I still can't get "Go West" out of my head. It's been 48 hours, and that gem from Whip-Smart is still with me.
"Stepping down off my platform shoes/Sixty-nine in the afternoon."
It's the melody, like in many of Liz Phair's songs, that hooks you. Yes, she plays guitar, and in some very hard time signatures albeit. But it's mostly her sultry voice, and those sexy lyrics (who writes about 69-ing in the afternoon?) that led to her stardom. Here in 2018, it's more of the same.
Liz Phair returns to the Empty Bottle some 20 years later, still looking sexy as hell. Her voice never sounded better and everything she plays from Exile in Guyville sounds spot on. The crowd is enraptured. But those Guyville moments felt fleeting, as Phair dabbled in 4 or 5 numbers from her Girly-Sound tapes.
Girly-Sound is the name she recorded her demos under way back in 1991. These three casettes of material were just remastered and released in box-set form for the 25th Anniversary of her debut album, Exile In Guyville. These songs arent bad by any means, but it felt a tad self-indulgent to play them live.
Especially when you have a limited amount of time in an intimate setting like The Empty Bottle, you just want to hear her play the hits. There should be NO downtime. Even the reimagined Johnny Cash cover, "Fuck Or Die," seemed like a waste. Come out and open your show with the best you got! Give it to us hard and fast.
She did that throughout the night on "Polyester Bride,"
"Whip Smart," and "Fuck And Run," which were just a few of my faves.
I was also really impressed with the off-kilter song "Soap Star Joe." Once Liz and Connor (lead guitar player) got the timing right, the song really worked in this setting.
Overall the show was good. Liz is a very endearing woman and she proved this time and again, with each little story told. Word on the street is she will grace us with a book or two soon.
I was hoping for a full band performance, where they played Exile from start to finish, but I'll take what she gave, anytime.
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