Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville (33 1/3)

By Gina Arnold

Although Exile in Guyville used to be celebrated as one of many year's best documents through Spin and the New York Times, it used to be additionally, to a couple, an abomination: a mockery of the Rolling Stones' so much respected list and a unprecedented glimpse into the psyche of a smart, self reliant, robust younger lady. For those crimes, Liz Phair was once run out of her homeland of Chicago, enduring a flame battle perpetrated through writers who accused her of being uninteresting, inauthentic, or even a terrible musician.

With Exile in Guyville, Phair spoke for the entire ladies who enjoyed the area of indie rock yet felt deeply unwelcome there. like several nice artworks, Exile was once a harbinger of the form of items to return: Phair can have undermined the male ego, yet she additionally unleashed a brand new woman one. For the sake of the entire woman artists who've benefited from her work―from Sleater-Kinney to Lana Del Rey and again again―it's excessive time we return to Guyville.

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Chicago is a giant city urban. yet Seoul is the second-largest urban on this planet, with a metropolitan inhabitants of twenty-five million. it really is tied with Mexico, D. F. this present day it’s various, after all, yet Starbucks because it initially existed in Seattle within the Nineties wouldn’t were misplaced in an episode of Portlandia. The baristas may have all had their very own DJ evening they have been inviting you to, and been mixologists at the facet. In these days prior to the weight problems epidemic and the gradual foodstuff move, the chain offered superbly bad huge sugar cookies with red icing, and, simply because Smartphones hadn’t been invented and wireless wasn’t common, humans sat round those locations examining genuine newsprint and hearing genuine cassette combine tapes. The newsprint consistently might turn out to be the autonomous weekly of that urban, the Chicago Reader or the Village Voice or the Phoenix New instances or Oakland and Berkeley’s East Bay convey or Atlanta’s inventive Loafing, papers that committed •  11 • EXILE IN man VILLE an inordinate volume of area to neighborhood song writers and writing, to head besides the various pages of advertisements of neighborhood song venues. And the combination tapes made via the baristas could coincidentally usually show off songs by way of bands that have been taking part in those similar bars, and that have been advertisements within the neighborhood weeklies that the song writers, interpreting their papers in Starbucks, have been writing approximately. the combo tapes may function bands like (but now not restricted to) Pavement and Soul Asylum and Trenchmouth and Tortoise and large Black and Cows and Fugazi, bands on labels like (but now not restricted to) Matador, dual Tones, and Thrill Jockey; Dischord, SST and Sub Pop. That surroundings now not permeates an American Starbucks, yet within the Seoul Starbucks, it really is attainable to get a whiff of it. it really is most likely whatever concerning the white customers right here in Asia, that's restricted nearly totally to post-college younger males who're instructing English in hagwons, the ever-present academies the place Koreans visit university after university to profit English. those men usually put on thin denims and groovy t-authentic shirts from Uniqlo with recognized chinese language and eastern items marketed on them (Meiji chocolate, Sapporo beer). often they're fresh graduates of Dartmouth or Northwestern, not sure of what to do after leaving the comforts of an American four-year collage, and so are taking a 12 months or to paintings in Asia. It’s much and just a little extra adventurous than getting an internship in a box their mom and dad want they might input. not just is the nightlife enjoyable and the pay beautiful reliable, yet among gigs they could bop off to Bali or Kashmir. So for today’s twentysomething white man, Seoul is Guyville redux, in basic terms it’s a much bigger, brighter, extra stressed out model of it. •  12 • GINA ARNOLD this can be why, minus their curiosity in track and ironic facial hair, the fellows within the Seoul Starbucks ring a bell in me of the fellows in Guyville, of Chicago within the early Nineties. Like these men, they put on horn-rimmed glasses, slick again their hair, and activity holey denims and speak All Stars, and in case you get into dialog with a few of them, they're pleasant, yet aloof.

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