Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Liz Phair

Liz is one of those musicians whose music has always really gotten to me. It wasn't that way off the bat. A friend recommended Exile in Guyville to me, but I wasn't in the right headspace for it. I listened to it but it wasn't until a couple of years later when I was living in Vancouver, in the deepest depths of depression and poverty, that Exile found its place in my heart. All of a sudden, I was listening to Divorce Song and heard my life "...it's harder to be friends than lovers and you shouldn't try to mix the two, 'cause if you do it and you're still unhappy, then you know that the problem is you...". When she sang "...I want to be mesmerizing to you..." or "...the fire you like so much in me is the mark of someone adamantly free..." I found myself calling back yes, yes, me too!

Her sophomore release, Whipsmart struck a similar chord. Musically, it's still a unique, rough and quirky like Exile. Aside from playing the flute in junior high school, I have no musical training so I don't know a damn thing about syncopation or how to describe the way the guitar plays or what key the song shifts to or any of that. Whipsmart cemented Liz Phair as something unique and I loved it. When I heard "...I don't need a support system lifting me into prop position. What I need is a man of action. I need my attraction to you driving me down all those dangerous avenues..." I was breaking up my marriage, admitting that I'd gotten myself into something I never should have started and once again everything rang true. Nashville hit me with a right, Go West came in with a left. I was punch drunk! In fact, Whipsmart is one of those albums that it's difficult for me to break out a few lyrics from because each song hangs together so completely for me, from one image to the next, each line leading purely to the next until the end of the song, one song after another. It's tempting to quote the whole album.

Liz is a couple of years older than me, but I was ahead of her on the marriage/kid/divorce wagon. When Whitechocolatespaceegg was released I was rebuilding my life in Seattle, single mother of a toddler. Liz was still married, mother of a son almost exactly one year younger than my Kate, but I listened to her singing "...Love is nothing, nothing, nothing like they say, you gotta pick up the little pieces everyday..." and "It's death in our love that has brought us here,it's a birth that has changed our lives. It's a place that I hope we'll be leaving soon and I fear for the year in his eyes..." and I thought to myself oh my god, I've been there. I was not surprised when Liz was divorced by the time her next album came out. When she sang "...I want to be cool, tall, vulnerable, and luscious. I would have it all if I only had that much..." once again she put my own desires to words. Whitechocolatespaceegg wasn't exactly a hot release for her (as if someone in the RPG industry can cast stones at selling 295,000 copies of an album) but it's still among my personal favorites.

Liz is in town the Saturday after my birthday, touring to support her latest album. I saw her when she was touring for Whitechocolatespaceegg and even though I went alone I enjoyed myself. I'm not sure I want to spend $30 to go to a show alone as my birthday celebration this year, but I'm tempted. I've downloaded the new album, Somebody's Miracle. It's smoother, quieter than my favorites. I'll give it a few plays and see if the lyrics hook me enough to go in for a ticket to the show...


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Blogger Evan Says:

Yesterday Liz Phair was on Ellen or Martha Stewart or Oprah (Rona likes to watch them, and I usually get sucked right in) and the song she played was good but much less rockin' than I expected.

I thought about calling you to let you know she was on, but figured it was too late. Since you've now got the real thing, I guess it doesn't matter anyway. :)

Anonymous Larry E. Says:

Hey Nikchick I believe you might remember me. Do you happen to be the Nicole who used to live in Northfield, MN? Daughter of Glen? If so plese shoot me an email. I would really love to hear from you. It has been an incredibally long time.


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