The Shoebox of Delights – The Robster Picked Number 18
‘Nowhere’ Original Soundtrack – Various Artists


Soundtracks. I rarely buy them, in fact I own two. This one, which I didn’t buy, and Trainspotting which was a gift at Christmas. The problem with soundtracks is that you never get one that is 100% full of good tracks. You get the odd track, the odd unreleased gem, the odd hard to find song, but you wouldn’t buy the whole thing because it also contains Celine Dion, Phil Collins or Mumford and Sons.

Nowhere is no different. It contains some excellent music but it contains some utter utter shite as well. Believe me no compilation album with Marilyn Manson on it is worth buying.

Nowhere is a Gregg Araki film about the Doomed Generation or something – here is a snippet from the press stuff around the film

“A group of teenagers try to sort out their lives and emotions while bizarre experiences happen to each one, including alien abductions, bad acid trips, bisexual experiences, suicides, bizarre deaths, and a rape by a TV star. All of this happens before “the greatest party of the year”.

Now bearing in mind my favourite film of all time is Raiders of the Lost Ark followed by Back To the Future II – this isn’t my type of film but it does have a pretty good soundtrack (Marilyn Manson, 311, Coco and the Bean and Catherine Wheel withstanding)

Going off topic slightly I was once on a training course and we did this stupid ‘icebreaking’ thing where you had to name your favourite food, favourite album, favourite film and fantasy dinner party guest to a bunch of strangers. Anyway, I was sat on a table with four chaps, one I can only describe as a ‘hipster twat’ and when it was his turn to talk about his favourite film (this was after I said mine and the chap next to me, said ‘I don’t know, probably Jaws’) said this “I guess, I’m kinda leftfield, my film would be something by Russian avant garde agent provocateur Alexandr Soukurov”. That is what he said. Hope he’s reading this and if so – your beard looked crap and from the look of it your tattooist has put the Sanskrit word for ‘Knobjockey’ on your left arm.

Anyway, the soundtrack, let’s talk about the good stuff, the best track on it by far is by Chuck D ‘Generation Wrekked’ angry, shouty hip hop at its best by the guy who does it better than anyone else on the planet. There are some other gems ‘How Can You Be Sure?’ by Radiohead – which I think features on the B side on ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ but dates back to when they weren’t even called Radiohead (thanks Badgerman, for that snippet of information, he really is a walking Radiohead encyclopaedia). You get an Elastica track ‘In the City’ which I think is only available on a BBC Radio Sessions, and at just over 90 seconds, it is exactly what you expect from Elastica snotty, ferocious and bratty. There is also ‘Dicknail’ by Hole, which is them at their rawest, angriest and ultimately best. It’s a downright nasty song but its also great.

mp3 : Chuck D – Generation Wrekked
mp3 : Radiohead – How Can You Be Sure
mp3 : Elastica – In The City
mp3 : Hole – Dicknail

There are a couple of tracks which are not rare, ‘Life Is Sweet’ by the Chemical Brothers is here (given the Daft Punk remix treatment) in all its eight minute glory and ‘Trash’ by Suede – or The London Suede as the album calls them. Both are excellent – the Suede track ends the album and rather lifts the gloom from the Americanised College rock that precedes it.

You also get a few tracks by decent bands who recorded them specifically for this album – there are two of these that stand out ‘Nowhere’ by Curve, which is possibly one of the best tracks that they have ever produced. They sound sinister, angry and Toni Halliday vocal is more menacing than ever on it. The other one is ‘I Have the Moon’ by the much missed and loved Lush – and this may be the albums highpoint, a tremendously dreamy gorgeous song that is relaxing and a genuine chill down the spine moment.

mp3 : Lush – I Have The Moon

You also get a rare James track (saying that I gave up on James after ‘Whiplash’ so it might not be that rare) called ‘Thursday Treatments’ which is an instrumental track. Its bland. Really bland. They are trying to sound like Aphex Twin but end up sounding like the music I expect to be played in Japanese lifts. Seriously this is why I gave up on James. Twenty years ago I would have bought this solely for the fact it had a James track on it and would have justified its uselessness by calling it ‘Experimental’. I don’t know why but this song has angered me so much but I have just punched a cuddly toy owl.

mp3 : James – Thursday Treatments

So that is ‘Nowhere’ I am half tempted to give the film a spin now but I have just read that it has Ryan Philippe in it, so know it will be waste of time, a man that is to acting what I am to flying helicopters – bizarrely it also has Gibby Haynes from the Butthole Surfers in it, still no reason to watch it though.

