alternative, grunge, independent, literature, Uncategorized

Courtney Love & The Legacy of Misogyny in Rock & Roll

They’re rock stars from two of the most high profile bands in the world. They’re known heroin addicts & drug users, violent, tough and promiscuous. They’re counter-culture icons. They’re still famous even though they’ve been accused of murdering their own lover. They’re Sid Vicious and Courtney Love. Yet somehow Sid Vicious is revered as a punk rock icon while Courtney is seen as a pariah. Lets compare the two.

Sid Vicious: Couldn’t play his instrument. Lemmy tried to teach him and gave up. The bass parts on the Sex Pistols only album were all performed by Mick Jones, the guitarist. He was sponsored by a clothing store & threw up on an old lady at the airport. The U.S. tour got as far as New York before he got hooked on junk and his girlfriend was found dead of a stab wound. He was arrested and released on bail. Then he attacked Patti Smith’s brother. Then he went to “rehab” on Riker’s island and OD’ed the night he got out. Sid Vicious is still considered a rock and roll icon today, even though he was more of a fashion model.

Courtney Love was bullied at school and abused at home. Spent time as a teenage prostitute and model before starting the influential grunge band Hole, in which she wrote the lyrics to and performed on all of their songs over the course of five LPs and one EP. She also wrote and played the rhythm guitar parts for all of their songs. Like most rock stars she was promiscuous, she fooled around with Billy Corgan while she was with Kurt, joining Johnny Cash, Elvis, John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Iggy Pop & practically every other rock musician who ever went on tour. Led Zeppelin fucked an underage girl with a herring and basically kept her captive until she turned 18 once they realized she was underage. Mick Jagger wrote a Stones song about having a threesome with two underage girls in Stray Cat Blues. In contrast Courtney Love wrote about abuse, feminism, body image issues, and addiction. Not to mention that Live Through This was one of the best albums to come out of the grunge period. It certainly beat the hell out of Pearl Jam & Soundgarden’s releases. America’s Sweetheart was a solid album, lyrically complex & catchy without losing Love’s trademark sarcasm and hard rock edge.

If she were a man Courtney Love would be a typical rockstar. Even if she did supposedly kill Kurt Cobain (which I highly doubt and is disbelieved by the people close to Kurt as well as cruel to their daughter, Frances) she still isn’t as revered as Sid Vicious, who couldn’t play his instrument, write a decent song and was actually charged with murder. If Courtney Love were a man she’d be revered as an icon, but because she’s a woman she is treated like a pariah. The same is true for avant grade musician and artist Yoko Ono. Its time to stop treating them like trash because they’re women and recognize them as the innovators they are while they’re still alive.

Jack Blare

PS: This is not a forum for discussing whether or not Courtney killed Kurt or Sid killed Nancy, if your comment is about either subject I’ll just delete it. This is about how misogyny shapes our perceptions of female and male rock musicians.

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addiction, alternative, depression, Erotic, free verse, grunge, improvisation, music, poetry, rock, Uncategorized, underground, writing

DSM II

We’re all beautiful and immortal when we’re dead!

I’m Johnson! I’m Jones! I’m Hank the First, Hendrix, Janis & Jim.

I’m Kurt’s used spoon. Death makes us immortal.

What? I thought you liked danger. I always fell for the ones that dressed bad all in black, ripped jeans booze & anything you’d do I would JoanJett’s, Brody Dalle’s Patti Smiths… Lydia Lunch’s

Punk Rock Virgin Mary Magdalene’s & I was just a virgin carpenter.

Teens like the idea of rebellion. I was a stay at home loser who found

Themselves used to a dull personality in lines of white,

In coloured pills & needles.

No one else but Jake n’ Mikey had it in them.

If you’re going to do it go all the way, or stick to the plan.

9-5 pay taxes, drink to sleep all week, do blow to stay up all weekend.

Rinse & repeat.

Quiet & peace until you look like a joke out wasted with your single best friends & you chose it. Mix it up, take a girls, take a boy, pick a fight,

But every mainline is a round in Russian Roulette.

Hoping each shot will be the one to shut these people up.

If you’re might not die then you’re not living.

I see my cocaine & raise it 24mg of hydro.

My bird’s heart is flying north & fleeing south at the same time.

Flag, thick red vein blood push, too wired for tired to strung out to care.

One ends another gets prepped, I add an ampule of liquid midozolam,

Handful of beezo pills, old OC & some free Montreal speed.

I wonder if death will be the only cure for this dull night.

Getting buzzed, stoned, intoxicated was boring by the time I was legal.

Each hit should be enough to kill yourself, each failure is just another chemical in the chamber, fentanyl & ice.

Death walks by three times daily.

I feel pity for the ones invested in TV & pop music who want more than

Just rehashed resin.

I used to think Bob Was crazy for quitting Sonic Youth.

Found out he quit, & yes Lydia is a far better kisser according to B.B.

Who’s been in NYC since the factory days.

When I found Dylan the Velvets & Patti were the next to blow my mind.

Then Sonic Youth Death Valley’69 Lydia’s demented orgasmic blood curdling shrieks.

Sonic Youth went indie-grunge trying to get their favour back for taking Nirvana on tour in ‘91.

