By Gina Arnold
Even if Exile in Guyville used to be celebrated as one of many year's best files by way of Spin and the hot York occasions, it used to be additionally, to a couple, an abomination: a mockery of the Rolling Stones' so much respected list and a unprecedented glimpse into the psyche of a smart, self sufficient, robust younger lady. For those crimes, Liz Phair used to be run out of her homeland of Chicago, enduring a flame warfare perpetrated by means of writers who accused her of being uninteresting, inauthentic, or even a terrible musician.
With Exile in Guyville, Phair spoke for all of the women who enjoyed the realm of indie rock yet felt deeply unwelcome there. like any nice artworks, Exile used to be a harbinger of the form of items to come back: Phair can have undermined the male ego, yet she additionally unleashed a brand new lady one. For the sake of all of the woman artists who've benefited from her work—from Sleater-Kinney to Lana Del Rey and again again—it's excessive time we return to Guyville.
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Extra info for Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville (33 1/3 Series)
Robin Green’s groundbreaking article on David Cassidy, which ran in Rolling Stone in 1972, helped change the paradigm, but the transition was slow. (The article, entitled “Naked Lunch Box,” dipicted the much maligned Mr. ) In 1972, Robin Green’s article in Rolling Stone on David Cassidy, “Naked Lunch Box,”changed that paradig. Given that pop music at that time was divided into “authentic” bands or singer-songwriters and corporately churned-out pop confections of the Brill Building, one can hardly blame the serious, articulate, collegiate types for developing a canon that placed a huge emphasis on authenticity, individuality, and poeticism over looks, style, and melody.
54 • GINA ARNOLD To me, those actions are authentic, but that is not how it is characterized in the heteronormative world of criticism. By contrast, in a world that privileges the practice of record collecting as the most authentic way to experience music, the best measure of authenticity is rarity, because rarity is often connected to obscurity, and obscurity means that the artist was not embraced by the masses. Indeed, the zenith of the field of collecting is to embrace an artist or group who is acknowledged to be a genius, but who sold very few records: Green, Big Star, Hüsker Dü, and so on.
OK, it didn’t make fun of men per se—it merely shot holes in some of their pretensions. But even if you weren’t clear on her exact target, it was evident that she was taking ownership of a particularly male turf. Indeed, she claimed her work was a “response album” to The Rolling Stones opus Exile on Main St.. Track by track, she said, she wrote the same songs, only from a girl’s point of view. She told Rob Joyner: What I did was go through [the Stones album] song by song. I took the same situation, placed myself in the question, and answered the question.