Could music bloggers at least wait until "Nobody's Daughter" comes out to trash it?
Don’t waste your time on the new album by Courtney Love’s re-formed band, Hole. I mean, “Nobody’s Daughter” isn’t coming out until April 27, and I haven’t even heard it yet. But if the music blogosphere — which also hasn’t listened to the record — is to be believed, it’s going to be one heck of a trainwreck. And it doesn’t seem likely that the media will put Love’s personal life aside to focus on her music any time soon.
Just about every publication that covers music is taking Wednesday’s announcement of the record’s label and release date as a chance to weigh in on the rock widow’s crazy antics. At Philadelphia Weekly, the news came coupled with the perpetual question of whether Courtney Love is an “inspirational, influential, odds-overcoming tough-chick rocker, or manipulative, soulless, fame-grubbing monster.” Dude site Heavy captions a photo of Love with the sarcastic quip, “How can you stand to miss this hotness?” and then (perhaps to meet some quota for the use of the word “hot”) refers to her as a “hot mess.” Meanwhile, the folks at New York magazine’s Vulture prefer to describe Love as a “famous crazy lady” and close their post with an extra dose of schadenfreude: “We wish Love a smooth, uneventful promotional run, and look forward to the exact opposite of that happening.”
Of course, Love has been an easy target throughout the nearly 20 years she’s been in the public eye. First she was guilty of being addicted while pregnant; then she “killed Kurt”; for a few years after that, she was a “sellout” for trying to get a movie career going. These days, gossip sites run an article just about every day on her plastic surgery, legal troubles, Twitter rants and, most recently — a detail that very few of the posts announcing “Nobody’s Daughter” managed to miss — the fact that she’s had her teenage daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, taken away from her. Hell, Love can’t even post an informal, unedited video of herself singing The Replacements’ “Unsatisfied” in a hotel room without the Village Voice jumping on what was obviously never meant to be a polished performance for a bizarrely overzealous takedown. “To say she does not pull it off is putting it politely,” crows Zach Baron. “To say ‘she sounds like a horse’ is putting it mildly. Rather, Ms. Love sounds, at various intervals, like a sucker-punch victim (2:17), a drunk in a bubble bath (2:47), a woman on the can yelling for more toilet paper (2:20-ish).”
Listen, Courtney Love courts the press, and she also may be unstable. She may have (or have gotten over, depending who you believe) a drug problem. But how many male musicians can you name that fit this description? And yet, how often do you see critics scoff that, amid all their personal problems, they couldn’t possibly put out a decent album? In a deeply insightful piece on the differences in how we see “crazy” men vs. “crazy” women in music, Ann Powers explains why this might be:
A male artist getting crazy can come off as threatening, but he’s also often greeted as a prophet or, conversely, an endearing holy fool. A woman artist getting crazy is a different kind of mess — one that raises the general discomfort level by raising the specter of uncontrolled sexuality, irresponsible motherhood, violence done to or by the sacred “gentler sex” — all elements of our common consciousness that have haunted us since Medea’s time and have never been resolved.
It’s not that we shouldn’t trash the new Hole record if it sucks. I just wish Love’s army of haters could wait to hear it all the way through at least once before writing off “Nobody’s Daughter” and the woman who made it.
Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet. More Judy Berman.
More Related Stories
- The best of Tumblr porn
- From global warming to fluoride: Why do people deny science?
- What does it really feel like to fall out of a building?
- How Dan Savage lost it
- Will U.S. amphibians become endangered species?
- I don't hate millennials anymore!
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Kaitlyn Hunt refuses plea offer, will go to court over high school relationship
- The secrets of cicada survival
- Nobody "needs" to rape
- Catholic Church in market for more exorcists
- Report: Nearly a quarter of all Americans struggle to afford food
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Boy Scouts to members: Just don't be a gay adult
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- My text blew up in my face
- Boy Scouts end ban on openly gay boys
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11