Capturing the filthy, volatile essence of Courtney Love is no small feat. Though she conjures any number of pejoratives, you just can’t quite nail her down. Courtney Love is many things, musician, actress, harlot, goddess, self-promoter, schemer, but above all she is indomitable. She’s a crazy bitch, but she’s the last crazy bitch standing and it will always be that way. Like cockroaches, herpes or body glitter, she never goes away. As a nation we simply cannot rid ourselves of her.
Nor should we ever want to. Love conducts herself with a patent absurdity that has kept tabloids running for years. Her naked hunger for attention and reverence often serves to parody herself, but that is a distraction to the immense artistry she displays simply by living and breathing. Sure, there is the subject of her criminally overlooked music, with Live Through This in particular enduring as one of the absolute best commercial rock records of the 1990’s. Moving beyond that any truly learned and studied hoe must bow down and venerate their goddess. She is not a whore, she is the whore and every media hoe that has followed her has merely walked the path she treaded. Aesthetically even mighty titans like Peaches and Khia cannot quite match her, but popularly she has personified, molded and epitomized the trope of the crazy media clown whore. The Courtney Stoddens and Amanda Bynes of the world pop up and dance to our delight, but they burn out soon enough. They are merely disciples worshiping at the altar of Love. I imagine that in her quieter moments even Lindsay Lohan herself takes time to reflect on how thoroughly her own path has been paved by Mother Love. Courtney Love is the alpha and the omega of our filthy society. No crazed bitch can match her.
She released a new single today. Two actually, a double A-side “You Know My Name/Wedding Day” harkens back to the antiquated marketing of rock and roll vinyl. Both songs seem like more realized and coherent extensions of the upbeat punk sound she druggedly tried to capture on 2004’s doomed America’s Sweetheart. They’re not extraordinary songs but they are respectable pieces of punk rock. What’s most notable about these tracks are how exceptionally raw they are. She howls over both tracks with a rugged tenacity that is still unmatched by either her contemporaries or her successors. Courtney Love’s roar is one of the mightiest sounds to ever grace rock music and it’s still fully intact after nearly three decades in the business. At 49 Courtney shows no signs of mellowing with age. This is a fitting gesture seeing as how her entire career has served as an act of defiance against a society that has perpetually shamed her. Love seems to have no interest in producing pleasant folk rock melodies for the latter part of her career. Instead it would seem she has chosen the Jayne County route, rebranding herself as a punk rock glamor hag angrily snarling into middle age. No matter what, she endures, and it is a glorious thing.
Courtney Love is the world’s most glamorous cold sore. She’s stubborn, unyielding and sometimes oozes over with puss. She persists throughout it all to remind us that she’s still here and we are richer for it. Thank you, slut goddess, for all that you have done and all that you will still do.