Hole lotta Hole going on…


Walking car crash though Courtney Love may be, Hole produced some great records. I kinda prefer the early stuff when Courtney Love, Eric Erlandsson and whoever else was in the band were giving Babes In Toyland a run for their money, rather than trying to outdo…well, other people.

I was really touched to see that my friend Steve, who writes the excellent Teenage Kicks blog that he had done a cheer up post dedicated to me, featuring Hole’s two Peel sessions.

So, check it out and enjoy these as well from the first Hole 7″:

Hole -‘Retard Girl.’ mp3

Hole -‘Johnnies In The Bathroom.’ mp3

Hole -‘Phonebill Song.’ mp3

This is happening without your permission


Ah…1993. It did feel like revolution was in the air, even to those of us isolated from so much, living for a glimpse into an alternative reality provided by reading NME (it used to be more radical, honest) and listening to John Peel. I read George Orwell’s Keep The Aspidistra Flying and it changed my life, making me question the politics that I’d accepted. ‘Every intelligent boy of sexiteen is a socialist’ it says. Some of us idealistic 32 year olds still try to hang onto that.

In just a couple of years bands from the ‘indie/’alternative’ spectrum would take on the charts, and it seemed like a victory until a certain lad’s mag started seeming to make it okay to be a lad (for which read lager lout, and sneering at anyone who attempted to stick up for oppressed minorities). Girl power ultimately became more synonymous with the Spice Girls, but for a while, there were many female fronted bands who would terrify the bejaysus out of everyone. That is, they pointed out that guys groping girls at gigs was not on (believe me, I wouldn’t have), and that there was still a lot of misogyny going on in the music business, and indeed in life in general. The school I was at refused to let girls wear trousers; quite why they weren’t challenging this I don’t know, and the female staff were not confronting the powers that be about it either). Looking at John Peel’s Festive Fifty for that year, the amount of female-fronted bands who gave the impression that they were going to kick a lot of backsides was quite a force to be reckoned with, and they hailed from both sides of the Atlantic: Hole (before they signed to Geffen), Voodoo Queens, P J Harvey- and Huggy Bear.

Huggy Bear are perhaps now best remembered for an episode when they caused chaos on TV show The Word. Some people seem to remember The Word as being this era-defining show, I don’t know that it was (though a few years later, a version of it was sanitised, presented as teatime entertainment and called TFI Friday. oh, come on, you KNOW I’m right). Having performed their song ‘Herjazz’ (which I’d heard on John Peel, natch, along with Cornershop), they were not amused about “a report on 2 American models who called themselves “the Barbi Twins”. Huggy Bear and their fans became upset at this and started shouting at the show’s noticeably uncomfortable presenter Terry Christian. They were violently ejected from the studio and a spokesperson for The Word later said that one of the band’s friends had “bit the face of a member of our production team.” The performance was given a Melody Maker cover story, the event being compared to the Sex Pistols’ Bill Grundy incident.” (This seems to be quoted verbatim about the internet; hence why it is in quote marks; they are not my words and I am not sure who to credit*). I missed the performance, but the fact that it happened seemed pretty radical. As did the rumour of them playing women only gigs, though it appears that they only did two, one with Bikini Kill and one with Hole. This led to discussions about whether this was discrimination, and there was a fair amount of attacking the girls on the grounds that they couldn’t play their instruments. ‘Scuse me?! Yup, this was nearly two decades after punnk, and people were still coming out with this tripe.

Alas, the promised revolution never happened. The band broke up in 1995. As to whether there wasn’t an influence going on, I beg to differ, ever so politely: Sleeper, Echobelly and Skunk Anansie may have had more commercial success over the following years, and may have been less overtly feminist, but they continued to challenge the traditionally misogynistic and sexist ideas about women just being there to look front the bands and look pretty. And Riot Grrl, as it was known, has had a far longer lasting influence than the so-called ‘New Wave of New Wave.’ **

I’d never forgotten them, though I couldn’t get my hands on the 7″ at the time. Then yesterday, a mere sixteen years later I found it (and yes, in a plastic bag, not a proper sleeve. Proper indie, kids). It still has the power:

Huggy Bear -‘Herjazz.’ mp3

…and because I think they belong with this post

Voodoo Queens -‘Supermodel Superficial.’ mp3

P.J.Harvey -‘Dress.’ mp3

Hole -‘Beautiful Son.’ mp3

Bikini Kill -‘I Like Fucking.’ mp3

Huggy Bear myspace tribute

* It is possibly Grrrls: Viva Rock Divas by Amy Raphael

** I should admit, though, that I do still have a copy of the mini-album by S*M*A*S*H

A whole lot of Hole

So, a focus on Courtney Love’s music today…

This was Hole’s first single from 1990. It comprised three tracks: ‘Retard Girl’ ‘Phonebill Song’ and ‘Johnnies In The Bathroom.’
The lineup for this single and the follow-up was:
Courtney Love – Vocals, guitar
Eric Erlandson – Guitar
Jill Emery – Bass
Caroline Rue -Drums

Hole -‘Retard Girl.’ mp3

Hole -‘Phonebill Song.’ mp3

Hole -‘Johnnies In the Bathroom.’ mp3

The single was released on Sympathy For The Record Industry.

This single, with the same lineup as above, came out in 1991. Though it was the b-side ‘Burn Black’ was the track that entered the Festive Fifty in 1991 (or Phantom FIfty, as John Peel named it, because he felt the chart was too predictable, and didn’t broadcast anything from it until 1993). It came out on the mighty Sub Pop.

Hole -‘Dicknail.’ mp3

Hole -‘Burn Black.’ mp3

This single was the only one to feature bassist Lesley Hardy. Jill Emery had left the band in 1992, while that same year drummer Patti Schemel replaced Caroline Rue. Schemel would be replaced by Samantha Maloney in 1998. This song was the last one released before Hole signed to Geffen for the albums Live Through This and Celebrity Skin.

Hole -‘Beautiful Son.’ mp3

Hole -’20 Years In the Dakota.’ mp3

Finally, as a bonus because the debut album Pretty On The Inside is not available in the UK, seemingly, here is the opening track from it:

Hole – ‘ Teenage Whore.’ mp3

Another Festive Fifty themed post thingy

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days, things have been rather busy. Anyway…how about some more Peel-related posts, eh?

The Delgados -‘American Trilogy.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.10)

Aphex Twin – Windowlicker.’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.42) (How the hell did this only get to no.42 and the Cuban Boys were no.1?! Go figure…)

Clinic -‘The Second Line.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.28)

Hole -‘Beautiful Son.’ mp3 (1993 Festive Fifty no.47)

The Fall -‘Dr. Buck’s Letter.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.3)

Melys -‘Chinese Whispers.’ mp3 (2001 Festive Fifty no.1)

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead -‘Mistakes And Regrets.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.4)

Age Of Chance -‘Kiss.’ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.2)

Calexico -‘Ballad Of Cable Hogue.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.22)

Frankie Goes To Hollywood -‘Two Tribes.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.25)

It’s funny, I felt in 2000 that I felt increasingly rmeoved from the music scene, as I failed to really love 2-step garage or nu-metal. Maybe there was much better stuff than I appreciated…