Category: Certain Songs

Certain Songs #938: Liz Phair – “Fuck and Run”

Album: Exile in Guyville
Year: 1993

Of course, part of the thing surrounding Exile in Guyville was Liz Phair’s utterly fearless openness about her sexuality. It wasn’t unprecedented, of course — Chrissie Hynde, among others wrote with the same fearlessness — but her explicitness did feel fresh.

And so you had a song like “Fuck and Run,” which not only had an explicit title — “fuck” is right there in the title, as a-verb-not-an-adjective — but was right there with Liz the morning after a one-night stand.

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Certain Songs #937: Liz Phair – “Explain it to Me”

Album: Exile in Guyville
Year: 1993

Of course, if Exile in Guyville had been nothing but straight forward indie pop songs, it wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting.

Instead, Liz devoted a significant chunk of the album’s running time to more experimental or atmospheric songs, featuring offbeat sounds, slow tempos and, in the case of “Dance of the Seven Veils” and “Flower,” some of her most explicit lyrics, as well. My favorite of all of these was the sad, shimmering “Explain it to Me.”

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Certain Songs #936: Liz Phair – “Never Said”

Album: Exile in Guyville
Year: 1993

Ah, 1993. I’ve pointed out a few times how weird 1993 was, especially from the perspective of nearly a quarter-century later, when artists as seemingly uncommercial as Lemonheads, Belly and The Breeders could have at least minor hits on MTV.

So it wasn’t all that surprising to see the video for Liz Phair’s “Never Said,” on MTV. In fact, given all of the hubbub surround Exile in Guyville, it seemed almost natural.

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Certain Songs #935: Liz Phair – “6’1″”

Album: Exile in Guyville
Year: 1993

An instant landmark when it appeared in 1993 and a record that I hope is passed down through the ages in the same way that Violent Femmes debut has been, Exile in Guyville still sounds as amazing as ever.

Of course, “amazing” is a relative term for an album that helped define what we all called “lo-fi” back then: records that sounded unfinished and unpolished, with all of jagged edges sticking out for unsuspecting folks to scrape themselves against.

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Certain Songs #934: Liz Phair – “(Sometimes a Dream) Is What Makes You A Slave”

Album: Girlysound
Year: 1991

I think it was Ranjit who sent me a copy of Liz Phair’s Girlysound tape. This was, of course, after Exile in Guyville came out, and definitely after he and I had met in person after becoming friends on Prodigy’s Replacements bulletin board.

I got quite a few tapes (and hopefully sent a few) that way. People who I met online from all over the country exchanging music with people who were otherwise just words on a low-rez computer screen, and without even the benefit of avatars or bios or anything, you had to determine who you liked or disliked just by the words they wrote.

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