music / Columns

The Savage Animal 1.16.13 The Videography of Hole

January 16, 2013 | Posted by Mikey MiGo

Do you ever just wonder just to wonder? I have wasted hours, days, weeks, months, and potentially years of my life letting my mind wander into areas that have no relevance to anything. I’ll question anything and look for the “work” (wrestling term for “farse”) in every situation. It’s partially a deep paranoia, partially insightful interest, and partially insanity. I’m not sure if it’s the existentialist in me or the hippy in me, but it’s in me.

The other day I was thinking about the idea of “currency”. The idea of trading a cow for a horse makes conventional sense. I get why there were trades in the old days. Then someone convinced someone that shiny rocks had a value. From there people would trade bits of gold for the things they need. This evolved all the way to today when we’re geared up with cash, change, and plastic. There is a number value to things now and the bigger the number the more cows and horses you can buy. We work, earn, or get a numerical value and that translates to paper with country dignitaries on it. To take it one step farther, that numerical value we “possess” is also digitally placed into the air that we can access with a plastic little card.

I realize I just explained the very basic concept of “money”. I know you’re not stupid and I hope you’re not under the impression that I am. As “hippy” as I sound, I love business. The idea of people making a product of some sort that others want is awesome. Those who make and do should be compensated accordingly.

I just want to point out the details and really focus on how bizarre it really is. Just because we accept it and have made it a custom of our society doesn’t mean it’s not kind of crazy. I’m sure there are very legitimate roots to how and why things are the way they are. Is it for easier organization? For easier control? Easier transportation of wealth? Why didn’t basketball cards, POGs, or beanie babies become new currency? I mean we did go from cows to gold to paper to plastic. Will there someday not be any “physical wealth”?

This is the stuff that keeps me up at night.

P.S. – Can I borrow a few dollars?


The Hole Thing… Courtney Love. Just the reading that name has an effect on music fans. To most people she’s the woman who married Kurt Cobain. From there you can either think she was a bad thing or a good thing. There are those theories out there and more than a few books on the topic of “what really happened”. She has always been a controversial figure and her road to recovery has had many off ramps. There is no reason to think she’s a bad person or anything. We wouldn’t know this without firsthand experience. What we can say for sure is that she’s an interesting personality.

Outside of the controversy, Kurt Cobain relationship, and all of the hoopla Courtney Love is an artist. She has done some pretty cool acting performances and has a few talents, but in large she is a musician. I once read that she was almost the lead singer for the band “Faith No More”. How crazy would THAT have been? In 1989 she formed the band Hole. Over the years her antics and the controversy would often overshadow her musical endeavors despite the quality work she and her band have put out. Some stuff instantly come to mind and some stuff is a surprising “ah-ha” revelation of enjoyment. Today I’m going to check out the music videos…

Track: “Miss World”

Album: “Live Through This”
Year: 1994
Director: Sophie Muller

I barely remember this video, but once you see it it’s hard to forget. It starts with Courtney powdering her face in tons of cut shots. She keeps packing on the powder as she sings for the first thirty five or so seconds. Then it cuts to the band rocking out for a small enthusiastic crowd. This is apparently a beauty pageant as we see Love stumble into through the crowd where she is embraced and adored. She eventually wins, gets flowers, and cries on stage. This is all cut back and forth with the band rocking out on stage and Love’s “Miss World” pageant escapades. There are a lot of little things about this video that stand out. For instance, the clear “Cleanliness is next to godliness” words behind them are more known because of the “Zero” video by Smashing Pumpkins. It’s a pretty good music video.
Rating: 7.0

Track: “Doll Parts”

Album: “Live Through This”
Year: 1994
Director: Samuel Bayer

This is a great looking video. Samuel Bayer is a great music video director and this is another video that reflects that. The video cuts back and forth between black and white and color shots. The black and white stuff has Love sitting on an old bed in a worn out and creepy room. She sings and plays on. It cuts to a color shot of Love and the band rocking out in a performance section. In this version we see shots of Love creeping around and playing outside around flowers, I guess other versions have more doll shots. Bayer gets in great cuts, some awesome cinematography, and just a well done video. This has to be one of the best Hole videos for sure.
Rating: 7.5

Track: “Violet”