That was Number 18, on the list, what’s next guys…?




I got thinking about putting a posting together about Hole the other week when I did the back-to-back pieces on Cope, McCulloch and Wylie.  I had forgotten that Courtney Love, as a teenage tearaway, had lived in Liverpool for a spell during which she became very friendly with Julian.  I believe him when he says they never fucked…

I don’t actually own all that many bits of music by Hole but then again they didn’t really release all that much material.  They formed in the late 80s but took ages to get a settled line up – the other constant member was Eric Erlandson.  The debut LP, Pretty On The Inside, was released on small indie labels in 1991 on both sides of the Atlantic and its rough and ready production combined with the lead singer’s confrontational approach to life and to performing got them plenty of attention and in very soon they were signed on a fat and lengthy contract to Geffen Records, one of the biggest labels in the world.

It took a while to get the material for the next LP together but that was completely secondary to the circus that was Courtney Love’s life….she had only gone and married the world’s biggest rock star and had his baby daughter.

But amidst the chaos surrounding Mr & Mrs Cobain,  Hole (which had once again gone through further changes with seemingly nobody capable of working with Courtney & Eric for any extended period of time) announced that their debut for a major was set for release in the spring of 1994.

On 8 April 1994, Kurt Cobain shot himself.  Four days later, the very unfortunately named Live Through This was released with an eerie cover of a beauty queen, similar in looks to Love, with mascara running down her cheeks as the result of her crying.  You couldn’t make it up……….

It was known that Cobain had worked with his wife on the LP and critics and fans alike poured over it to see if the record contained any clues to his suicide.  None were forthcoming, but what they found however, was an incredibly impressive record – one that showed Courtney Love and her band had talent to burn – with a very fine combination of rock and pop that was incredibly radio friendly.  Or to put it another way…it sounded the way that the industry had hoped Nirvana would go on the back of Nevermind when in fact they had gone much heavier on In Utero.

It took another four years for the next Hole record to be released and in the intervening period the band had lost its bass player to a drugs overdose, the lead singer had starred in a Hollywood movie for which she and received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance while the other band members did side projects.  All the while the spectre of Kurt Cobain hung over everything.

Celebrity Skin again caught folk out being very friendly rock that was soon on heavy rotation on radio stations all across the States.  Courtney had shown, as a singer-songwriter/performer that she was no one-horse pony. The album is estimated to have sold over 2 million copies worldwide, of which some 75% found homes in the USA.

On the road though, things didn’t work out well.

In the winter of 1998–99, Hole planned a tour to promote Celebrity Skin jointly headlining with Marilyn Manson, but after just nine dates they quit, partly due to the poor reception they were receiving from Manson’s fans who made up the majority of the live audiences.

For the next six months, Hole toured the world in a combination of their own headline shows or as part of festivals and then were dealt a blow in late 1999 when again those members who weren’t named Love or Erlandson quit the band.

It took another three years before the band officially broke up.  In 2010, Love announced Hole would be reforming but in reality it was just her with new backing musicians and the subsequent LP, Nobody’s Daughter, and the live shows that followed were a pale imitation of the goddess who had conquered all in the mid 90s.

Here’s some of the great singles from that era:-

mp3 : Hole – Miss World
mp3 : Hole – Violet
mp3 : Hole – Doll Parts
mp3 : Hole – Celebrity Skin
mp3 : Hole – Malibu