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Exile in Greenville
February 9, 2010 2:09 PM   Subscribe

Indie rock darling Liz Phair shares thoughts on her experience at a NASCAR race.
posted by reenum (60 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I twirl my blond hair and hope they’ll forget which one of us is holding the microphone.

Don't worry, Liz. We forgot all about you right after whitechocolatespaceegg came out.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:20 PM on February 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


Eh, Exlie is the kind of tremendous achievement that makes me want to forgive all of her subsequent missteps and respect her forever. So she only had one album in her. It was a hell of an album.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:25 PM on February 9, 2010 [11 favorites]


eeeeevery time i seeeee your faace...
posted by nathancaswell at 2:29 PM on February 9, 2010


She should stick to writing facile lyrics about fantastical sex. That first paragraph was torture.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:32 PM on February 9, 2010


Thank God I’m driving a Prius, I think.

[checks publication date...]
posted by Joe Beese at 2:34 PM on February 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


reenum... if you're going to put "hippie" as a tag, please put "yokel" too.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 2:35 PM on February 9, 2010


“I told him, ‘I am a person who grew up in Missouri, and I have always had a muscle car,’” Crow recalls. “‘I would love to continue driving a great, American-made 12-cylinder. I’m not gonna do that, but …’”

I refuse to take any automotive advice from someone who thinks that they have "always had" an American-made 12-cylinder car. Or do they automatically issue you four extra cylinders when you become a celebrity?
posted by The World Famous at 2:37 PM on February 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


Truth is, I feel eco-inadequate. When we eat, Kim refuses to use the recycled-plastic utensils provided. Instead, she breaks out her wooden chopsticks and pours water from a drinking fountain into her thermos, wiping her lips with a bandanna that she keeps in her pocket. God, I think. What about the germs? When I grab a wad of brown paper napkins, she yanks them out of my hand and stuffs them back in the dispenser. “You’re not getting it,” she says.
Ugh. These people are doing a ton of harm with this enviro-puritanism. They're more interested in vain asceticism then saving the planet
posted by delmoi at 2:42 PM on February 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


Liz Phair has not been an "indy darling" since August 11, 1998.
posted by felix betachat at 2:43 PM on February 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


This will be great songwriting material for her next record I Drove Across America And Later Had Twelve Dudes In My Room And I Feel Just Fine.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:48 PM on February 9, 2010


I’m driving east through the gnarliest patch of desert I’ve ever seen. There’s no moisture, no hint of green left in the land. The mountains look as dry and cracked as a mummy’s tongue, and I can’t believe anyone ever made this trek on horseback.

Stunningly awful writing, and that's just the opening passage. Did they even use an editor on this?
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:50 PM on February 9, 2010


“‘I would love to continue driving a great, American-made 12-cylinder. I’m not gonna do that, but …’”

I thought I read an interview once where she mentioned learning to drive in three Chevettes lashed together....
posted by jalexei at 2:51 PM on February 9, 2010 [11 favorites]


Did they even use an editor on this?

Of course they didn't, it's The Atlantic.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:53 PM on February 9, 2010


Ugh. These people are doing a ton of harm with this enviro-puritanism. They're more interested in vain asceticism then saving the planet

I agree, if they're the type of enviro-puritans who continuously tell everyone else what they're doing wrong. But if they're doing whatever they can simply because that's how they choose to live, bully for them. Lead by example, and all that jazz. Now The Green Police, those guys are jerks. Well, both the fictional characters and the makers of the Audi ad, who end by showing a guy driving his "green" car, all alone.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:54 PM on February 9, 2010


Liz Phair has not been an "indy darling" since August 11, 1998.

Yeah, it's like calling Nicholas Sparks a daring, counter-culture underground zine publisher.
posted by setanor at 2:54 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


> So she only had one album in her. It was a hell of an album.

So it was, and is. There's no shame in being a one album wonder. Most musicians don't have enough top-level material for one LP (bear with me here, kids), much less a double. Whip-Smart and Whitechocolate... had a few moments as well, but so it goes.

I once shook Liz Phair's hand after she did a radio interview promoting Whitechocolate... in Toronto. The members of Air were also in the studio, and if she's 5'2", the one guy in Air must be about a foot shorter than that.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:55 PM on February 9, 2010


So here we have the definition of a has been writing a bone-headed bumble through half a dozen vaguely related topics that wraps up with the usual no-nothing liberal's idiotic conclusion that if we all work together we will beat global warming through individual lifestyle choices like eschewing paper napkins in favor of filthy bandannas. For fucks sake.
posted by nanojath at 3:02 PM on February 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Readers will find it helpful to hum the text of the article to the tune of "Fuck and Run".
posted by xod at 3:02 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I refuse to take any automotive advice from someone who thinks that they have "always had" an American-made 12-cylinder car.