Album: “Live Through This”
Year: 1995
Director: Mark Seliger and Fred Woodward

This video reminds me of a lot of other mid-90’s videos. The imagery is pretty cool. The band performs on an old theatre stage with cool and cheap winter snow falling on them. This is all intercut with little girls on stage acting and others doing ballet dancing. This cuts back and forth until Courtney Love starts doing 1920’s burlesque poll dancing. No complains about that. As the video goes on, everything gets more aggressive and more violent. I like how this video looks. It reminds me of the old “Tonight, Tonight” video by the Smashing Pumpkins with some key grungy scratchy looks added for good measure. They went for that old timey look in the video and they accomplished it nicely.
Rating: 6.5

Track: “Softer, Softest” (Unplugged)

Album: “Live Through This”
Year: 1995
Director: Milton Lage

When I think of MTV “Unplugged” I think of like ten other performances before this one. This cut doesn’t really change that. If you’ve seen any of the MTV “Unplugged” shows then you know what to expect in this video. The band sits around in the casual atmosphere and performs “stripped down” versions of their hit songs and select randomness. In this case, Hole puts out “Softer, Softest” to promote the release. It’s a solid performance and the look of it is perfectly acceptable and good for the high bar that has been set by the bigger landmark episodes and moments of the series. Good stuff, nothing too special.
Rating: 6.0

Track: “Gold Dust Woman”

Album: “The Crow: City of Angels” Soundtrack
Year: 1996
Director: Matt Mahurin

I had never seen this video until today. I’m a little surprised I hadn’t heard it or seen it until now. Shots of the movie and themes from the movie are flashed into shots of the band rocking out. It’s a darker video and is really moody looking. I like the close ups and quick cuts and I gotta say this is probably the hottest Love has looked in any of these videos. It’s a cover of a Fleetwood Mac song and you can just tell they had fun with it. I think that translates to fun for the viewer too.
Rating: 7.0

Track: “Celebrity Skin”

Album: “Celebrity Skin”
Year: 1998
Director: Nancy Bardawil

It’s hard to believe this video is around fifteen years old now. I’m pretty sure this is Hole’s biggest hit. The video was pretty memorable because of this. It got tons of airplay and is still a surprising treat whenever I randomly hear it every year or two. There are a lot of cool parts to this video. It’s well directed and there is a lot going on. The band performs on the stage while classy women dangle from the ceiling and dancing around. There are also shots of Love and Melissa Auf der Maur lying in coffins. When reading about the video as I watched it I learned that it was actually shot in black and white and then colorized afterwards in post-production. That explains the bold look of it. Really cool idea. I can’t imagine there being a better video for this song.
Rating: 8.5

Track: “Malibu”

Album: “Celebrity Skin”
Year: 1998
Director: Paul Hunter

This video came out during the band’s upward swing so a lot of people saw it. It’s not a bad song and the video is pretty cool as well. The band plays on the beach as palm trees burn around them. In other videos, Eric Erlandson is shown in flashes but in this one he is featured a bit more. The other notable thing is the Baywatch parody with all of the lifeguards. It’s kind of a chaotic video and a lot of stuff is going on. It’s coherent and is memorable enough, but not the best.
Rating: 6.0

Track: “Awful”

Album: “Celebrity Skin”
Year: 1999
Director: Jeff Richter

I suppose every band is allowed at least one “live on tour” music videos. Jeff Richter took on the task of directing this from 1999 tours. This footage and some backstage stuff shot by Melissa Auf der Maur is cut together and synced up to the album version of the song. There are a lot of these live videos out there and it almost comes down to either it works and captures a certain energy or it doesn’t and it’s boring. It works in this case and I think is almost purely based on the editing.
Rating: 6.0

Track: “Be a Man”

Album: “Any Given Sunday” Soundtrack
Year: 2000
Director: Joseph Kahn and Joe Rey

I’m a big fan of the movie “Any Given Sunday”. I think it was a really underrated football movie and is still probably Jamie Foxx’s best acting. Sadly, that doesn’t make this song any better. This might be the worst Hole song I’ve heard and I can’t believe no one has pointed out how crazy bad it is. Love looks hot, but the video sucks too. Love has blue hair and sings, dances, and wiggles around in front of some generic football shots. It’s all mixed in with clips from the movie. It starts to rain and then Love starts getting frisky with the players. Eeek!
Rating: 4.5

Track: “Samantha”

Album: “Nobody’s Daughter”
Year: 2011
Director: Alphan Eseli

There are two main things about this video. The first is that it’s an unfinished video that was released anyway. The second thing is that it’s easily the best music video of Hole’s entire videography. It’s a beautifully shot and edited video of Courtney Love running around in a wedding dress in Istanbul, Turkey. It’s meant to be a post-apocalyptic world and gets the look over nicely in an already interesting and great location. It really looks outstanding and better than most films. It supposedly cost $250,000 to make. I hate to say it and be cliché, but this is one of those “you get what you pay for” type of videos. Very well done.
Rating: 9.0

What is YOUR favorite Hole video?


