hungry hearted

serving up a healthy portion of pop culture commentary, random infatuations, and introspective ramblings

'Exile in Guyville' Reissue

Twelve years ago THIS PERFORMANCE by Liz Phair on SQUiRT TV changed my life. I was fourteen and yet to experience any non-commercialized female role models, other than my mother. I was 100% intrigued by her storytelling approach, which contrasted with mainstream female artists' use of sexuality. She took the drivers seat without hesitation or apologies. I was in awe. Within days I obtained her Girlysounds demo recordings and Exile in Guyville from an older friend's copious tape collection. From there launched my interest in Riot Grrl, Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, and my eventual catastrophic disappointment with Phair's 2003 self-titled album, which all longtime admirers regard as a total sellout.

Still, Phair has remained one of my favorite female artists for the impression she left upon me at such a young age and her initial give'em hell honesty in songs about love, heartbreak, sex and the misadventures of life. Her lyrics are laced with sexual explicitness and emotional detachment uncharacteristic of a woman. All these years later, that crude perspective continues to provide an empowering reality check. Exile in Guyville remains relative for it's ability to speak truth and provide a necessary female voice in a culture so obsessed with sugar-coated fem-bots.

Obviously I'm excited for ATO's reissue of Exile, which will be released on June 24th with unreleased tracks and an accompanying DVD inwhich Phair interviews some of Wicker Park, Chicago's early '90s icon figures, including John Cusack.

THANK YOU to ThisRecording for their track-by-track review of Exile accompanied by MP3s (linked below). Those guys really have their finger to the pulse. I'm a big fan.

If anyone has the Girlysounds demo recording, help a girl out. I lost mine at some point in college.


This Recording: In Which Entertainers May Bring Flowers

Pitchfork: Liz Phair Reissues Exile in Guyville