel, bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur and guitarist Eric Erlandson — that is, everyone from the mid-’90s lineup of Hole except for Courtney Love. But in a twist of fate, Love happened to be in New York last night, and the singer came onstage to join her old comrades for the first time in fifteen years, effectively reuniting the cult rock band for two songs: “Miss World” and “Over the Edge.” Click through to watch video from the momentous occasion, and let us know if you’d welcome a Hole reboot — or are totally over everything Courtney Love — in the comments. … Read More
In 2010, as former Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson was coping with the theft of his life savings, he learned that his onetime band mate and long-ago girlfriend Courtney Love had reformed the band with a new line-up, in violation of a contract the pair had signed. During that trying period, he found it difficult to trust anyone at all. But eventually, he found himself confiding in an old friend who was the only person he thought might empathize: Kurt Cobain.
“He just had a special gift with people,” says Erlandson in a phone interview. So, when he started writing about what was on his mind, “I felt like Kurt would be the perfect reader. He would understand what I was going through — even though it’s not really about him, it’s not really about anybody else, it’s just stuff bleeding through from the past, the present, and maybe even the future.” The book that resulted bears little resemblance to your standard tell-all rock ‘n’ roll memoir. Letters to Kurt is a series of prose poems that serves as a meditation on celebrity, suicide, the strange and bewildering details of contemporary life, and, most of all, the business of finding balance and purpose post-fame. Influenced by research in which he learned that “all these emotions that happen after [someone close to us kills himself] are completely valid,” Erlandson allowed his anger — and even some dark, wry humor — to show through, breaking the unspoken rule that suicide must be discussed in grave and somber tones. If “you numb [the feelings] or resist them, then you don’t go out the other side, to where you can move on,” he says. “They still rule you unconsciously.” … Read More
A few days ago, the ladies at Bust made a discovery for which we are very grateful: Courtney Love’s apparently legit YouTube channel, complete with authentically all-over-the-place commentary by the Hole frontwoman herself. Divided into such categories as “freak assed shit,” “kook girls,” “special meanings to me,” “my stuff kurt frances…,” and even “u2 and covers,” it — like her Etsy profile — serves as a suitably bizarre tour through Love’s preoccupations, from her love of Patti Smith to her hatred of Chelsea Handler. Even for those who can’t stand her, there’s a lot of fascinating, trashy-brilliant stuff in there. We’ve sifted through it and compiled the best clips we hadn’t seen before, after the jump. … Read More
Tumblr is apparently the best thing that’s happened to album covers since Andy Warhol. Last week, we were fascinated and depressed by a blog that Photoshops dead musicians out of classic record sleeves; today, we’re giggling through Clipart Covers, a Tumblr that recreates album covers using clip art and Comic Sans. Enjoy amusingly remixed art for everyone from Neutral Milk Hotel to NWA after the jump, and follow Clipart Covers to see more wonderful remakes and request some of your own. … Read More
If you’ve followed Courtney Love’s online presence from mid-’90s AOL message boards to MySpace to Twitter, you may think there’s nothing you don’t already know about the Hole frontwoman. And yet, if you’re like us, then you’re still all ears for the memoir Love’s just announced she’s writing, to be co-authored by Rolling Stone writer… Read More
This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s iconic album Nevermind, the same week that Pearl Jam celebrates its own two-decade milestone. Nirvana’s commemorations include Jon Stewart’s upcoming Q&A with the surviving members; musicians from Tokyo Police Club and Fucked up playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” 144 times in a row; and a four-CD Universal re-release consisting of numerous previously unreleased recordings, a DVD of live BBC recordings, and several B-sides. Among Pearl Jam’s goodies are the Cameron Crowe documentary Pearl Jam Twenty (now in theaters), a bunch of anniversary shows and reissues, and a new solo album of Eddie Vedder rocking out on a ukelele.
It’s clear that ’90s rock nostalgia is everywhere this year — so we don’t feel bad indulging in some of our own with a tribute to the era through one of its favorite media: the band poster. Below the jump, peruse a gallery plucked from the golden era of grunge. … Read More