This may have been an attempt at humor on Sheryl's part, a misquoting on Liz's part, or a typo-graphical error. In any case, don't take automotive advice from celebrities. Full stop.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:03 PM on February 9, 2010


So much hate.
posted by dobie at 3:14 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


In any case, don't take automotive advice from celebrities. Full stop.

Unless by celebrity you mean these guys.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:15 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow! What a stunningly awful example of writing AND editing. Is it just me, or did that NASCAR portion feel like it was just randomly dropped in there from another ENTIRELY DIFFERENT piece?

Liz Phair! You better stop making me lose faith in the imaginary idealized version of you I have preserved in amber in my mind since 1994 OR ELSE! ( . . . I will continue to not listen to anything you've released since Whip Smart).
posted by KingEdRa at 3:18 PM on February 9, 2010


If Phair feels eco-inadequate, I think it's a lot more Phair's fault than it is her bandana-toting friend's, let alone some kind of straw-man enviro-puritan Green Police.
posted by box at 3:22 PM on February 9, 2010


Unless by celebrity you mean these guys.

You have no idea how disappointed I was when I clicked on your link and did not see the Hamster, Jezza, or Captain Slow.
posted by The World Famous at 3:23 PM on February 9, 2010


The thinking man's Sheryl Crow. Ok, ok I liked the article.
posted by applemeat at 3:28 PM on February 9, 2010


Jesus. When Liz Phair begins blogging at the Huffington Post, I think I'll have to just put a bullet in my head.
posted by felix betachat at 3:30 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by troybob at 3:31 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


You have no idea how disappointed I was when I clicked on your link and did not see the Hamster, Jezza, or Captain Slow.

Unless by celebrity you mean these guys.


...or these guys.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:41 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I still don't get what people's problem is with Whip-Smart and whitechocolatespaceegg. There's a hell of a lot of great stuff on those albums.

The next two... well, I get people's problem.
posted by moss at 4:04 PM on February 9, 2010


I liked it. But then I've never listened to any of her subsequent albums.
posted by imperium at 4:10 PM on February 9, 2010


Mmm, Hot White Cum!
posted by bardic at 4:11 PM on February 9, 2010


Lisa Loeb is gonna be pissed!
posted by june made him a gemini at 4:35 PM on February 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ugh. These people are doing a ton of harm with this enviro-puritanism. They're more interested in vain asceticism then saving the planet

What's "enviro-puritanical" about reduce, reuse, recycle? Just because she's making you feel guilty doesn't mean she's doing "a ton of harm". Quite the opposite, I'd say.
posted by DU at 4:46 PM on February 9, 2010


“‘I would love to continue driving a great, American-made 12-cylinder. I’m not gonna do that, but …’”

How do you know, she could be driving a pre-war Cadillac or Packard.

OK, probably not.
posted by Relay at 5:18 PM on February 9, 2010


How do you know, she could be driving a pre-war Cadillac or Packard.

I assume she's been driving an AMC Pacer with an extra V6 in the hatchback just in case.
posted by The World Famous at 5:27 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow, judging by this thread I wasn't the only one who spent an amazing night with Liz Phair in 2001, with her taking you through all these great places in Wicker Park and when you're kind of tipsy she grab your hand and wants you to come inside to her friend's apartment where they're going to jam a bit and your heart kind of leaps and you walk in and notice her friend is the studio drummer for Alanis Morissette and he's obviously way into Liz Phair too and it becomes more apparent as the night goes on that they have this weird mind game thing that they play with each other and you're nothing but a tool. A fucking tool. Fuck you Liz Phair and you're poorly written Atlantic article!
posted by geoff. at 5:55 PM on February 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Back around the time Exile in Guyville came out, Sheryl Crow did, in fact, have a muscle car. IIRC, it was an early 70s Chevelle.
posted by grounded at 5:55 PM on February 9, 2010


I assume she's been driving an AMC Pacer with an extra V6 in the hatchback just in case.

They made V8 Pacers too.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:56 PM on February 9, 2010


They made V8 Pacers too.

