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The Horror and the Humor in Liz Phair's 'Horror Stories'

In her music industry memoir, Horror Stories, Liz Phair has a knack for imbuing the ordinary with a weighty and relatable significance.

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The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '90s - Part 2 (80 - 61)

The second part of our examination of the 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '90s includes Pavement, Suzanne Vega, Morrissey, Dinosaur Jr., and more.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair - "Strange Loop"

By the time the unexpectedly bright “Strange Loop” begins, and our Guyville journey ostensibly comes to its close, we have been so immersed in the quirks, characters, and corners of this fictitious, conceptual land that Phair’s final act is to catch us off guard. If Exile in Guyville was a thriller, “Loop” would be its masterful twist ending.

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Strange Loops: Liz Phair - "Stratford-on-Guy"

Guyville’s penultimate track reinforces the acting, knowing contradiction that makes Liz Phair’s vision as a storyteller so unique, its memorable chorus succinctly encapsulating the album’s stresses, disappointments and grit without redundancy.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair – "Johnny Sunshine" and "Gunshy"

Exile in Guyville wraps up its "domestic nightmare" trope with “Johnny Sunshine” and “Gunshy”, back-to-back cautionary tales that recall and extend the album’s by now familiar themes of neglect, oppression, and destruction—both physical and emotional—within a coupling

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair - "Flower"

“Flower” is sarcastic, silly, salacious, and solidary -- a fine reminder of what Liz Phair and Exile in Guyville offers its female listeners: the permission, if even for just a hair over two minutes, to tap into and vocalize baser instincts without the threat of stigma and with the security that you’re never doing so alone.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair – "Shatter"

“Shatter”, the 13th song on Exile in Guyville, is its most cinematic in scope, providing the kind of tonal encompassment requisite of any great film score.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair - "Divorce Song"

The next entry in the “domestic nightmare” branch of Liz Phair’s catalog, “Divorce Song” is a testament to Phair’s gifts as a storyteller and keen observer of human behaviors, emotions, and the delicate imbalances in male and female perception that can send a once thriving relationship entirely off-course.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair – "Girls! Girls! Girls!"

Musically, “Girls! Girls! Girls!” is a taut, stretched rubberband of a song that comes so close to snapping but never does -- a kind of sonic blue-balling -- refusing to offer any sense of release as Phair expertly weaponizes her sexuality.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair – "Fuck and Run"

This special edition of Between the Grooves celebrates and examines the classic “Fuck and Run” by inviting a panel of women introduced to the song and its creator during the very period Liz Phair is singing about, navigating the rocky terrain of romantic relationships, self-respect, and everything in between.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair – "Mesmerizing"

With “Mesmerizing”, something’s changed in Guyville -- and what better way to prove that than to show us all the ways nothing has changed at all?

Music

The Top 5 'Girly Sound' Tracks from Liz Phair

In anticipation and celebration of Exile in Guyville’s 20th anniversary, Sound Affects shares its picks for the top five Girly Sound tracks, the record that formed the blueprint for Exile and later portions of Liz Phair's output.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair – "Canary"

“Canary”, the eighth track on Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville, and in many ways the album’s most significant thematic and tonal turning point, makes a strong case for why a musician -- especially one with as sharp a gift for word play as Phair -- need always publicly publish her official lyrics.

Joe Vallese
Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair – "Soap Star Joe" / "Explain It to Me"

If we’re to properly consider “Explain It to Me”, one of the most beloved tracks on Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville, we must put it into relationship with its preceding number, “Soap Star Joe”, an oft-forgotten, discordant ditty that has all the charm and seriousness of a spaghetti western.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair – "Never Said"

It’s only fitting then that “Never Said”, the lead single from Exile in Guyville and the track ostensibly chosen to introduce Liz Phair to the world, would be a song where she repeatedly, defensively, and sometimes unconvincingly swears that she “never said nothing”.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair - “Dance of the Seven Veils”

From knocking indie music scene bad boys, to riffing on the tales of Salome and John the Baptist, to re-appropriating the most taboo of anatomical vulgarities, “Dance of the Seven Veils” is a testament to the cunning complexities of Liz Phair’s composer mind.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair – "Help Me Mary"/ "Glory"

This week's installment of Between the Grooves' journey to Guyville takes a deeper look at the brilliant sequencing of "Help Me Mary" and "Glory", the former's uncommon, spite-work prayer segueing masterfully into the spiritual and sexual awakening of the latter.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair – "6'1""

“6’1””, the rollicking first chapter in the Exile in Guyville odyssey, thrums with cutting wit and palpable angst—the perfect introduction to Liz Phair’s unique brand of musical storytelling.

Music

Strange Loops: Liz Phair's 'Exile in Guyville'

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Exile in Guyville, Sound Affects inaugurates a new Between the Grooves series that examines the indie rock landmark musically, as well as its author's own changing relationship with the album over the years.

Music

15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here we've compiled a list of 15 albums that are often times overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.

Music

The Top 10 Most Notable Career Suicide Albums

Career suicide albums fall into two camps: Those that were released ahead of their time, and those that set new standards in awful. The best thing that could be said about the later category is that these albums are oftentimes just as fascinating as an artist’s best work.

Music

Liz Phair: Funstyle

Breaking out from the more structured (ok, downright rigid) pop of her past two albums, Liz Phair raps, chants, and bites back on her best effort since the '90s.

Reviews

'Stones In Exile': An Autobiographical Rock 'n' Roll Bible

By exiling themselves to small-town America's "Main Street", the Rolling Stones began serving up a rich, steamy gumbo of sounds they certainly didn't invent, but undeniably put their stamp upon.

Music

Divorce Song: Guyville's Moment of Truth

How long does it take to document a relationship's implosion? If you're Liz Phair, it only takes three minutes.

Music

Where Are the Ladies at on the Best of the Decade Charts?

For a decade that prided itself for breaking down musical barriers, there is a noticeable lack of female presence on this decade's most highly-regarded albums.

Music

Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville

Liz Phair's smart, daring, vulnerable, sexy, iconic debut album of DIY indie rock and next-gen feminism, Exile in Guyville, is remastered and appended with a few mediocre bonus tracks and a mixed-bag DVD documentary.

Reviews

Liz Phair

The only way to have approached this show was in the exact manner that Liz Phair delivered it; a detached celebration of an album that leaves its indelible mark on those who listen, regardless of time, or criticism, or who Liz Phair was then, is now, or will be in 15 more years.

Rory O'Connor
Music

Liz Phair: Somebody's Miracle

Liz returns from her experiment in mainstream pop with another mainstream pop record. She's as catchy and as banal as ever.

David Bernard
Reviews

Liz Phair

Stephen Rauch
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