Liz Phair Liz Fare Liz Fair

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Heavens! You don't even know who Liz Phair is ;)

James Blount (James Blount), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 00:43 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm with xgau pretty much except for "H.W.C." Call me old-fashioned.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 00:59 (seventeen years ago) link

This has officially been the shortest-ever arc for me being tired of hearing about a record -- it's only been five days, including a weekend during which I mostly just organized my apartment.

I like the snappy Kahne quote. I like the reminder that "Guyville" was an implied dig at a lot of the people who embraced it. I'm still unable to figure out why sometimes Christgau seems laid-back and enjoy-the-ride about stuff like this but just as often seems crotchety and "why bother," but I'm starting to suspect it's the extramusical criterion of whether the artists pose as if they're trying to impress you or pleasure you. I'm also starting to wonder whether some people are drawing some (admittedly valid) enjoyment from this album as a Samson-style temple-collapsing of indie, and idea that's reinforced by "H.W.C." -- she sounds sarcastic, see. And while some people have read that as being sarcastic about beauty magazines, I'm not so sure, since having problems with beauty mags would be quite out of character for Liz. I don't know if it's there or not, and I'm not sure it's the best way to enjoy this album (although if you can find more ways to enjoy it, by all means) but I have this possibly-unfounded suspicion that some people are taking it as a snotty anti-indie dare, a knowing "damn straight that sounds vacuous" and "hahaha yes I am singing about cum over the least sexy strumalong ever put to Pro-Tools by anyone not named Boone or Ganfunkel," and ... Samon's arms on the temple walls, etc. I'm not sure that's a good way of looking at it, though. I need to ask Liz.

nabisco (nabisco), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 01:09 (seventeen years ago) link

Because, you know, clearly this album was the result of Liz reading the Avril threads on ILM and being like "yes, these pro-Avril people are right, I shall endeavor to make an album based on these principles, while putting out of mind the possibility that I may not be as good at this as I was at the stuff I was doing before." Which, by the way, I understand, even just from tinkering with bedroomy things: I was much, much better at writing indie pop songs than the stuff I try doing now, but then I want to be doing the stuff I'm doing now, so it seems pointless to stay put. And despite all the quotable quotes about how Liz shelved the unpremeditated record she did, I am all for conferring credibility on the idea that maybe just maybe she decided she really did want to see if she could connect with someone else, and maybe thought that was a worthwhile project even if she didn't turn out to be as good at it as she was at what she was doing before. That's, theoretically, quite the opposite of a sell-out, but unfortunately it doesn't make the music much more than okay / pretty good / occasional winner / mostly whatever.

nabisco (nabisco), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 01:17 (seventeen years ago) link

the Jane Dark thing in the middle is really embarrassing

M Matos (M Matos), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 02:14 (seventeen years ago) link

only if yr in the "know" matos.

anyway i was playing this today and my friend says "is that liz phair? i like liz phair! weird, i read something in the phoenix (boston weekly) about how she changed her sound and her voice was all different. it still sounds like her." the track playing was rock me. later h.w.c. came on and he was all "man liz phair has great lyrics."


so there.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 04:26 (seventeen years ago) link

the Jane Dark thing in the middle is really embarrassing

You read that? I stopped after one sentence.

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 04:43 (seventeen years ago) link

the Jane Dark injoke is long past funny (if ever it were)

James Blount (James Blount), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 05:25 (seventeen years ago) link

I wasn't aware that it was an injoke. It's just terrible.

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 05:28 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't think I wanna be let in.

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 14:28 (seventeen years ago) link

it's embarrassing on its own terms, never mind any inside know

M Matos (M Matos), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 15:43 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm so thoroughly sick of talking and reading about Liz Phair. I just had to say that.

Jeanne Fury (Jeanne Fury), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 16:02 (seventeen years ago) link

This has officially been the shortest-ever arc for me being tired of hearing about a record -- it's only been five days, including a weekend during which I mostly just organized my apartment.

Wordy mcword word. I can't believe the amount of attention this album has generated -- I guess in that sense it has already been a success for Liz, because I think in just one week it has generated more press than the last two albums combined.

Nicole (Nicole), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 16:23 (seventeen years ago) link

Is the stupid thing even on sale yet?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 16:46 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah it came out a week ago.

teeny (teeny), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 16:47 (seventeen years ago) link

maybe even two weeks.

teeny (teeny), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 16:48 (seventeen years ago) link

it's not even in Billboard's top 100!

M Matos (M Matos), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 16:49 (seventeen years ago) link


James Blount (James Blount), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 17:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Personally, I'm sick of talking about all the meta bullshit and who-did-what. But I'm totally down for taking the songs at face value and talking to people who think she sounds like a smarter, older Michelle Branch.

