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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen years ago) link

the Jane Dark thing in the middle is really embarrassing

M Matos (M Matos), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 02:14 (eighteen 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."

uh.

so there.

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

I don't think I wanna be let in.

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

Is the stupid thing even on sale yet?

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

yeah it came out a week ago.

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

maybe even two weeks.

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

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

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

zing!

James Blount (James Blount), Tuesday, 1 July 2003 17:00 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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:

http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/music/top/documents/02974646.htm

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

haha - that's fantastic Sterling!

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

and even more liz from the voice http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0327/sinagra.php

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 (eighteen years ago) link

Still more... from LA Weekly (http://www.laweekly.com/ink/03/33/music-phair.php)

"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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen years ago) link

four years pass...

"Shane" has some nice low bass

calstars, Friday, 23 November 2007 21:12 (fourteen 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 (nine 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 (nine 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 (four 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 (four 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 (four 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 (four 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 (four 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 (four 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:

https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/41616323_224029205133832_8072503337636855808_o.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=19e3bfd962b879c9ba0a55b78a194403&oe=5BEF1D05

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.

https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/41654869_224371265099626_1656388342821945344_o.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=ecf6cfddee3ebc8cac13eab7a93f5cbb&oe=5BEE10AC

https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/41566247_224371475099605_764812999721484288_o.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=341bcac5aeaa42eaa244cec2a5001c09&oe=5C1B5C02

https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/41644184_224371268432959_3991430390844751872_o.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=bd783f30d3b361799f6c238ef83fc333&oe=5C250D7D

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

“Make America Girly Again”?

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

Cool photos

calstars, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 16:37 (three years ago) link

love the two lizes photo

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

eleven months pass...

Great new interview:

https://www.vulture.com/2019/09/liz-phair-horror-stories-in-conversation.html

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 (two years 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 (two years ago) link

yeah, she is a total badass.

☮ (peace, man), Friday, 6 September 2019 20:10 (two years 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 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

memoir out today!!

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

A new single, it's not bad:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uF-kldIIQQ

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

one year passes...

Wut

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4LcFHMjH9k

babe for the weekend (morrisp), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 06:56 (one year ago) link

why

Left, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 12:32 (one year ago) link

if i didn't hate him and his cult then i wouldn't hate this but i wouldn't like it either. at least bollywood was funny (sort of) and edgy (ditto)

Left, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 12:39 (one year ago) link

I find that kind of touching--the kind of thing you do only for yourself.

clemenza, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 13:49 (one year ago) link

I guess. most of her best and worst music has that feeling. you do you liz i'll pass in this instance

Left, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:02 (one year ago) link

First and foremost, I like the way it sounds, especially the chorus. The rest is harder to explain...I stupidly missed that the woman is Laurie Anderson (duh) until I read up on it a bit; I thought it was a fantasy about her being with Reed herself. Putting that aside, I'm moved that she's singing about these people that--it would be an exaggeration to say that nobody cares about them, I realize that, but at the very least who aren't necessarily front and centre in what the rest of the world's focused on in 2021. I can relate to that in a big way. But she doesn't care--she may even be so wrapped up in her thoughts that she thinks the rest of the world's right there with her. (I remember starting a Dylan/Warhol/Godard thread/poll on here once, very pleased with my great idea; within five posts, the message very clearly was nobody cares about your stupid idea.) And, not meaning to be cruel, I think it's fair to say that her moment or whatever has passed too. Which adds to all of that, for me.

clemenza, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:19 (one year ago) link

convincing appraisal. if i liked the tune more i could get on board with it despite any feelings about reed specifically

I think she's had at least 2 "moments" the more recent of which was maybe smaller but vindicative for her. but she definitely knows what it's like to be treated like a has-been (which was always bullshit and obviously gendered). sorry if this sounds condescending or faint-praisey but I do really appreciate her tenacity

Left, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:35 (one year ago) link

Is this a new song? I think it’s the most I’ve enjoyed her stuff since whip smart.

calstars, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:48 (one year ago) link

yeah I like it too. writing about lou reed from the perspective of an aging partner whos bored with his coolguy schtick is a good idea for a liz phair song. the video is cutesy but separated from that the song doesnt scream "cult of lou" to me

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:16 (one year ago) link

I need to listen to it again. I heard it for the first time while waking up today was was like “is this song really happening?”

“Good Side” worked for me and a lot of people found it dull, so who knows.

We’re Up All Night To Get Lochte (Raymond Cummings), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:30 (one year ago) link

writing about lou reed from the perspective of an aging partner whos bored with his coolguy schtick

I could see maybe doing this if Lou were still alive, but... seems super wtf to do it now

babe for the weekend (morrisp), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:31 (one year ago) link

i hear what youre saying but idk, it seems gentle enough imo, it doesnt come across as like a big takedown to me. maybe my gauge is off but liz phair writing from a female partners perspective to tease the rep of a canonical male rock star is not exactly a shocking break from what i expect from her.

