PITCHFORK: In the years since, Love has become less a savior than a punchline, an egomaniacal eccentric who seems to invite tabloid bullshit: the incoherent twittering, the inexplicable brawls (squabbling with Lily Allen about who gets to wear a dress?), the bizarre Facebook apology to Billy Corgan. Sadly, Love’s public persona has colored her music for just about everyone– especially since her celebrity has been so pivotal (and purposeful) in the promotion of her work. Part of Love’s appeal is her bravado, and she does her savvy best to substantiate it for us. That she fails, that we cringe, or that any of us still care are all valid lenses; they were provided by Love herself. The turmoil of the past few years gave fans a reason to hope that Nobody’s Daughter might match the vulnerability of Live Through This, reviving the inside-out mania that energized Love’s best tracks. What we’ve gotten instead is a forgettable collection of fairly generic, overproduced rock songs that feel, oddly, like a put-on– despite her public meltdowns, Love remains preoccupied with posture and pose. She’s buried, hiding behind a deliberate holler and dopey choruses, compulsively over-singing without ever saying much. Is it courtney-love.jpggreedy to want Love’s wildness– all that vanity and fury and humor and trauma– to animate her music? What are we allowed to demand from Courtney Love? More than this. Nobody’s Daughter is heartbreakingly banal. MORE

BOSTON GLOBE: Here is Courtney Love just the way we like to imagine her: shattered, drugged, infected with some unnameable disease and crawling on the ground to dig her own grave. And that’s just to paraphrase the title song and opening track on “Nobody’s Daughter,’’ Hole’s fourth album. The band name is a misnomer; Love is the only original member still in the lineup. But the once-potent rocker has launched a campaign to renounce the tabloid sensation she’s become, and in that light “Nobody’s Daughter’’ is a valiant stab at reclaiming her former glory as a musical force of nature. MORE

LOS ANGELES TIMES: In some ways, “Nobody’s Daughter” is a more arresting work than Hole’s savage 1994 breakthrough, “Live Through This,” released days after Kurt Cobain’s death. Love never had a honeyed voice by any stretch, but now her ravaged growl sounds settled in. There’s a specific pleasure in hearing her coil around the words “anguish and misery,” her two old friends. And a woman this angry at age 45 still has the ability to scare the baby-men at the bar — and titillate a few too. MORE

RELATED: On the Howard Stern show yesterday, Courtney Love didn’t just reignite her fight with Billy Corgan – she also claimed that Gavin Rossdale cheated on Gwen Stefani with her. MORE



PREVIOUSLY: Being Zach Galifianakis

zach.jpgNEW YORK TIMES: Perhaps more than anyone else in the business, Galifianakis embodies the rebellion against the outmoded Comedy Club circuit — the exposed brick, the two-drink minimum, the indifferent audience, the “regular guy with an attitude” routine — which has come to be labeled the “indie comedy” movement. […] The Internet, with its steady appetite for eccentric and off-the-cuff content, has been crucial to Galifianakis’s growing prominence, and to the rise of indie comedy as a whole. “College kids these days have an appreciation for randomness — just completely bizarre stuff,” Galifianakis told me, “and they didn’t get that by going to Uncle Chuckle’s Comedy Hut.” Of all the Galifianakis clips, gags and sketches currently in Internet orbit, none have done more to cement his reputation as a leader of the comic avant-garde, curiously enough, than a series of three ads in 2008 for Absolut vodka. “This advertising firm from Sweden called me out of the blue and asked me to do an ad,” Galifianakis said. “The one request they had was to not make it look too ’80s, since Absolut is perceived as kind of an ’80s brand.” He paused there for a moment, clearly savoring the memory. “That’s what gave us the idea to make the skits a kind of homage to ‘The Golden Girls.’ ”

The resulting three sketches, made in collaboration with the absurdist comedy duo Tim and Eric (of “Awesome Show, Great Job!” part of the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming), attain levels of absurdity — and, at times, flat-out stupidity — that test the limits of belief, even in this golden age of irreverent, self-reflexive, cooler-than-thou advertising. The premise is simple: in each clip, a man named Zach — played by Galifianakis himself, in a flaming-red wig that might best be described as the love child of Bea Arthur and a tsunami — pours his similarly bewigged friends, “Tim” and “Eric,” grotesque amounts of vodka, swills it with them perfunctorily, then loses his temper for no apparent reason. The sets look hastily thrown together, the video is cable-access quality at best and the mood of each sketch progresses seemingly haphazardly from awkwardness to tension to inappropriate rage. There is nothing inherently funny in this scenario — with the possible exception of the obvious disdain its creators feel for the product they’re ostensibly selling — but the ads are both hilarious and, paradoxically, highly effective.  MORE

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