Liz Phair, who recently stated she was feeling creative for the first time in 15 years, is jumping back to the last time she had new ideas, performing Exile In Guyville from “6’1″” through to “Strange Loop.” Now we realize she had bigger plans than reviewing books for the NY Times. We’d mentioned the reissue when we posted about Liz’s post-Capitol creativity, but at the time we didn’t know ATP was steering the nostalgia train toward the album that put her on the college-rock map in 1993. The Exile In Guyville performance goes down 6/25 at the Hiro Ballroom, NYC. The set’s acoustic, so it should be appropriately intimate. Tickets are on sale Wednesday. The reissue’s out a day earlier than the performance, 6/24, on ATO. We have details on that: It’ll be available on CD, vinyl and in digital form and comes with three unreleased b-sides and a DVD called Guyville Redux. Via press release:
The special reissue package will include three never-before-released songs from the original recording sessions: “Ant in Alaska,” with Phair simply accompanying herself on guitar, “Say You,” which features Phair and a full band, and an untitled instrumental with Liz on guitar. Phair has also just completed a new, 80-minute DVD, Guyville Redux, for the reissue.
In Guyville Redux — which features an introduction by Dave Matthews, founder/co-owner of ATO Records — Liz and the “guys” of Guyville take us back to the making of the album, the male-dominated, Chicago independent music scene of the early 1990’s (which included Urge Overkill, Material Issue, and Smashing Pumpkins), and the Wicker Park neighborhood where it all happened. Phair interviews Gerard Cosloy and Chris Lombardi of Matador Records, which originally released the record, famed indie producer Steve Albini, Ira Glass of NPR’s This American Life, John Henderson of the elusive indie label Feel Good All Over, Brad Wood (producer of Exile In Guyville), John Cusack (who founded the Chicago avant-garde theater group New Crime Productions), Urge Overkill, and more.
Phair’s also working on a studio album due out this fall. In an essay composed for the Exile reissue, Alan Light writes, “Phair spoke for the uncertainties facing a new generation of women, struggling to find a balance between sexual confidence and romance, between independence and isolation… Exile in Guyville sat at the center of a culture in transition.” We agree, but it’s hard to say she’s done much speaking for or two anyone or anything since Whip-Smart and whitechocolatespaceegg. After that are more the half-naked photo years. With her vintage material on-stage and back in circulation, it’ll be curious to see which Phair shows up to record the new stuff.