Liz Phair Gets Back to Her Roots

GuyvilleLiz Phair Celebrates 15th Anniversary of Exile In Guyville with June 24th Reissue on ATO Records

Special Edition Features Four Never-Before-Released B-Sides And Phair’s Exclusive New “Guyville Redux” DVD

Phair Gets Back Into The D.I.Y. Spirit With New Album On ATO Records This Fall

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: It’s been 15 years since the release of the groundbreaking Exile in Guyville – and Liz Phair is marking the occasion by returning to her roots. Phair recently signed with the independent label ATO Records, which will release a special 15th anniversary edition of her landmark debut album on June 24th and her new studio album in the fall.

Exile in Guyville, which was out of print, will be available on CD, vinyl and – for the first time ever – in digital format. The special reissue package will include four never-before-released songs from the original recording sessions: “Ant in Alaska,” with Phair simply accompanying herself on guitar, “Wild Thing,” wherein she uses the melody and central line of The Troggs’ 1966 #1 hit as a jumping off point for an otherwise all-original song, “Say You,” which features Phair and a full band, and an untitled instrumental with Liz on guitar. Phair has also just completed a new, 60-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.

Conceived as a song-by-song response to the Rolling StonesExile on Main Street, Exile in Guyville was released in 1993, and ranked #1 that year on both the Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll and Spin magazine’s year-end critics poll. Incredibly influential to this day, its place as a seminal rock album has been reaffirmed by its inclusion in countless historical “best of” lists over the past 15 years, including: “Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” Spin’s “100 Greatest Albums, 1985-2005,” Rolling Stone’s “Women in Rock (the 50 essential albums),” Blender’s “Best Indie Rock Albums of All Time,” Pitchfork’s “Top 100 Albums of the 1990’s,” and VH1’s “Greatest Albums Of All Time,” to name but a few. Exile in Guyville is, in the words of Pitchfork, “a certifiable indie roadtrip classic.”

Exile in Guyville is miles more complex than the porn-star manifesto it was often considered,” says Alan Light (former Editor-in-Chief of Spin, Vibe and Tracks) in an essay penned especially for the reissue. “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’ve written a lot about Liz Phair over the years on GLONO. Dig it.

13 thoughts on “Liz Phair Gets Back to Her Roots”

  1. Huh. I didn’t realize that Guyville had gone out of print. I wonder who owns those 3 Matador releases these days, if ATO (isn’t that Dave Matthews label?) is re-issuing it. And I wonder how the hell she got out of her Capitol deal and got to take her masters? Wild shit. I’ll definitely be reading the copyright line on that release.

  2. Capitol dumped her in 2007. I’m sure they own the masters to the albums she recorded for them, but as for Exile, “Due to a legal oversight, the masters apparently reverted to Phair’s ownership in 2000.” Ha! She had talked about reissuing it five years ago for its tenth anniversary.

  3. Liz is getting a little long in the tooth. But I still wouldn’t throw her out outta bed for eatin’ crackers.

  4. Ask Mike Meyers what one cliche is worth–“Schwing! Yeah Baby!” You really think a guy named Big Dick McGirk is going to say something interesting. It’s a workday and I only got two hours sleep last night. You think it’s easy being me? I got a kid too like Murphy. But I don’t disappear for months on end crying about being too busy. I keep throwin shit at the wall to see what sticks.

    Thank you for allowing me this creative outlet. I will try better next time.

  5. Big Dick McGirk: outed as just another one of Sven’s multiple personalities. Who knew!

    PS – I can’t believe you broke character to defend yourself, Sven. What’s that about? Can’t Dick fight his own battles?

  6. Dick sucked. But Dr. Smoochie LeStrange is genius.

    First of all he’s a cryptozoologist. How many of you had to wikipedia that?

    I got LeStrange from a guy who owns a diner whose last name actually LeStrange.

    How creamy is that? Smoochie comes from “Death To Smoochie” . When you set a standard like Dr. Smoochie LeStrange actually relating the chupacabra to attacks on emo kids then everything else is going to be lame by comparison.

  7. Sven’s attacking me for being a crybaby???

    Wow. What’s this world coming to?

    I’d love to know who forgot to sew up that legal loophole which caused Liz to get Exile (the finest album in her catalog) back. I’m sure the Capitol guy lost his job. Oh wait; Capitol is firing everyone these days anyway…

  8. FWIW, iTunes doesn’t have Guyville and the other 4 albums are registered as Capitol’s.

    Why Matador and/or Capitol let Phair retain Guyville is a very good question. Maybe she had her attorney write it in her original deal w/Matador and Capitol was unaware…

  9. In case anybody’s wondering what’s so weird about Phair interviewing Albini, I present to you Three Pandering Sluts and Their Music Press Stooge: The Great Steve Albini Letters-to-the-Editor Debate wherein Albini blasts the Chicago Reader for pimping Urge Overkill, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Liz Phair:

    If I read your heavily parenthetical English correctly, you are making the case that Liz Phair, Urge Overkill and the Smashing Pumpkins are somehow unique in rock music because they are brazenly trying to sell records. Genius.

    Great stuff.

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