The ’90s were a simpler, grungier time where a riot grrl could find love with a Beastie Boy and where the hottest thing a woman could do was sling on a guitar and sing about her feelings. The 10 couples on this list not only made music that defined an era, but their stories defined our early romantic fantasies and gave us intense cautionary tales.
There’s a whole subgenre* of music wherein sensitive, acoustic guitar-strumming artists try to flip the script by taking the edge off hardcore hip-hop songs (think Dynamite Hack‘s “Boyz In The Hood”, Ben Folds‘ “Bitches Ain’t S***”) by adding an element of ironic humor to their interpretations. Well, no one has ever accused Courtney Love of being anything remotely approaching sensitive, which is why we have zero issues with the acoustic cover of Jay-Z‘s “99 Problems” that she performed at a Sundance Film Festival afterparty over the weekend.
Hova’s original, Rick Rubin-produced version of “99 Problems” is alternately defiant and hilarious, but Courtney Love ups the emotional stakes significantly by stripping any trace of humor from the song. She infuses lines like “But ain’t nothing sweet ’bout how I hold my gun” with a layer of emotional instability that turns the song from a riotous party anthem into something significantly more haunting and, along the way, reminds us how much the music world misses the enigmatic star.
*A genre which, frankly, we grew tired of as soon as it sprouted up.
Courtney Love, “99 Problems” [The Awl]
Last night Paul McCartney and the surviving members of Nirvana took to the Madison Square Garden stage together to perform a new song they wrote together called “Cut Me Some Slack,” all of which was unthinkable before yesterday when a rogue report suggesting that the former Beatle had been tapped to be the new Kurt Cobain showed up in The Sun. And so of the many cool things that went down at last night’s 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief — Kanye’s skit, included — that this “reunion” even happened is far and away the biggest and the most surprising news to come out of the evening.
This, though, is less surprising: TMZ reports that Courtney Love was “not amused” by this so-called “Nirvana Reunion,” and was particularly nonplussed by McCartney’s involvement (which seems to have flared some sort of personal qualm, because she apparently also said: “Look, if John were alive it would be cool.”) Love tends to be eager for attention, and so to nobody’s great shock she picked up when she saw TMZ on the caller ID. She is also protective of her late husband’s legacy, and so once again to nobody’s great surprised, she’s understandably a bit peeved by all this “reunion talk.”
You’re forgiven if you’re feeling a little bit of Nirvana overkill of late, because we’ve been dealing with those same issues in the wake of Nevermind‘s 20th anniversary. However, Urge Overkill‘s Eddie “King” Roeser just shared an incredible story on the band’s official website about the handful of dates back in 1991 when his band opened for Nirvana just as they were beginning to break out in popularity, so we figured it was worth sharing with you. In his blog post, Roeser talks of how, over the course of one week, Kurt, Dave and Krist went from playing a “flat” show in Cleveland to “freaking out” because of the sudden onslaught of “meatheads” that started attending their shows. Roeser describes these gigs as being “easily among the greatest rock shows I have or will ever see,” but the bands ultimately split ways in Kansas. As Roeser tells it…
“Both bands drove through Stull, Kansas, as they wanted to partake of the legendary haunted crossroads celebrated by our song of the same name (we had just released the Stull EP). It was a warm autumn day and Cobain sat down against the huge oak tree by the church and joked ‘If there is a Satan, I want him to come and get me.’ No sh*t, that?s what he said.
Next time I saw him he had married Courtney Love.”
It’s tough to write a kicker that will top Roeser’s slam, so we’ll just leave well enough alone.
Remember the naked baby on the cover of Nirvana‘s Nevermind? You know, the one who was swimming in hot pursuit of the almighty dollar? Well, turns out that little baby isn’t a baby anymore. The Nirvana baby’s real name is Spencer Elden, and he’s a 20-year-old student at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California (and, if you haven’t put two and two together, he’s the guy in the picture above). He did an interview with CNN on the occasion of Nevermind‘s 20th anniversary, where he revealed a startling fact: Neither he nor his parents have ever received a single dime in royalties! C’mon Courtney Love, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, toss the kid a few sheckels and make it right. After all, he’s got student loans to pay off!
The Video Music Awards are a celebration of the best music video work that musicians and technical personnel have to offer. They’re also a live event attended by more than a few outsized personalities, all interacting with each other in close proximity. Part of what makes the event so exciting to us is the tension that proximity creates. Sometimes, though, it boils over past professional rivalry into personal beef.
With that in mind, here is a look back at the ten most memorable VMA fights. Will anyone get into it this year? (Pitbull and Lindsay Lohan?) We’ll be tuning in to MTV on Sunday at 9 p.m. to find out.
[Images: Getty Images]
As we near the end of our celebration of MTV’s 30 birthday, we figured it would be apropos to look back at thirty of the moments that defined the channel. Now, we easily could’ve listed 30,000 reasons why we love our MTV, but we’ll just have to wait until MTV’s 30,000th birthday to publish that list. For now, enjoy this cornucopia of memorable reality shows, groundbreaking music videos, hilarious interviews, jaw-dropping moments of violence, and celebrity beef.
30) Kurt Loder Prevents A Full-On Brawl Between Madonna and Courtney Love
The scene: The 1995 Video Music Awards. During a post-show interview with the unflappable Kurt Loder, Madonna gets pelted with a compact thrown by the Queen of Grunge, Courtney Love. (Heroin-fueled) hilarity and awkwardness ensues.
29) “Paint The Mutha Pink”
This memorable promo for a 1984 MTV contest was pegged to the release of John Cougar Mellencamp’s album, Uh Huh, which featured the eighties heartland anthem “Pink Houses.” The grand prize winner received a house in Bloomington, Indiana (Mellencamp’s hometown), which came with a special paint job: Pink.
28) Totally Pauly
Hey buhhh-deeee, don’t go weezin’ all the juice! After landing a gig as a VJ in 1989, Pauly Shore went from being an unknown stand-up to a major motion picture star inside of two years.