I remember first reading about “Hit and Run” awhile back. I was never a “Punk’d” fan, but over the past few years I’ve become a big fan of Dax Shepard. He was awesome in “Idocracy” and he does a damn fine job on “Parenthood”. He’s still a bit under the radar, but he’s on his way. This movie is another step forward. He wrote it, co-directed it, and stars in it. He plays a guy who has a new life after joining Witness Protection. He’s with a lovely girl, played by the always fantastic Kristen Bell, and all is well. This changes when she gets her dream job in LA. She doesn’t want to leave him so she is ready to decline the offer. He feels guilty and wants her happy so he ditches town with her, a bad ass car, and with hilarity and hijinks ensuing. The officer assigned to protect him, Tom Arnold, is his friend and has to make sure he’s safe. He chases after him, but keeps running into his own side story of funny stuff. She has an ex-boyfriend, Michael Rosenbaum, who is chasing after them too. He does some research and figures out Shepard’s character is on the run. He tells the bad guy, Bradley Cooper in a role you REALLY need to see. Cooper has blond dread locks and looks almost as ridiculous as he acts. It’s a fun character for sure. There is a few other people in the movie that I recognized of note like Joy Bryant, of “Parenthood” fame, David Koechener of everything funny in the past ten years fame, Beau Brides, Kristen Chenoweth, Sean Hayes, Jess Rowland, and a fun cameo by Jason Bateman. Movies like this are often not that fun. The title “Hit and Run” makes it sound like it’s a “Fast and Furious” type of movie, but it’s got the grit of an indie, the charm of a good rom com, and some over the top stuff that’s just funny. The characters in a movie like this are often one note and bland. That’s not the case here. Dax Shepard has a great bounce of dialog that actually reminds me a little of Kevin Smith and a little of Woody Allen. I’m a fan of the wordy introspective humor and there is plenty of that here. It’s just a smart movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It wears its heart on its sleeve and doesn’t shy away from being emotional at times. It’s not a sappy movie or anything, but there is more substance to this movie than a lower budget comedy like this would have. It’s either super artsy indie film or cheesy low rent non-classic “National Lampoon” movie. There is a very remarkable balance here and it’s going to pay off in the end. Wiki says it had a $2 million dollar budget and made over $14 million. That’s awesome. Its good credit to everyone involved and it’s one of those movies that are going to catch on in time. It’s too entertaining and good to not get noticed in the long run. Either way, I want to see more Dax movies in the future. Watch this movie and tell your friends. B+

“Worst Case Scenario” is a new take on the concept of “fantasy booking”. For years professional wrestling fans would spend endless hours of thinking up the coolest things that could happen. Why waste the energy? This only leads to high expectations. “Worst Case Scenario” flips that. Instead of looking through rose colored glasses, let’s take a bi-weekly look at the worst possible scenarios in professional wrestling. I’m not going to be malicious or anything too mean, but I will not refrain from letting my brain come up with the worst possible shit I can. Sadly, it seems the writers and producers of mainstream TV wrestling and the mainstream iPPV level indies are doing the same thing but charging us for it. And now…

“Hulk Hogan Retires From TNA!”

It’s only a matter of time before Hulk Hogan overstays his welcome in TNA. For most fans, me included, he overstayed his welcome a long time ago. He hogs up camera time with the lame assumption that people still give two shits about him. I doubt he’ll get bored because he’s making money, getting attention, and being given pretty much whatever he wants. Others will have to overshadow him and actually draw crowds before he is pushed to the backburner. TNA doesn’t seem to be gaining much momentum either way so their stuck in a “Hulk Hogan Stalemate” so to speak. Hogan and the southern WCW stink is what makes TNA hard to really take seriously. No matter how good some of the talent is, it always feels like one of those weird legend reunion shows with indie guys being featured that no one really knows or cares about. This is a shame for guys like Aries, Roode, AJ, Daniels, Joe, Abyss, and the guys who were always around and put out great performers over the years. The constant push of the former WWE and WCW people just makes their own homegrown guys look inferior and weak.

