Is Liz Phair one of Rock's Greatest Living Tragedies?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by I333I, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. I333I

    I333I Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Why does that blow a hole in his theory? Are you a musician? Doesn’t seem like it. Inspiration comes and goes. Sometimes for no reason. A complete life change is a valid reason for lack of inspiration.
  2. erikdavid5000

    erikdavid5000 Forum Resident

    Look, I'm just musing and guessing like the we all are. You wanna shoot holes in my "theory" go for it.

    William Friedkin (film director) was once asked why his career dropped off and his answer was that once he moved from NY to Beverly Hills and went from riding the subways around to taking tennis lessons in Bel Air, his inspiration went away and it was a hard process getting it back. I grew up in Manhattan Beach, so perhaps it's too personal for me to see it from the distance you can. I guess because I grew up in the place and watched it transform from a funky little sea salty beach town to Beverly Hills on the sand, my opinion is colored, or educated, or experienced, or whatever other hairs folks wanna split to "correct" me on this. However, I find it very easy to believe she might have simply run out of or been distracted from whatever motivation there initially was which provided her with her edge and spark we all love that's present on Guyville, and her "Manhattan Beach era" work and beyond kind of proves me right a little. That said, I still enjoy everything she's done to an extent.
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  3. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    He stated that... "Look at her subject matter on Guyville. She went well beyond that in her real life and was no longer that same person. How was her output not supposed to suffer?"
    She has stated most of the songs on Guyville are not autobiographical.
    I was a semi professional musician in my younger days but that is irrelevant. I guess you want to pull the old "I am a musician and I know" routine.
    What is a "complete life change"? The same source for material existed after she moved to a different home. Yours and his theory don't hold up. Has LP stated she had writers block after having a child and moving?
    You don't like her later music and that is your opinion. I am just trying to point out that your theory as to what may have been the cause for the change in her music and your dislike of it is speculation.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
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  4. erikdavid5000

    erikdavid5000 Forum Resident

    What I meant was she got older and her life changed, like what happens to us all. No big deal. With some people this can mean more inspiration, for others, less. Again, no big deal and this isn't a court trial here.
  5. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    No it is not obvious to every fan of hers. It is to you though but that does not make it a truth. Who knows what songs she may have penned after her life changes which may someday be released.
    Maybe you have some inside scoop we don't know about?
    You do realize that she was working on songs with Ryan Adams earlier in the year right?
    I realize you started this thread four years ago.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  6. I333I

    I333I Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I realize that she promised two albums in one year. That was years ago. And it doesn’t seem like the RA deal is working.
    Hep Alien likes this.
  7. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Hey I am not the one who stated "I rest my case".:D
  8. Vinyl Socks

    Vinyl Socks Forum Resident

    Niles, Ohio
    As a newcomer to her music, would y'all recommend "Guyville" as a good starter?
  9. Leaman

    Leaman Has a foggy notion

    Her later albums are nowhere near as bad as their reputation would have you believe. Beyond the changes in production quality, they still continue the story of Liz, only as she gets a bit older and has a different perspective.

    The harsh criticism she got after her "re-invention" with the 2003 S/T album was all about how fans want to hang on the precious days when they first discovered a singer or band and it was like a secret. The usual BS cries of "sell-out" and the like. I don't think I read a single review of that album that didn't make a big deal of: a.) she's working with the Avril Lavigne hit-makers, for shame; b.) she's a 30-some-year-old woman who is expressing a sexual appetite, for shame again; c.) she's totally trading on her good looks and it's not about the music anymore.

    What a load of horse****. Yeah, I don't really like that S/T album much either, but those reviews could have been made without even listening to the music. At least I listened to it a few times. For point a: Why do we care? Artists work with different producers and don't always write the songs they sing, even legends. For points b and c: Aging men do this all the time in rock and get praised for it. And more to point b., sex appeal and frank sexual lyrics were always her thing.

    Liz gets a lot of flack, mostly for having the nerve to be a woman in the very male-centric 1990s indie scene (which is what Guyville is all about), and then trying to make a living off of her profession. She deserves a break. Listen to Guyville and Whip-Smart over and over again, they're still great albums.
  10. erikdavid5000

    erikdavid5000 Forum Resident

    Lol! Very good point!
  11. Stephen J

    Stephen J Forum Resident

    Baton Rouge, LA
    I bought Exile when it came out in 93 and loved it, still do.

    Bought Whip Smart in 94 but that didn't do it for me and i forgot about her.

