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Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville (1993)

November 23, 2016


Unbelievable USA logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

USA Artists (so far): Aimee Mann, Marty Robbins, D’Angelo, The Modern Lovers, Bruce Springsteen, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, Steely Dan, Grant Lee Buffalo, 2Pac, Harry Nilsson, Linkin Park, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Randy Newman, The Monkees, Liz Phair


[Album 495/1001]

“That woman made brazen overtures
With a gilt-edged guarantee
She had a golden glint in her eye
And a silver voice”
Pick a Little, Talk a Little (from The Music Man)

If the The Music Man’s citizens of River City, Iowa were concerned about the conduct of the new librarian in town, I’m curious as to how they’d possibly process the arrival of Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville.

I picture Liz rolling into town on the eagerly anticipated Wells Fargo Wagon, belting out the lyrics to Flower in her silver voice, eyes glinting-all-golden-like: my goodness, those poor fictitious Iowans would be overwhelmed by the brazenness!

On Exile in Guyville, there are 18 tracks (I’ve since read, as a not so accidental tip-of-the-hat to Exile on Main Street) but a single track acts nicely as a microcosm of the record.

That track, excuse my French as they say, is (Word for Seal in French) and Run.



Critics might argue it’s intentionally provocative, she sounds bored, it’s too lo-fi.

And they may be right, I may be crazy – but Liz just may be exactly the kind 220px-liz_phair_-_exile_in_guyvilleof provocative-yet-bored-&-lo-fi sounding girl I’m looking for!

What I’d suggest: check out the track above.

If you don’t approve, the rest of Exile will do little for you.

If the song earns your approval, by all means, check out the remaining 17 tracks, you’ll be glad you did.

Though the lyrics may not seem so brazen in 2016, as there’s likely some desensitizing at play, I’ll make a “gilt-edged guarantee” nonetheless: Exile is well worth keeping & is certainly not an album I plan on banishing from the listening rotation any time soon.


Verbalize the Positive

I appreciate that Theme Song Steve @ referenced The Music Man in a couple of posts last year, it reminded me of how much I enjoy that musical.

As an unapologetic fan of theme posts & theme series, when I learned Steve had an entire site dedicated to celebrating themes? I’m in!

From → 1990s

  1. Ha….when I seen the pic of the video with ‘F**K And Run” I thought i was the at the KMA Site! HAHAHA…

    • Wait, whut? 😉

      • I was actually going to try to make this a ‘hit and run’ 80-word post in honour of the KMA but ended up having too much to say!

      • I appreciate the attempt, Geoff! The 80-word post ain’t my idea, but I sure do like it.

        Definitely from now on they need to switch from being called Hit & Run posts to F*ck & Run posts, though. I hath decreed it!

    • Haha, I wonder what the word count would be on that kind of post title!

  2. I have this one, Whip-smart, Juvenilia and Whitechocolatespaceegg! Um, we all had a crush on Liz, didn’t we?

    • I woulda – but apart from the song on the saturday morning cartoons, I somehow missed Liz at the time!

      • Daaaamn. Back in the day, she was this hot indie rocker lady… well, you know how that goes…

  3. I needed that: isolation, guilt and angst all wrapped up in a nice package – thanks

    • Anytime Wayne – and if you didn’t see, you were my ‘verbalize the positive’ when I reviewed Steely Dan.

      I (and I’m sure many others) really appreciate how generous you’ve been in sharing your journey over the past few years. You never know what others are going through – I’m sure your posts that shared your difficult experiences have helped people navigate challenges in their own lives too.

      • Thanks Geoff – I will be sure to check that out ~ We never know the struggle, but I don’t see it as just mine – we all go through things – nobody gets off this life “clean”, we all suffer – and above all, I feel blessed to walk this earth. I really do -I’m working on a regular post about Red Rocks that should roll out soon – just a simple rock music post – almost forgot how much I liked them!

  4. Really like this LP, but I’ve always been a big fan of swearing too.

  5. Only Liz Phair album I know. A friend of mine had pushed it on me a good 10+ years ago (12, actually!)… I have to admit that I was in the ‘unimpressed ‘ camp. I like a wee bit of angst as much as the next man, but found her a wee bit too much (load of songs on there, huh?). Maybe I might view it differently now…

    • I’m glad you mentioned 10 years quickly becoming 12 – I saw a post the other day saying, “I still think 1990 was 10 years ago,” I found it all too relatable!

      It could be that this was a right record @ the right time for me, I was in a space for minimalist music with maximum angst, a wee bit of it would have been insufficient this month!

      • I was having a conversation the other day about Stone Temple Pilots’ Tiny Music… I’ve listened to that album a few times a month. Have done for, um, 20 years! The conversation was pretty much a case of “how the hell did I get here!?”

        Anyhoo, as for “right record at the right time”: I think that’s important with albums and how you receive them. Absolutely.

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