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 16:15 (one year ago) link

I hear it as affectionate, too, even towards Lou Reed (I'd count the distancing of his death as a positive).

clemenza, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 16:18 (one year ago) link

(For the song, I mean--I'm not glad he's dead.)

clemenza, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 16:21 (one year ago) link

seems more likely that this is a song about *a* guy named Lou or someone she thinks of as like Lou Reed, and she's riffing off that idea as a private joke. e.g. Warhol and Anderson didn't overlap in the real Reed's life.

assert (MatthewK), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 19:49 (one year ago) link

What’s with the puppets, Liz

We’re Up All Night To Get Lochte (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 20:17 (one year ago) link

I found the puppets distracting. I mean it's a pleasant enough indie folk song but it's got these giant bloopy puppets.

I've liked some Lou and hated some, but this is not how I want to remember him.

I mean now I gotta go and google what he said about Warhol...

Cancel "Orangina", Please (I M Losted), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 12:15 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

hey, Soberish is really good -- did I miss the talk on a different thread? not sure if no one cares or if people are just happy to enjoy a Liz Phair album in peace for the first time ever. I especially love "In There."

swing out sister: live in new donk city (geoffreyess), Tuesday, 3 August 2021 19:46 (nine months ago) link

I haven't heard it yet, but I saw her twice in 2019, and the new songs she unveiled sounded disappointing, so I've been reluctant to try it out.

I still love her first three albums and the Girlysound demos, but after that there's only been a handful of songs that I've liked.

birdistheword, Tuesday, 3 August 2021 19:56 (nine months ago) link

It’s in my top three albums of the year so far.

I think it just didn’t get discussed here for whatever reason

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 3 August 2021 20:24 (nine months ago) link

“In There” (and to an extent “The Game”) snuck up on me, kicked my ass around the block.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 3 August 2021 20:26 (nine months ago) link

If this album has a fault it’s that the last couple songs don’t hit as hard as the rest, but that first 75% hits like a train for me.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 3 August 2021 20:27 (nine months ago) link

I'm not sure if he's reviewed it yet, but apparently Christgau "liked and understood the craftily allusive Soberish better after reading her book (Horror Stories)."

birdistheword, Wednesday, 4 August 2021 15:35 (nine months ago) link

I still need to finish that book.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Wednesday, 4 August 2021 15:38 (nine months ago) link

nine months pass...

I've been spending time with the Girly-Sound material – I've long owned the bootlegs, but never listened to them much, maybe because they felt like a hodgepodge of "early versions," some tracks that had already been released (e.g., on Juvenilia), etc. Listening to the tapes now, with somewhat fresh ears, they're hugely impressive... not only are the songs (obviously) terrific, but the way she takes bits & pieces of well-known/famous songs, and kind of reconfigures / recontextualizes them, feels like a significant aesthetic move that I'm sure has other precedents, but I can't think of them at the moment.

These tapes are really Ground Zero of her catalogue, in a way that may even seem "unfair" to her in some ways of looking at it (e.g., she was still culling from these demos many albums deep in her career - which is understandable!), but I feel like maybe they haven't been properly assessed/appreciated (by some at least, like me); in part because Guyville was such a big deal and these older recordings only trickled out after the fact? I dunno, I'm rambling...

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Thursday, 12 May 2022 16:20 (one week ago) link

I think I know what you mean. When I first heard them, I already knew her first three albums pretty well, so they came off as a rough dub of demos thrown together and that was it. Basically an inferior version of what I already enjoyed. I think that's how I approached a lot of things, including live shows - on some level, it was just a track-to-track comparison and weighing whether this version of a song was really better than that version of a song.

What's changed since then is evaluating something as its own whole entity. Springsteen on Broadway of all things made me realize this - I was highly skeptical of that endeavor, but after hearing the raves, I checked it out when I landed a cheap ticket. It was an amazing show, one of the best things Springsteen's done, and it made me completely aware of context, flow, etc. and how much all of those things mattered even with very familiar material. And that's what what happened with Phair's demos - I listened to them again as they were originally arranged, and they do work like mixtapes, where the bits and pieces and other things are part of a cohesive work. I need to give them another close listen, but those three cassettes did flow like albums.

birdistheword, Thursday, 12 May 2022 16:57 (one week ago) link

"Easy Target" (which interpolates lyrics from "Do You Love Me" and “It’s in His Kiss”), feels like the centerpiece of the whole project – it's an amazing song...