If I had my way, there would be a Ferrari V12-powered AMC Pacer in every driveway in America. Except my own, which would be occupied by and Ariel Atom or Caterham R500, because I apparently Hate America.
posted by The World Famous at 6:02 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


They made V8 Pacers too.

Totally insane, but true.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:03 PM on February 9, 2010


geoff. greatest liz phair post ever. I jumped ship after Whip Smart and that NY Times letter to the editor... but that said I heard "Rock Me" off of the Liz Phair album this past October and she totally won me back with the line:

"You don't even know who Liz Phair is."

Haven't heard her fifth album, yet.

As a guy who plays in... like 5 damn bands in LA and found her views on LA extremely influential in the late nineties in western NY... she kind of screwed herself by doing such rad production when her fans loved her for exile and whip smart. She could get them to dig her taking her songs to indie production values of maybe superchunk or helium, but when she went past that to the Matrix stuff (which sounds so great due to her style) no one followed. Whatever, I think history will judge her kindly.

That said her writing in print (judging by that infamous letter to the editor) doesn't make me want to read this... I just wanted to pontificate for a sec.
posted by nutate at 6:03 PM on February 9, 2010


You're right ROU_Xenophobe, they did indeed make V8 Pacers too.

This can mean only one thing: a twin engined, V16 Pacer.

And I'm with The World Famous too, only I'd have to go with the Caterham R500.

Yes, the Ariel Atom is a fantastic machine, but I tend to be more traditional when it comes to things like this.
posted by Relay at 6:33 PM on February 9, 2010


" I assume she's been driving an AMC Pacer with an extra V6 in the hatchback just in case.

They made V8 Pacers too."


Yes, but never a V6. AMC only did inline sixes until the Cherokee came out, and even then the 2.8 V6 they used was borrowed from General Motors.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 6:33 PM on February 9, 2010


What's "enviro-puritanical" about reduce, reuse, recycle? Just because she's making you feel guilty doesn't mean she's doing "a ton of harm". Quite the opposite, I'd say.
Well, the problem I'm specifically talking about is global warming. If people get the idea that stopping it means puritanical self sacrifice, rather then specific emissions caps and political solutions. Then people get the idea that they the actually have to make much larger sacrifices then they really do, and decide it doesn't sound like much fun and just stop worrying about it or become global warming deniers or whatever.

And really what these people are pushing has nothing to do with actually accomplishing anything, rather about making themselves feel virtuous and superior, just like all other types of puritans.

Again, what's needed is political solutions that cap emissions economy-wide. Most likely that will affect industry a lot harder then individuals. Over selling individual sacrifice this way will reduce the political will needed to actually make the changes.
posted by delmoi at 6:39 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, whatever delmoi, but yo can have my twin engined, V16 Pacer when you pry it from my cold dead hands!!
posted by Relay at 6:42 PM on February 9, 2010


What I don't understand is how Nascare pitstops work. Does the car in the pit just accelerate back into the lead? Can they really make up that 17 seconds or however long it takes?

Also, even though that superbowl Dodge Charger commercial was sexist and contrived, it still made me want a dodge charger.
posted by mecran01 at 7:21 PM on February 9, 2010


If people get the idea that stopping it means puritanical self sacrifice, rather then specific emissions caps and political solutions. Then people get the idea that they the actually have to make much larger sacrifices then they really do, and decide it doesn't sound like much fun and just stop worrying about it or become global warming deniers or whatever

The self sacrifice required to make us stop changing the atmosphere isn't just cap and trade and pay a nickel for a plastic bag at the grocery store and put on a cardigan. I'm not even certain we know how to stop the CO2 rise in the atmosphere given the global population's energy requirements for shelter, food and water.
posted by humanfont at 7:22 PM on February 9, 2010


mecran01, if the lead car takes a pit stop, it usually can't make it up and it loses the lead. But it's gambling that it'll be able to make it up later. All the cars have to take pit stops at some point, so there's a lot of strategy that goes into deciding when to pit.
posted by sigmagalator at 7:26 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, if you don't think carrying a bandana is fun then you've never carried a bandana.
posted by box at 7:27 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


the usual no-nothing liberal's idiotic conclusion

Er, it's "know-nothing."
posted by scratch at 7:42 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think it's interesting to note that just a few threads down people are bemoaning the lack of intelligent, meaningful, thought-provoking musicians that appeal to young women and then along comes a Liz Phair thread. Not to say that her work didn't go steadily downhill post-Exile, but that album was the soundtrack to my childhood. Which, when you think about it, was probably inappropriate at the time but now I am just glad that my parents listened to smart music made by and for women and I got to be exposed to it. I am in university now and none of my roomates have ever heard of Liz Phair (except that one song of hers that was played on The OC) and I can't help feeling like I am lucky to have gotten to grow up with her, and PJ Harvey, and Tracy Thorn and so many other artists as what I hear when I think of being a kid.

