Monday, October 17, 2005

 


Liz Phair Week begins

We begin just after the end of the beginning...

Through the 90's Liz Phair was an unknown singer/songwriter, one of thousands across the US. She dreamt of becoming a star, but her original material was a little weak and her ideas only half-formed, with the bulk of her songs being hastily jotted reworkings of old Rolling Stones tracks. Luckily, in 2003 a team of skilled songwriters, after conducting a nationwide search for promising talent, decided to work with her and the result was her first genuinely decent album, simply entitled Liz Phair.

While her early work was marred by poor production, derivative hooks, and muddled and inscrutable lyrics, Liz Phair saw Liz Phair finally succeeding in her goal of empowering women through song. This, of course, pissed off the male dominated critical establishment to no end. Clinging to the simplistic Liz Phair image presented in her early work (basically a compliant, uncomplicated "girly" girl), they initially unleashed a hailstorm of derogatory reviews. For a while things seemed bleak.

Luckily, a scrappy and independent minded writer named Gina Arnold was gutsy enough and smart enough to silence the critics with a devastating article published in the East Bay Express. She was the first critic to acknowledge that older female artists (with children) who dared express their sexuality were traditionally pilloried by reviewers. This pretty much put an end to the reactionary carping and led many a music fan to open their ears to one of the best new artists of 2003.

Aroma Of Gina Arnold by Trumans Water

Forklift performed by Trumans Water

I have never heard Beck's version of AOGA.

Are We Ever Gonna Have Sex Again? by Amy Rigby

Liz Phair week continues tomorrow...



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