Two early-30s New York Magazine contributing editors, two strikingly similar reviews of 'Dirty Blonde' — one in the mag, one in this weekend's NYT Book Review.
First, the confession of fandom:
Ariel Levy: "For this I love Courtney Love. Oh that's right, I sometimes think when I hear her, her music is actually really different, and really good."
Emily Nussbaum: "Her 1994 album "Live Through This" was the first rock I'd ever heard that really focused on women, with lyrics about breast-feeding and rape and competition, but done with humor and a nutsy aggression rare among female performers. I listened to it about 50 times."
But what's Love's big failing?
Levy: "Courtney Love the exhibitionist is so insistent upon upstaging Courtney Love the artist."
Nussbaum: "Self-indulgent isn't a strong enough word."
Levy: "a list of her goals from early adulthood: 'Make LP, Achieve LA visibility, 125 Toned Pounds—Heal, Cash flow very good—loose'"
Nussbaum: "There's a 1991 set of goals: 'achieve L.A. visibility,' '125 toned pounds,' 'write 3-4 new songs'"
More notable quotables?
Levy: "An altruistic urge that comes from the same part of Love that wrote (as a young woman already in Hole), 'I want to help the ugly, the disavowed, the disowned, the terminal'"
Nussbaum: "at least her heart is in the right place, as with her fevered pledge to help 'the ugly the disavowed the disowned the terminal'"
Tough-loving Love ending?
Levy: "But what would be really thrilling is to see her defy the feminine convention of self-loathing."
Nussbaum: "The slot Courtney Love filled nearly 20 years ago — the big-mouth punk lunatic feminist rocker, the bad girl as role model — is still open. But it's nice to know the original candidate hasn't stopped auditioning."
It kinda sounds like these two riot grrrls have a lot in common. Come on, ladies, kiss and make up! There's enough cake to go around.