Read this oral history of Exile in Guyville | Bleader

Read this oral history of Exile in Guyville


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It's taken 20 years for Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville to lose the reductionist "10 Women Who ROCK" lists it came swaddled in and finally become appreciated as a great record in the broader context of the music of the time. In recent years it's become a touchstone for teenage feminists on Tumblr, retro-obsessed 90s revivalists, and the wave of raw singer-songwriters (male and female) following Kurt Vile and Ty Segall. And at the same time it's become a piece of Chicago history, a perspective on the Wicker Park alt-rock scene of the time that portrays it less as an indie wonderland than as a sausage party populated by the likes of Urge Overkill and Material Issue.

Recently former Reader contributor Jessica Hopper interviewed Phair, album producer Brad Wood, and a cast of Chicago indie-rock luminaries and assembled a brief oral history of Guyville for Spin. The finished product is part history lesson, part business case study, and studded with just enough Wicker Park inside baseball to read like a time-traveling Gossip Wolf column, and it's totally worth reading.

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