Courtney Love: "I'm 48, of Course I Listen to Avett Brothers. It's What Women My Age Do"

"This tour is really an 'I'm still alive' tour," says Courtney Love in between a series of radio shows and meetings. Was there ever any doubt? She's busier than ever, and our brief conversation with her is stuffed with quick-fire anecdotes, a fondness for discussing her recently-read list of books from a personal library she has very carefully cultivated, and a long, long list of upcoming projects. A new album and memoir are slated to come out this year. She was witty, funny, unafraid to speak her mind, and engaging. She was Courtney Love, basically. Very much alive.

Catch Courtney Love with special guest Starred at Warsaw tonight.

See also: Fashion-Forward (and Courtney Love Approved) Starred are Ready to Explode

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So, The Mid-'90s Lineup Of Hole (Including Courtney Love) Reunited At Public Assembly Last Night

Last night Public Assembly hosted the afterparty for the premiere of Hit So Hard, a documentary about former Hole drummer Patty Schemel; the marquee act for the evening, a group called the Trinity Jam, consisted of Schemel, bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur, and guitarist Eric Erlandson—the three people who backed up Courtney Love in Hole during most of the Live Through This aftermath. (Last night's event was one of a few recent ones paying homage to the band's history; a week ago Thursday, Erlandson and Auf der Maur promoted Erlandson's alt-rock memoir, Letters To Kurt, with a performance at the Union Square Barnes & Noble.) As it turned out, Courtney happened to be in New York CIty yesterday, and she popped up onstage for two songs: The beauty-queen-nightmare chronicle "Miss World" and "Over The Edge," a cover of the 1983 track by the Portland punk legends the Wipers. Video below.

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Live: Courtney Love Has All Eyes on Her at Hiro Ballroom

Jenna Sauers

Courtney Love
Hiro Ballroom, Maritime Hotel
Tuesday, September 6

Better than: Listening to Celebrity Skin alone in your bedroom again.

"I need a glass of wine," Courtney Love announced as she took the stage, twirling a big paper parasol through the air around her. "I need wine. Right now."

The Hole founder, widow, mother, and world's most famous alumna of the Nelson, New Zealand, College for Girls wore knee socks, black patent leather flats, something that was either a lacy girdle or an unusually sexy skort, a cream silk faux-wrap blouse that often fell open to reveal a black bra, and a black vest. Her silver-toned bracelet and rings glinted in the flashbulbs that seasoned the air; there was a phalanx of photographers in the front row, and it seemed nearly every other attendee wielded a camera phone. Because how Courtney Love looks is kind of part of it, because even for former addicts, the effects of the disease are written on the body, because she is a woman, and we evaluate women on their physical appearance constantly and regardless of professional competence, because this woman in particular had been enlisted for this party as much to be seen playing as to play--so that the right sort of people might spend Fashion Week telling each other, "I saw Courtney Love at that thing"--I will say that Courtney Love, for what it's worth, looked good. Quite good. Clear skin. Definitive proof that no matter what the women's magazines say, cellulite is genetic. She plucked at the vest. "I'm wearing the first piece of swag I ever got," she said. "Calvin Klein, 1990. It still fits."

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Q & A: Don Fleming On The Grunge Years, Courtney Love's Work Ethic, The Velvet Monkeys And Being Sonic Youth's "Manager"

Don Fleming close up.jpg
One of the more surreal moments in television history happened one superlate evening in 1989, when Sonic Youth appeared on the avant-garde-leaning music program Night Music on the severely avant-lacking NBC network. With downtown skuzz buddy Don Fleming playing SY's "manager on keyboards"—as introduced by easy-listening saxdork/host David Sanborn—they ripped "Silver Rocket" and the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Yr Dog" new assholes on national TV.

Fleming put his stamp on underground rock long before that night, though—first in D.C. and in Half Japanese, then downtown from the mid-80's and throughout the 90's. His psych-surf quirksters Velvet Monkeys were actually hot shit in D.C. as Minor Threat led the hardcore charge and Dischord became all the rage. Fleming eventually brought the Monkeys' kitschy pop to NYC and became a staple at CBGB and the old Knitting Factory. At the same time, he teamed up with Shimmy Disc honcho Kramer for art-noisemongers B.A.L.L., who upon disbanding, hilariously morphed into the grungy pop-freak group Gumball.

Ensconced in the scene with the SY folks and fellow cronies like Pussy Galore/Action Swingers/Free Kitten art-punker Julia Cafritz, Fleming collaborated with Thurston Moore on various projects (including the Richard Hell-fronted Dim Stars and the supergroup that provided music for the 1994 flick Backbeat), initially produced SY's major-label debut Goo, joined Dinosaur Jr for a second and recorded LPs by Hole, Screaming Trees, Teenage Fanclub, and The Posies.