But that article, it is not very good, that is true.
posted by hepta at 7:47 PM on February 9, 2010


So five paragraphs relating at all to NASCAR itself, and only two with any content at all relating to the purported subject matter? I was looking for the 'read the full article' link.

Forget the rest of her musical talent discussions, she totally screwed the people who she charged expenses for to get to a NASCAR race. I could have got more content off the internet in about 20 minutes and then with one phone call for a quote ... done. All from my armchair.

Ka-ching.

It's a half-arsed article, at best, regardless of quality of writing or musical ability of the author. It tells people almost nothing about recycling in NASCAR or conversely doesn't even make the point (if this is the case) that there is hardly any recycling done. You can't even make any kind of judgement as to the quantity or quality/effectiveness of the programmes. It was a pointless waste of of a piece, basically.
posted by Brockles at 8:22 PM on February 9, 2010


I wouldn't kick an Atom or R500 out of my garage for eating crackers, but I think I'd have to go with a heavily modified V8 Pacer done up to look like the Last Of The V8 Interceptors. Preferably with a functional supercharger.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:52 PM on February 9, 2010


The Atom and the R500, with their use of low weight to improve performance, rather than high displacement, are the green options. You Americans with your Dual-Straight-Six hatchbacks are doing nothing but destroy the planet.
posted by The World Famous at 9:06 PM on February 9, 2010


You Americans with your Dual-Straight-Six hatchbacks are doing nothing but destroy the planet.

Yeah, but clever marketing and shifting into specialist classes allows them to claim "best MPG in Class/the world/just best EVA" without having to add "but some of these models blow complete arse compared to equivalent European models that would just as closely meet the requirements of the customer.

It's all about how you say it, see.
posted by Brockles at 9:25 PM on February 9, 2010


hepta: check out Anni Rossi, The Happy Hollows, Deerhoof, Jemina Pearl (be your own pet), the sharp ease, mika miko (those two are both broken up LA bands)... etc. Those aren't very sex oriented (jemina pearl is the closest)... Liz Phair and PJ Harvey definitely had that angle... I can't think of many artists that are even slightly big in the same vein... but perhaps I'm forgetting someone.

Is there another Exile coming up... for sure... somewhere... I bet there have been a dozen comparable albums released in the years since that came out... they just weren't on a label as big as matador.
posted by nutate at 1:44 AM on February 10, 2010


Liz Phair doesn't give a crap how you feel about her:

I enjoyed a lot of it. I enjoyed having a Rolling Stone cover. I enjoyed having a radio hit. I think people who loved Guyville didn't understand this, but I'm a lifelong radio listener. My experience with music my whole life has been finding music I like on the radio. I loved making expensive videos and going on fashion shoots, and there was a lot of stuff about business that fascinated me too. I felt good about a lot of the major label experience, but it's not where I really shine. I'm so much more passionately involved when I get to do it my way. But I still love singing those pop songs.

And:

But the 38-year-old contends that the critics were misguided when they lauded her for Guyville's so-called confessional songwriting. "I'm actually more honest and confessional in my material now," she said. "In my early [work] I was a lot more clever about disguising [the meanings] with metaphors, and I think that was really exciting to those brainiacs."


Get it? She punk'd you and you all bought into it.
posted by anniecat at 9:07 AM on February 10, 2010


Get it? She punk'd you and you all bought into it.

Yes. Like when Pee Wee Herman stands up after a horribly embarassing bike wreck and says "I meant to do that."
posted by The World Famous at 9:18 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I stand by an artist's right to grow up and mature out of their angst. If she were still singing Exile-type songs, there'd be something wrong with her. That kind of theme is wearing on a person and fans are a bunch of vampires for criticizing her for growing up and out of it. Also, she sang at a register that wasn't even appropriate for her. (I hate Exile. My old roommate would not stop playing it. It was the soundtrack to her life, apparently, and she had major problems.)
posted by anniecat at 9:25 AM on February 10, 2010


the usual no-nothing liberal's idiotic conclusion

Er, it's "know-nothing."
posted by scratch at 9:42 PM on February 9


LOL
posted by nanojath at 9:32 AM on February 10, 2010


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