Tuesday, January 19, 2010

LIz Phair's Girlysound

So last night i'm trying to explain what we do here at LET. I explained that, yes, we write posts that are hopefully informative, ranging from concert reviews to talking about the latest releases, but a lot of the brilliant prose i write really is just stream-of-consciousness, what-was-on-Terrible-Chris'-mind at the moment along with the soundtrack that plays in my head whilst discussing said things. It's that kind of rambling that leads us to today's post concerning Liz Phair's Girlysound tapes. i don't think we're celebrating Chick Rock Week here, but check back tomorrow to see if i'm lying or not.

Don't ask me exactly how it happend, because i'm not entirely sure myself. While i was researching and downloading tracks for yesterday's post on Milla Jovovich, i somehow found myself led to Liz Phair. It might have had something to do with the low quality recording of The Peopletree Sessions, an album Ms. Jojo expressly claims was never meant to be, nor does it match her artistic vision, or words to that effect. Possibly, it was the drugs. Either/or, i tracked down the aforementioned tapes, and here we are.

For those who have no idea what i'm talking about (which is not uncommon), allow me to elucidate. Way back in Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-One, Ms. Phair produced a series of three tapes under the name "Girlysound." Said tapes essentially are the basis for damn near all of her albums to date, making up the majority of Exile in Guyville, Whip-Smart, whitechocolatespaceegg, and the Juvenila EP. Recorded in her bedroom on a four-track, rumor has it that the tapes originally were only handed out to a couple of people, but eventually made their way into the hands of the Powers That Be over at Matador Records, and the rest, as they say, is history. The original songs have since been released on a couple of different bootlegs, though the definitive source material appears to be lost, at least to the masses at large. The first two tapes, Yo Yo Buddy Yup Yup Word To Ya Muthuh and Girls Girls Girls, can be found on-line in their entirety, but the complete third tape remains a thing of mystery, with only an incomplete track listing and a handful of songs from that available.

Why the hell should you care? Hey, back off, Jack. You care about everything i write about because i'm The Shit, so 'nuff said about that. Because i'm nice and willing to give you a further explaination, though i think it's pretty interesting to listen to the process of a song's creation, from its earliest versions to final completion. And this is about as prime an example as you're going to find. So there's that.

mp3: Flower (Liz Phair from Girlysound Tape 3)

mp3: Fuck & Run (Liz Phair from Girls Girls Girls)


Anonymous said...

the songs are fuckin good. better than liz all dolled up and singng why can't i and hot white cum. i love "in love with yourself", "don't hold your breath" and "one less thing". god, why didn't nineties liz phair remake these tracks in the studio? she can't do it now because she doesn't even have the same voice anymore.

Terrible Chris said...

You will notice my complete and utter lack of argument to your point.

While i missed her most recent "mini-tour" of her doing "Exile" (i was getting married or some such thing that week, and the Missus wasn't too keen on me missing the dinner where both our parents were going to meet for the first time), i've seen her last couple before that and have picked up all her albums. The further she gets from that age and material, the worse the output has been. 'Tis a sad thing, agreed.

Still, she even wrote a song about selling out ("Shitloads of Money"), so it's not like her fans shouldn't have realized her end goal or anything. And for a sell-out, let's be honest, at least she provides some very good eye candy. Which is something. i guess.