Luncheonette

A Guy in 'Guyville'

Our treat for you today: a little more Liz Phair. She was on the show today to talk about her 1993 album Exile in Guyville and since the songs on that classic album have been stuck in our heads all day, we though we'd share.

Exile introduced me to two new worlds: indie rock and the Internet. Growing up, I listened mostly to whatever I could pick up on the radio, so when a friend (an older, cooler friend) handed me a tape of Exile (120-minute cassette, the full album dubbed onto each side), it was literally like nothing I'd ever heard.

The idea that there was music out there that the radio didn't play blew my mind a little.

And because there was no way to find out more about who she was (or what my friend meant when she called the album a song-by-song response to Exile on Main Street by the Rolling Stones) in Bellingham, Wash., I turned to the Internet. I learned how to search, chat, subscribe to mailing lists, all to find out more about Liz Phair.

Yeah, OK. I was obsessed. But you only get one first favorite record. Exile is mine, by a long shot.

After the jump, Liz Phair finally explains the whole "song by song response to Exile on Main Street" thing. If only I had heard this interview when I was sixteen.

RACHEL MARTIN: CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW THAT NEED TO KIND OF BUST THROUGH THAT CLIQUE JIBED WITH WHAT YOU HAD DEFINED AS ANOTHER COUNTER-THESIS, WHICH WAS THE WHOLE RELATIONSHIP OF [EXILE IN GUYVILLE] TO THE ROLLING STONES' EXILE ON MAIN STREET. HOW DID THOSE TWO THINGS COME TOGETHER? HOW DID THAT ALBUM INSPIRE YOU?

Liz Phair: You know, I can sum it up for you. I think I'd become something of a stalker. I had this huge crush on this guy in the scene. He and I had like a couple interactions but nothing really serious, and I invented in my crazy-ass mind, the idea of, on the record Exile on Main Street, Mick's character was this guy. and so whenever I listened to Exile on Main Street, I felt like I was listening to what this guy...

RM: THIS GUY WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS. . .

LP: Except if you buy the DVD. [I]t was totally a picture of his life. It was a perfect portrait of his life.

RM: SO YOU SUPERIMPOSED THE STONES ON YOUR LIFE.

LP: On my crazy-ass crush. And then I sort of wrote back to him. Because if you think about the first song on Exile on Main Street, he's coming home from this one night stand and he runs into some girl he knows who's sort of like 'Where you been?' And he's still f****d up from the night before staring at her like, 'look.' And he kind of alludes to this dancer chick he was just f*****g before and he's like, 'Look man, I can't deal with you right now,' and walks off. So I put myself in the shoes of that girl he meets on the street, and that's how I write "6'1"." I'm like standing there breaking him down. And that's how "6'1" " came. I kind of listened to the two songs and put the dynamic in there so if that was an upbeat song I made it an upbeat rocker and maybe I'd look where the solo was and I'd do it like that. But it was my answer to this guy vis-a-vis the Stones.

MIKE PESCA: DID HE LOOK LIKE MICK JAGGER IN ANY WAY?

LP: Yeah. He didn't look like him, but he sure as hell acted like him.

MP: DID HE STRUT AROUND LIKE A CHICKEN?

LP: Yes, 100 percent.

Comments

 

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I enjoyed the interview and the music, but whoever had bleep-button duty for this interview deserves hazard pay.

Sent by Dave Wiley | 4:01 PM | 6-4-2008

I was in college when Exile came out. Clearly, I'm OOOLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDDDDDDD!!!

I was quite surprised to learn that it had been out of print, considering how it's remained a big critical fave. Personally, I've always thought its follow-up, Whip-Smart, was a very underrated album that got a lot of blowback from the anti-Liz backlash that followed the hype and has never really gone away in some quarters. Details on that here: http://www.littlehits.com/blog

Sent by Stewart | 4:19 PM | 6-4-2008

My heart is brimming with some extra BPP love today. Thanks for that interview. And for playing song clips!

Exile still doesn't sound dated to me and I can't say that about the vast majority of 15 year old music.

Sent by Maura | 5:14 PM | 6-4-2008

yeah that was so great! I got Guyville shortly after it came out and have been in love ever since. Thanks so much for having her on!! It was a real treat!

Sent by jeff stiefer | 12:59 AM | 6-7-2008

that video at the top is pimpin'.....

born of my love of that album...

Sent by robnashville | 6:10 PM | 6-19-2008