The Year Punk Broke, directed by a teenaged Dave Markey, a friend now.

It broke because SY had the talent, Nirvana had the soul.

Meanwhile in the dirty downtown NYC clubs where this music is at home….

-Jack Blare

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addiction, alternative, depression, free verse, grunge, improvisation, independent, literature, Uncategorized

DSM I

Just like one line or one shot was supposed to kill me? Had a better chance of outliving half of all smokers, & that was when I was mixing coke & smack. Of course coke and smack wouldn’t have rat poison in them if you knew your dealer but every drag you take is chock full of delicious arsenic & benzene. I mean I shot speedballs dozens of times a day hoping to end it al in a glorious sleep from which I never wakel & half you lazy, hazy buggers get a slow, horrible way out, impotent, holes in the throat the type of cough that never shuts off. The warning is on every box but still I am the one who’s going to be stealing your meds while you struggle to swallow them. Don’t worry, I’ll never teach a friend to shoot. I really don’t care either way, I just can’t stand the gas-nosed, coke sniffing, self-methylating & speedballing with the one downer you never ever mix health trip. Ten years, half on the needle. Even the shittiest hard drugs are better than the best mass-manufactured bottle of beer & box of smokes. Like stats? Half of all smokers will die because they smoke. Combined between IV smack heads & speedballers I still got an extra 12%, more pleasure than you could handle without puking & dram keys to new dimensions and I don’t even want to be here tomorrow. I’ve had cigarettes, smack, ice, blow, nitrous & weed. What’ve you got? A 30 second head rush & a tiny dopamine trigger gives you a chemical pat on the head? No real rush, no right red blooming from the veins, no 5 4 3 2 1 7 the subway train hits the station. Jesus son? More like Jesus’ daddy. Not young no more. Poor cousin 18 years my senior left behind two kids after a few days against cancer. Odds are that old age is a thing of the past.

Jack Blare 2017

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alternative, grunge, independent, Lydia Lunch, music, New Music, underground

Christine IX: A Profile

Italian post punk, grunge singer Christine IX just released her first solo single and accompanying video, called Black Corolla. IX, who was born in Italy but speaks fluid english, is in the midst of recording her first solo album, which has yet to be given a formal title.

The music video for Black Corolla, which was written and edited by the singer and directed by Salvatore Zillion, has a very professional look, and shows different shots of IX in surreal environments, such as a gothic style room painted white with burning candles and strange, occult items and surgery equipment laid out on a table. as well as playing the bass guitar, lying on a bed with scarlet sheets, or in a strange room, also red with IX dressed in a deep crimson coloured Victorian era style dress and small top hat. Shots switch between IX playing bass guitar, singing on a bed, or writing a letter with an old fashioned quill and ink.

The song makes use of the quiet verse, loud chorus style invented by The Pixies and popularized by Nirvana in the early 90’s Seattle grunge movement. IX’s melodic voice leads off the song, along with bass and guitar. The song’s energy slowly builds until exploding into the chorus with heavy distortion and electric guitar, IX’s voice starting out sounding like Amy Lee’s, from the band Evanescence, then switching into a harsh, punk rock style scream, sounding like a mix of Brody Dalle of the Distillers and Live Through This era Courtney Love, from the ground breaking grunge band, Hole.

Though this is Christine IX’s first solo effort, she is no stranger to music or the music industry, having formerly fronted several projects including, Nahema ( 2003 – 2007) La Starlet Maudite, Danza Di Nervi, Storie D’amore Inventato, and Nobody’s Daughter.

Aside from her past projects, Christine IX is still involved in a number of other bands. She plays guitar, sings, writes lyrics and music and co produces the albums for Shotgun Babies. She also fronts Choke on Mirrors, a grungy rock band and does a project called Lectura Dantis, in which she performs with a loop station based on the words of the Italian poet and author of The Inferno, Dante Alighieri.

With all of these projects on the go, its amazing that Christine IX has enough free time for her solo career, but not only does she sing on Black Corolla, she also plays the guitar for it, as well as playing the piano, bass guitar, harmonica and even the xylophone. It seems as though there is very little that Christine IX can’t do if she puts her mind to it. The lyrics are written by her as well. They are evocatively poetic, and they are beautiful to read in either English or Italian.

Christine IX has released ten albums to date, beginning with the EP Destroy Your Beauty, by Shotgun Babies, which came out in 2008. Her most recently released album is the full length LP, Private Games, which hit the shelves in 2014. Now she has just released the single and video for Black Corolla, which you can listen to for free on her website, christineix.it or on her Soundcloud page. The music video is free to watch available on youtube, as well as on IX’s webpage.

With her musical talent, great songwriting style and poetic lyrics, coupled with her long history as front woman, first for Nobody’s Daughter, then for Shotgun Babies and Choke on Mirrors, it seems likely that Christine IX’s solo album will make a lot of waves when it is finally released. Her style combines undeniable sex appeal, a tough attitude, an Italian upbringing and alternative grungy sort of early 90’s Hole and Nirvana style songs, but a bit more modern sounding and more melodic but with just as much hard rock and roll bite. It seems certain that Black Corolla, and Christine IX’s first solo album, and eleventh as a musician, will attract a great deal of attention when it is finally released.

Jack Blare

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