The first step to really getting things going in the right direction would be to get rid of Hulk Hogan. I’m not saying he has to be fired. He did plenty for professional wrestling and deserves a proper send off. The problem is that Hulk Hogan will never leave and if he gets any “send off” it would only inflate his ego even more. This could get messy…

Hulk Hogan has to go out on his back. He just does. It’s what wrestling demands on long time veterans is just one tradition in wrestling that should always be respected. No matter how great of a career someone has they should leave the business on the losing end of a match. It gives whoever puts them out a special “rub” that adds to their credibility, but I think it’s more than that. Allow me to get a little too transcendent for a wrestling ramble and say I think it’s also about “energy”. I just think about someone putting in so much passion and time into a career that when they lose that “energy” is then carried on by whoever put them out. It crosses the lines of different legacies and is a piece of the puzzle that is the wrestling universe. I know that sounds crazy to a lot of people, but those that get it really get it. I might not be a big fan of the guy, but I have no reason not to assume that Hogan “gets it”.

Hogan comes out on an Impact and announces that he is going to retire and finish the final chapter in his wrestling career. He is going to find a new authority to replace him. For the next few weeks he teases and speculates that a whole bunch of people could replace him. Everyone from Steve Austin to Warrior to Ted Turner to Shane McMahon is “teased” in cheap and obviously shoddy ways. It is finally revealed to be Sting. This confuses people because they already thought Sting had an authority type of role. This is TNA so it doesn’t matter. Sting and Hogan shake hands and stroke each other’s egos for his send off. At that point, all of the home grown TNA guys come out and attack! Aries, Roode, AJ, Daniels, Joe, Abyss, Storm, and the like all attack Hogan. Hogan gets fired up and says that since Sting is now the new authority figure that he wants a sixty day contract to go out on top of the mountain. Sting agrees, of course.

From this point on, the “real TNA guys” cut promos about how Hogan was stealing their spotlight, their money, their camera time, and their youth. Hogan, as a face, claims he never respected those guys and neither did TNA’s office. That’s why they brought him in, Angle, Hardy, and everyone else. He is going to leave TNA as the Champion. He has to work his way up the ladder. So every week he has a 3 to 5 minute match with a TNA guy. He beats them and jobs them out. He bumps twice each match and even wins a few by submission. He makes all of the young TNA guys look weak in the process. He finally gets to the last day of his contract and he has a big title match against, let’s say, Austin Aries. In 3 minutes, yes 3 minutes, Hogan takes Aries down with ease. He celebrates as the crowd goes mild. At this point, Sting enters to celebrate with him and attacks him! Sting cuts a promo talking about how he always hated Hogan and he’s not going to hold anyone down like he has done his entire career any more. Sting walks out as Hogan crawls to the mic. He says that since he’s still under contract until the end of the night how about they go at it one more time. Sting accepts and says it for the TNA belt. They have a 4 minute match. Sting wins after the ref gives a really quick three count. Fade out!

Hogan leaves, TNA is “buried”, and Sting carries the torch of “youth”…

That is how you make an impact!


I’m pretty much in on this Tina Fey thing. I loved her on SNL. I love 30 Rock. I enjoyed her movie work and I’m convinced she can do no wrong. In this movie we get Tina Fey playing an admissions officer at Princeton. She has a relationship with her co-worker, Michael Sheen and has a past relationship with Paul Rudd. She realizes that one of Rudd’s students may be the child she gave up for adoption. It’s a back and forth of emotion. To top all of this off, the cast also includes Lily Tomlin. Tomlin and Fey working together is like the female equivalent of Bill Murray hanging out with Will Ferrell. I’m hoping they get some good scenes together. The movie doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a laugh a minute or anything like that, but it does seem like it’ll be a smart, charming, funny, and heart felt comedy. Sometimes that’s the best combination. In Fey we trust.

That’s it for now. I can’t say I hated this as much as I thought. I was never a big Hole fan, but I wasn’t a hater. I dug a few singles and appreciated them being around. It was just never anything I latched onto. There was some cool songs and well done music videos in this round of viewing. Despite her constantly popping up in shitty news and gossip stories, there was some quality here. Next week I’m going to listen to the albums of the band OK Go. That should be fun. After that I cover talk show music performances, the videos of Yelawolf, and then the album covers of The Smashing Pumpkins. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Enjoy! Until next time… Have a Great Week!


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Mikey MiGo

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