    Looking at her discography, looks like she then started releasing an album every 5 years or so to a dedicated fan base of maybe 250,000. That doesn't create career momentum.
  12. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd

    Mahwah, NJ
    Yes :)
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  13. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd

    Mahwah, NJ
    This is exactly my point. What's more important: the record deal, or making music? It would be so much easier to be sympathetic if she continued to create material instead of complaining. I really love her work - have everything she put out. But the proof is in the pudding: where's the work lately?
  14. Nick Drake fan

    Nick Drake fan Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    Staying in the same life situation is the best reason for lack of artistic inspiration. How many artists do you hear say that when they are looking for inspiration they try to keep everything the same - i.e. live in same place, record in same place etc...?
  15. Sax-son

    Sax-son Forum Resident

    Three Rivers, CA
    I have never been a Liz Phair fan and don't profess to be an expert by any means. However, I have noticed a lot of her CDs in the 99 cent bin which is usually an indicator to me that her career is not going so great. I thought of her as an indy performer with a specific fan base similar to Lisa Loeb. Once an artist like that drifts too far from their base and music style, they can lose those fans who were drawn to them in the beginning. You can still go more commercial while sticking close to your style but it's tricky business. If she is going the Taylor Swift or Katy Perry road, she might as well forget it. Nobody is going to drink that koolaid.
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  16. erikdavid5000

    erikdavid5000 Forum Resident

    There is no standard or general hardline thing where everyone has the same experience with this, so no one is wrong here. There are many stories of artists going to various places to find/recapture inspiration. It works differently with different people. Obviously SOMETHING happened to Liz' muse, so all we can do is speculate.
    I333I likes this.
  17. I333I

    I333I Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yeah, don’t really see it that way. I used to be very prolific with writing and performing. Once I got married and had kids the muse vanished. It’s different for everyone, I would assume.
    erikdavid5000 likes this.
  18. Frank

    Frank Forum Resident

    If you watch The 100 or watched In Plain Sight or a number of other shows, you've heard the work. She's moved on from a fascination with college-aged angst in ways that it seems some are unable to.
  19. erikdavid5000

    erikdavid5000 Forum Resident

    Same thing with me. I wasn't married but was working a pretty secure and boring career gig and pretty much stopped playing music. As soon as I left that job and had time on my hands and could get off on my own, I recorded 15 albums in the next 3 years. Sometimes life just needs to change.
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  20. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    I have a feeling Liz Phair is not the only musician who’s ever gotten married and moved to a nicer neighbourhood after having some success... don’t you think pretty much every record made after an artist’s first big hit was made while they lived in fairly rarefied circumstances?

    (that marriage only lasted a few years by the way)
  21. erikdavid5000

    erikdavid5000 Forum Resident

    I'm curious why everyone is taking so much offense to my suggestion. It's merely a possibility. I grew up in the place she moved to, so of course I'm going to have an opinion/point of view that is at least somewhat informed. I have friends down there who work in the area and who know her and have all said she became your typical blonde Manhattan Beach woman. Of course we shouldn't read too much into that, but these are statements made by people who had experiences with her that led them to say such things. And no, not everyone went and moved to someplace like Manhattan Beach. It's a very upper class and unexciting place. Feels quite cut-off. The whole South Bay of LA is like that and people tend to just stay there, The fact that it can take 30 mins just to get to the freeway probably helps. Also most rock folk who made it big and moved to places like the Hollywood Hills or Beverly Hills did so in like the 60's, 70's or 80's and partied and partied and kinda stayed in a crazy zone. Liz did the opposite.
  22. Frank

    Frank Forum Resident

    "Why are you guys uncomfortable that, without any basis in fact, I've reduced a human being to a negative stereotype and imprinted my own unrelated experiences on her?"
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  23. lester christgau

    lester christgau Well-Known Member

    Girl wrote 6’1”
    Impossible for her to be a tragedy, that tune is a timeless classic.
    People ragging on her are clueless. 31 pages of drivel from people who couldn’t write anything of note prove her greatness. So many small minded men here. Embarrassing.

    Plus Polyester Bride is damn catchy.
  24. PlushFieldHarpy

    PlushFieldHarpy Forum Resident

    Liz, is that you?
  25. erikdavid5000

    erikdavid5000 Forum Resident

    No. I’m merely speculating and using the available evidence to draw possible conclusions but am open to any other ideas/possibilities. Aren’t you reducing her to a charicture or a non-human by denying that she might be capable of the challenges present in normal human circumstances as with the rest of us? And you’re actually quoting yourself since I never made your imaginary statement.

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