Now Fleming is back with the digital reissue of Velvet Monkeys '81 cassette-only debut Everything is Right and a brand-new EP featuring Kim Gordon, Cafritz, and R. Stevie Moore. Sound of the City caught up with Fleming by phone while he took a break from his day job at the Alan Lomax archives.

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Six Great Musical Moments From The "Law & Order" Version Of New York City

Mike Logan and Lennie Briscoe: Not so into rap-metal.
The news that Law & Order: Criminal Intent would be ripping all those headlines about the struggles of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark for an upcoming episode was notable for its lightning-quick turnaround time, and for its fictionalized take on one of rock's biggest characters: Bono. According to TVLine's Michael Ausiello, "Arno" (seriously) will be "a secretly bisexual rock-star composer who's cheating on the missus with a colleague." (But will he wear big glasses?)

This bit of news inspired a look back at all the times that shows within the Law & Order version of New York City have taken on music-related topics. After the jump, six (in honor of the dearly departed original version's cast roster) of the ones that stuck out the most.

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Rating the Ridiculous Musical Performances of Fashion Week 2010 (So Far)

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As much of the Boom Boom Room as you're ever likely to see. Twitpic via grekotv
Fashion Week is a biannual rite in New York, and with it comes another biannual rite -- awkward, private late-night performances from bands that are either at the center of the zeitgeist (Kanye West on the bar at the Boom Boom Room last week, say) or beloved, out-of-step favorites of the aging designers and promoters who make this week happen (see: Guns N' Roses, anything involving John Varvatos). Mostly, the shows are abbreviated, impromptu, or otherwise improvised -- artists tend to experiment when they wander this far outside the Bowery Ballroom. Thus 2010's Fall Fashion Week has already seen Metric covering the Strokes, the Strokes themselves reuniting for Tommy Hilfiger, Courtney Love covering Lady Gaga at the reborn Don Hill's, and, uh, ZZ Top taking on "Foxy Lady" at Varvatos' Bowery store. With a couple days left to go, we figured we might as well get some rankings going, so next time your phone blows up at 3 a.m. telling you to come to some hard-to-infiltrate club to see Band X, you'll know whether or not to answer the call. Without further ado:

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Courtney Love's Twitter-Rant Birthday Present To Frances Bean Cobain Is Thoroughly Depressing

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As our resident Courtney Love expert is still on Juggalo detail, this falls to me. First of all, Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of Kurt & Courtney, has turned 18, which is mortifying in a shit-I'm-getting-old sort of way. Also mortifying: this compendium of Courtney Love's Tweets on the matter, an epic, semi-coherent, legitimately heartbreaking breakdown of their ongoing estrangement, complete with what percentage of In Utero Frances now gets and how much cash she's entitled to a month. As pleas for reconciliation go this is not bound to be successful, which is a depressing coda to a story that is already pretty depressing. Enjoy.

10 Magnificent Discoveries from Behind the Music: Courtney Love

The nakedly turbulent narrative structure of VH1's Behind The Music was invented for Courtney Love. In fact, everything with her is behind the music. So when the hippie spawn who once fronted Faith No More (true story) and auditioned for the Mickey Mouse Club by reading Sylvia Plath (a piece about incest, no less) finally gets her own episode, it's a walloping two hours long. As someone who's spent an alarming amount of time analyzing this woman, I'm both inexplicably knowledgable and somewhat bored when it comes to this person. Yet. Could not. Stop watching.

To wit:

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This Is Why Hole's First Terminal 5 Show Only Lasted 50 Minutes


Already expressed far too many "disconcertingly knowledgeable" opinions about this woman, this record, and Hole's first real NY show at Terminal 5. But in conclusion, let the record show that Tuesday night's 50-minute lackluster performance wasn't caused by C-Lo's disappointment that Chloe Sevigny was the only "famous" person from the band's tumultuous guest list who came. (Chris Rock, whose name was there, did not.) It was the Abilify. [@CourtneyLoveUK]

"You Seem Fine. Are You Fine?" Courtney Love Discusses "The Letterman Years," With David Letterman

Got a feeling you'll be hearing about Courtney Love/Hole a few times today. (Prepare yourself with Camille's disconcertingly knowledgeable assessment of the new "Hole" record, Nobody's Daughter.) For starters, here Courtney is on Letterman last night, pinpointing an earlier, somewhat notorious, partial-nudity-involving appearance on the show (six years ago now!) as the trigger to her own personal Rock Bottom. Dave is as sympathetic as ever: "From my point of view, I enjoyed it." His house band's horn section concurs. Oh, and if Twitter is to be believed, this clip lasted just about as long as Hole's show at Terminal 5. Perhaps mercifully.