Nabisco's posts are pretty on point.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 17:04 (seventeen years ago) link

So could someone please just honestly tell me what this album sounds like? From what I've been able to gather, it's basically Avril Lavigne minus the infinite longing of a record company trying their damnedest to tap into a demographic (and yes, I know, that's basically all Avril is). Most people are too busy screaming sellout to just come out and say if it's good or not.

David Allen, Tuesday, 1 July 2003 17:31 (seventeen years ago) link

see Nabisco's posts upthread, David, among thousands of others on this and other LP-oriented threads

M Matos (M Matos), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 17:52 (seventeen years ago) link

okay so everyone is bored w/ liz phair.

but this jewel article gave me the most severe case of "what the fuck/culture shock" in ages:

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 18:06 (seventeen years ago) link

she became a folk-pop icon on the strength of her big voice and well-endowed melodies. Her triumph was one of talent over artifice, regardless of the pretentious aftertaste it may have left in some mouths.


People really took her seriously, ever?

Nicole (Nicole), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 18:30 (seventeen years ago) link

haha that is why the article is so great! Sean Richardson produces some of the most insane music articles ever. I especially love "the driving funk of Madonna's 'Material Girl'".

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 18:38 (seventeen years ago) link

haha - that's fantastic Sterling!

James Blount (James Blount), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 18:41 (seventeen years ago) link

she became a folk-pop icon on the strength of her big voice and well-endowed melodies.

this is my favorite line. "well-endowed melodies"?

Kingfish (Kingfish), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 19:10 (seventeen years ago) link

this is also disturbing:
New-wave junkies that they are, the band are a natural fit for the Joe Jackson classic "Is She Really Going Out with Him?", which they perform as a reverent cover with a little turntable scratching thrown in for good measure.

does anybody else ever feel like we're bit a few, trapped among the podpeople and mouthbreathers of this world? Growing up in the Midwest makes you think this a lot.

Kingfish (Kingfish), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 19:20 (seventeen years ago) link

"Sugar Ray’s megapop move is less surprising than Jewel’s: their name has been synonymous with summer fun for years.
She’s wearing flashy summer colors on the album cover, and the title is printed in a way that makes it look like a fashion catalogue.
She says, 'Hey babe, talk a walk on the wild side...'"

daria g (daria g), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 19:44 (seventeen years ago) link

what planet is that piece from? and how do we buy tickets?

M Matos (M Matos), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 19:59 (seventeen years ago) link

and even more liz from the voice

this honestly has gotten out of hand. how much ink and discussion time has been devoted to this album now? actually really curious to hear it now, will have to see if i can find anything online.

H (Heruy), Wednesday, 2 July 2003 07:39 (seventeen years ago) link

Still more... from LA Weekly (

"the simple fact that the album is good — solid, worthy pop. There are great songs, good ones, some clunkers — which could just as easily be said about the White Stripes record" -- Hazel Dawn Dumpert


Maybe it's just me, but that's quite a stretch as an analogy. For one thing, there's a great song on Liz Phair, let alone multiple ones?

I don't really care for the album. Far too polished, not particularly clever. Sure there's a couple lines here and there, but a pretty weak effort. I don't think there's really this indie swell of disappointment, honestly. I think editors simply see this as a way to address the pop-commodification business, which is only somewhat related to music (as opposed to the right look and sound).

What bugs me most is the apologists who suggest this album is a rebellious answer to indie-dom. Right. She admits she made a record "designed to work for a major label." Great. She wants to make some money. Having witnessed past attempts at this, hardly seems likely to succeed, however much press she gets. It just seems a bad fit to me, so put me down with the "polished the quirk right out of her resulting in blandness" line. But the whole "sellout" thing was played out 14 years ago. She has a right to try to make as much money as she can. I don't have her house payment. I just think a lot of people feel this is a HORRIBLE miscalculation. she probably loses a good bunch of fans who won't buy another Phair album. She better sell a lot to those ADD Avril fans....

Chris Parker, Tuesday, 8 July 2003 16:11 (seventeen years ago) link

I've been busy, but who has enough free time to read all the posts on all the Liz Phair threads? (wait, don't answer). But I've heard the album a few times, and while it sounded producty at first, I'm liking it a lot now. Even, or especially, "HWC". I'll leave the debates (debates! I mean I'm a geek too but come on) to the denizens of guyville, where I only keep a summer home.

Sean (Sean), Tuesday, 8 July 2003 19:08 (seventeen years ago) link

Actually debates are more than ok, I'll clarify by saying that for me, Phair is an artist, and Liz Phair is an album, whose talent and/or pleasure level are so moderate that I can't imagine getting very worked up about her. Maybe it's because my taste in sexy rock stars runs in a little different direction.

Sean (Sean), Tuesday, 8 July 2003 19:15 (seventeen years ago) link

four years pass...

"Shane" has some nice low bass

calstars, Friday, 23 November 2007 21:12 (twelve years ago) link

four years pass...

I suppose she is talented, but she is a privileged sell-out who feels rejected by "snobbery". As if 90% of the music buying public gives a shit about her opinion of "indie".