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Thursday, 12 May 2022 17:11 (one week ago) link

After cobbling together the mp3s sometime around 2010 from a few blogs I resequenced it from 3 tapes to 2 cd-length (double albums) - one of tracks later released on her studio records ("Road to Guyville"), and one of the rest, the true juvenalia ("Exiled on Girly St."), much of it excellent. Helps me a bit with the overwhelming volume of stuff to deal with I guess. The songs Liz officially released on Juvenalia like dead shark and batmobile remain among my favorite, which i find interesting, but that could well just be the "partiality to what you heard first" effect.

The sound of girlysound, minimalist and postmodern, with tape hiss and slacker attitude hiding gobs of talent later to be pissed away in lame or bizarre hifi pop stabs really fits well with a few other of the hippest elements of the lo-fi trend (pavement, sebadoh, beat happening, frogs, unrest, ween), I wonder if someone's made a good playlist of this.

mig (guess that dreams always end), Thursday, 12 May 2022 18:45 (one week ago) link

Yeah, the songs released on Juvenilia are particularly good ones – including "Easy" (which, ftr, is not the same song as "Easy Target," mentioned above).

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Thursday, 12 May 2022 19:09 (one week ago) link

The sound of girlysound, minimalist and postmodern, with tape hiss and slacker attitude hiding gobs of talent

^This is dead-on, btw... there's obviously a kindred spirit going on w/Sentridoh and a trillion other things going on in those years, but most probably not as good as those examples.

It's also interesting how several of the songs reference the Gulf War, which really situate them in a particular time

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Thursday, 12 May 2022 19:14 (one week ago) link

Some comparison probably could be made to TMBG's Dial-a-Song catalog. The earlier in their career that that stuff got fleshed out and fully recorded, the better. But certain tracks in their warbley, noisy, half-audible form were sort of inherently better than they ever could have been as clean, punchy, studio creations.

I have home cassette recordings of friends' bands from the early 2000s that still have an incredible magic to them. Something about the way the bassier end of rhythmic guitar strumming turns into a warm space-filling bath, while the high end is still able to cut through and add these notes of jangle-pop prettiness, light and longing. There must be acres of old threads on lo-fi aesthetics that would say all this better and more thoughtfully than I can.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 12 May 2022 19:41 (one week ago) link

As a side note, the tapes also have a vitality that's missing from Guyville... not to be an iconoclast or anything, but I've always felt like Guyville is sort of stiff and not-awesomely-recorded (of course, it has lots of great songs).

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Friday, 13 May 2022 23:38 (one week ago) link

Clicking around earlier, I found this "oral history" of Guyville... it's funny to me how Dan Koretzky pops up a few times, basically making fun of everyone involved (typical Drag City 'tude).

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Friday, 13 May 2022 23:44 (one week ago) link

Hopefully someday the WCSE demos will see release, too.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Saturday, 14 May 2022 04:03 (one week ago) link

i adore the sound on Guyville! but makes sense that it's not everybody's thing.

Doctor Casino, Saturday, 14 May 2022 11:45 (one week ago) link

For me, it’s mostly about the performances… I feel like wood and rice sort of let her down in some ways. The playing exists in this space between “ragged indie“ and “amateurs trying for a professional rock sound.” I feel like a different team could’ve ended up with better takes of the songs, by committing more in either of those “directions”… (but again, I know I’m nitpicking a classic).

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Saturday, 14 May 2022 16:03 (one week ago) link

xp same here.

Re: the performances, I actually love them on Exile and they feel perfect for that album in particular. Let's say that the instrumental performances sounded exactly like the Stones circa 1972, which is about as high of a standard as you can get in terms of technical proficiency. The record gains something, but I think it loses something too. I don't see it connecting on the same level - like a lot of these songs feel like they're coming from the perspective (not to be confused with autobiographical, I'm just talking narrative perspective) of a regular person and not some guitar goddess or someone who knocks you over with instrumental prowess.

birdistheword, Saturday, 14 May 2022 17:02 (one week ago) link

she also has basically an entire CD of "other" unreleased tracks from the 90s, see my post in this other thread - link should still work:

TS: Juvenilia VERSUS Whip-Smart VERSUS whitechocolatespaceegg (Or, Liz Phair, minus the baggage)

thinkmanship (sleeve), Saturday, 14 May 2022 17:39 (one week ago) link

a lot of these songs feel like they're coming from the perspective (…) of a regular person and not some guitar goddess

Ftr, I totally agree w/this… but I don’t think better drumming would have ruined the effect!

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Saturday, 14 May 2022 19:24 (one week ago) link

well I got up and put Guyville on the stereo this morning and guess what? it fucking rules.

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 14 May 2022 23:32 (one week ago) link


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