Amid all the tabloid reports of drugs, feuds, and nasty facebook posts about her kid, it’s easy to forget that Courtney Love is a musician. For girls (and some boys) who came of age in the 90’s and after, she was, if not a role model, then a damn good backing track to jump around to in your undies feeling girly and tough and angry all at once. How many of us reproduced this scene from Stealing Beauty in our parents’ suburban homes? So many.
(There’s possibly a video buried somewhere in my high school of me lip syncing to “Miss World” in sash and tiara. Hopefully not.)
But it’s tough being a Courtney Love fan these days. We get in fights with people at bars over how much of Live Through This she wrote, what went wrong with America’s Sweetheart, and whether or not she murdered her hot rockstar husband/baby daddy (I’m getting furious just thinking about it). In return, she’s given us precious little to carry us through. Nobody’s Daughter has been dangling over our heads for years, with so many bits and pieces leaking out here and there that I’m not sure any of it will sound new at all when the album finally “comes out.” She’s performed a mere scattering of shows, which only her Hollywood celebufrenemies could get into. And don’t get me started on her heartbreaking abandonment of Kitty Radio.
Perhaps in an effort to get fans stoked again, or perhaps because the album is actually coming out soon (a girl can dream), Courtney’s camp threw us a bone today in the form of (free!) single Skinny Little Bitch. Guess what? It worked. I don’t care if Linda Perry and Billy Corgan wrote most of it, or if they had to use studio magic to reconstruct Love’s famous growl (though I think her cords are more indestructible than many give her credit for). I also don’t care if they lifted the riff and theme from Bratmobile; it’s not like you can patent calling someone a bitch, and I like this version better. This thing is dense, catchy, and radio ready; it has the heft of modern rock with none of the awfulness that makes “Nickelback” such a gag-inducing word. It also references that “Courtney vs. everyone” thing that makes her a lovable underdog or crazy self-sabotaging celebrity, depending what you think of her. Everyone wants to fight/fuck her, because she is the girl with the most cake! Sing it in the mirror before you go kick some metaphorical ass at something.
It’s great to hear C-love sing a good, loud song again; at the end of the day, that’s all we ask of her. Here’s hoping she proves her live performance chops soon with a tour.