Don't rate her that much. She can't sing at all for starters.

classic mount cleaners cold open on this revive

― call all destroyer, Wednesday, July 18, 2012 1:25 PM (3 months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Victory Goon (some dude), Monday, 29 October 2012 15:32 (seven years ago) link

Okay that was mean, sorry. I don't hate her but with all of the good stuff out these days I'm not in the mood.

whew glad we settled that

no, Mount Cleaners, please go on, 90% of ILM gives a shit about your opinion of "indie".

Victory Goon (some dude), Monday, 29 October 2012 16:48 (seven years ago) link

Sure I think she's talented. She has an art background. So are a lot of people from the Midwest. First album was pretty good, second was okay...then she just got derivative.

I don't give an ass crack who disagrees. Local college DJ plays her all the time like she's god's gift to cool. She didn't invent "cool".

five years pass...

The first time I flew into Chicago, about a year or so ago, I couldn't help but think of this song.

The Harsh Tutelage of Michael McDonald (Raymond Cummings), Saturday, 19 May 2018 22:53 (two years ago) link

The "Divorce Song" Song Exploder was really good, it's been a long time since I listened to Exile but I never noticed how thin it sounds (in terms of bass/drum presence).

She's playing in town the night before my birthday, I can't decide if I want to get tickets. Zero idea how good she is live.

louise ck (milo z), Saturday, 19 May 2018 23:34 (two years ago) link

her tour has been selling out so you may be out of luck regardless

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Sunday, 20 May 2018 00:12 (two years ago) link

I bought the VIP ticket package for her Cleveland show and I am freakin STOKED.

THERE IS NO PHIL D. THERE IS ONLY LIZ (Phil D.), Sunday, 20 May 2018 00:52 (two years ago) link

sold out in 2 minutes here

we used to get our kicks reading surfing MAGAzines (sic), Sunday, 20 May 2018 07:18 (two years ago) link

Got tix for Nashville in October. I've seen her before but my wife hasn't and she is v excited to put it mildly.

Got regular tickets for Dallas, VIP was too holyshit expensive for me (and a meet and greet seems weird)

louise ck (milo z), Sunday, 20 May 2018 17:01 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

Went to the Cleveland show last night, it was frigging awesome. I feel like a big gross Amazon next to her:

Her band is super-tight and the set list was great. (Among the songs I remember: Flower, Supernova, 6'1", Never Said, Johnny Feelgood, Cinco de Mayo, Polyester Bride, Stratford-on-Guy, Mesmerizing, Blood Keeper, Help Me Mary, Extraordinary, Why Can't I and a new song called The Game.) After being offstage for all of two minutes at the end of the set, she came back out and did a two-song encore of Fuck and Run & Divorce Song that brought the house down.

Plinka Trinka Banga Tink (Eliza D.), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 16:25 (one year ago) link

“Make America Girly Again”?

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 16:26 (one year ago) link

Cool photos

calstars, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 16:37 (one year ago) link

love the two lizes photo

princess of hell (BradNelson), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 16:39 (one year ago) link

excellent! I'm going to see her in... two weeks!

com rad erry red flag (f. hazel), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 19:24 (one year ago) link

Waited too long and DC show is sold out. Oh well, saw her a long while ago once.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 13 September 2018 14:00 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

Saw her play last night, and after a shitty day/week/month/year I'm glad I didn't just stay home. It was a really good show. Her voice is fantastic! I only really know Exile and Whip-Smart (songs from which comprised well more than half the set, yay), but the newer stuff sounded pretty good... she should get a lap steel guitar and do a country album, I think it would work really well.

com rad erry red flag (f. hazel), Friday, 28 September 2018 16:16 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...

Great new interview:

To be my age now, 52, and see a huge music community of women that didn’t exist when I was coming up is the best fucking thing. If I meant something to them, they mean a hell of a lot to me. It’s why I want to get back out there. My “Liz Phair” now are these young women. They give me motivation, excitement, a sense of safety, and inspiration. Every day I follow a new female artist on Twitter, so I have more of that feeling I was so hungry for back then. Girlville is here.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 6 September 2019 18:00 (ten months ago) link

super good interview, i appreciated so many quotes that i got sick of c/p'ing them
a must-read if you have liked her music

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 6 September 2019 20:09 (ten months ago) link

yeah, she is a total badass.

☮ (peace, man), Friday, 6 September 2019 20:10 (ten months ago) link

and also not! she is a complex person. she is otm about so much.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 6 September 2019 20:13 (ten months ago) link

one month passes...

memoir out today!!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 8 October 2019 16:38 (nine months ago) link

A new single, it's not bad:

drunk on hot toddies (morrisp), Monday, 14 October 2019 20:01 (nine months ago) link

I heard that song is a second-by-second response to Led Zeppelin's "All of My Love."

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 14 October 2019 21:25 (nine months ago) link

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