San Francisco native Courtney Love has understandably mixed emotions about playing her home city.
"San Francisco is a really complicated place to go back to," says the rock singer, who headlines the Independent on Thursday.
"I kind of get physically ill if I'm there for too long, like you do in Vegas. But it's nice for a day or two — and it's fun to play," she said in a recent phone interview.
Revisiting certain tracks also proves difficult for the former Hole frontwoman, which keeps her set list unpredictable.
"It varies by my mood," she says. "If I don't wanna sing freakin' 'Doll Parts' or 'Celebrity Skin,' then I'm not singing 'Doll Parts' or 'Celebrity Skin.' But I usually throw in a couple of these because it makes people happy. I love playing 'Malibu,' because it makes me feel good on any given night. But on other nights, songs like 'Doll Parts,' I'm just not feeling it."
A new solo album — following Hole's 2010 "Nobody's Daughter" and the solo 2004 "America's Sweetheart" — is coming next year. But Love won't be performing any new material.
"What sucks is that we can't play the new songs until it's released," Love says. "So it's a tertiary tour of small venues. You wanna see me rock, you miss me a little ... and I'm OK with it, because I just want to tour, and idle hands are the devil's workshop. But it still could be fun, and at least it'll get me out of the house."
Before she ever went on tour, married Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, and released Hole's two platinum-selling albums "Live Through This" (1994) and "Celebrity Skin" (1998), Love was just another trustafarian: studying at San Francisco State University and San Francisco Art Institute, and taking part in musical projects, including briefly fronting the band Faith No More.
"I was such a kid and I just did a lot of drugs and skated a lot," she says. "I remember when everyone that lived in San Francisco was either gay or alternative or f***ed up in some cool way."
She recalled squatting at 44 Hayes St. and then renting a "really big" and "beautiful" pad on Divisadero Street, which she only secured after calling her trustee for money for a "modeling portfolio." Love made special note of the huge sign out front that read "Drugs," the only remaining vestige of its drugstore past.
"Oh, the whole landscape must be so different," she says. "I can't even envision it with tech people. San Francisco was tight with 'Don't f*** with our quaintness.' San Francisco always had such an attitude about itself. In its way it's a superior city, and in another way it thinks it's a superior city. It's a weird confluence of stuff, but you know, it's f***ing where I'm from."
IF YOU GOCourtney Love
Where: Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Contact: (415) 771-1421, www.theindependentsf.com