Just like everyone else, I'm head-over-heels excited about the upcoming re-release of Liz Phair's "Exile In Guyville". When I listened to it in high school, everything was magical. I remember telling the guy I was dating (a self-proclaimed music snob and a talented/successful musician in his own right) last year that it was a defining album, something that managed to enter my hands at exactly the right time with the right words and delivery. My freshman English teacher, the same guy who rogue-ishly photocopied my 'zine in the teacher's lounge, handed it to me one day during break. "I wasn't into it, but it might be right up your alley." Good call, although the content probably could have cost him his job.
The album remains a constant, and I go back to it every year or so, relieved with how much it still just hits the spot. If you've never heard the album, well, there's no time like the present to discover this beautiful gem. It's nothing like the mellowed Liz that you might know from top 40 radio. It gives you a little strut and makes your gut ache. Ugh. My weakness! I'm convinced this album set up a blueprint of hedging my bets and predicting/protecting myself.
I am still debating going to Liz's concert in San Francisco, where she'll be singing every song off from "Exile In Guyville". Thanks to Jefferson, I'm now concerned about that experience shattering the purity of the historical relationship with the album. A commenter on jezebel.com says it so well: "No man will ever break my heart like Liz Phair did."
"And it's also true that I lost the map
But when you said that I wasn't worth talking to
I had to take your word on that"
There is an awesome interview up with Liz on NPR. Check it out.