This year marks the 25th anniversary of Liz Phair’s landmark debut Exile in Guyville. On May 4th Matador will release a comprehensive box set: 7 LPs or 3 CDs cataloging the Guyville era in an edition of 1900, including the first official restored audio of all three 1991 Girly-Sound tapes. The tapes were meticulously restored from original copies of the cassettes, traded from hand to hand at the time, by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters. Also available on double vinyl and regular CD for the first time in years: the original Exile in Guyville, remastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge.
Buyers have the option of purchasing the remastered Exile in Guyville on 2xLP / CD or purchase the box set which includes Exile in Guyville as well as the Girly-Sound tapes Yo Yo Buddy Yup Yup Word To Ya Mutha, Girls! Girls! Girls! and Sooty. The box set also includes a book featuring essays by Ann Powers (excerpted below), Liz Phair, and an extensive oral history of Phair’s collaborators compiled by Jason Cohen. The vinyl edition of the book also includes never before seen photos, artwork, and ephemera.
Both sets will also be available via all digital retailers and streaming services on release date.
If a 7 LP set is not enough (and when is it ever, really) the 3 Girly-Sound tapes, restored by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters, will be released as replica cassettes in a limited edition of 345 copies. The cassettes will be available as a premium exclusive for those ordering the box set on vinyl or CD through the Matador webstore.
An excerpt from TALKING BACK IN GUYVILLE by Ann Powers
Back in the 1990s, when everybody in a certain corner of the punk scene was reading feminist theory and making mixtapes, people used to go on about “speech acts.” You might wonder, what the hell is a speech act? How is it different than plain old speech? Every time you open your mouth, you’re spraying out your point of view like viral spit. Pointing this out seems a little redundant.
Yet people can easily forget that their words don’t just fall on empty air; they hit people and have the power to infect. “It was nothing,” a guy says, after he’s told a woman her ass looks good in those jeans, or she might hurt herself if she carries something heavy, or it’s kind of a shock that she’s so good at playing guitar. One thing feminists do is point out that the little jokes men make, the condescending asides, even the well-meaning compliments (you’re so pretty, little girl) are epidemic. They keep women an invisible quarantine, away from their own subjectivity, away from power. Or, as Liz Phair says in one of the songs on her immortal Exile in Guyville, “When you said I wasn’t worth talking to, I had to take your word on that.”
A lot of dudes had said a lot of things to Liz Phair by the time she was 23. After college and a year of fucking around in San Francisco, she was back in her parents’ house in the Illinois suburbs, semi-secretly writing and recording songs on a 4-track. She was also running with some guys who loved to tell her how much they knew about rock and roll and what it took to be a real musician. They tended to be startled when they discovered her ambition. When she gave her tapes to a couple of them, they recognized that she was brilliant, but by the time she got a record deal with a cool indie label, many were wondering how and why. “Guyville is wrapped up in how the songs were written and in the way it was created and came about: It’s that girl, that girl having people say you can’t do this, you aren’t good enough to do this, you don’t know what you are doing,” Phair told the journalist Jessica Hopper in a 2013 oral history of her absolutely brilliant, groundbreaking, stereotype-defying debut album Exile in Guyville.
To preview the release of Girly Sound to Guyville, Phair has released a track from Girly-Sound: an early version of the Guyville highlight “Divorce Song” originally heard on Yo Yo Buddy Yup Yup Word To Ya Mutha.
Liz will kick off the “Girly Sound To Guyville Tour,” performing material from the newly reissued set, this Spring with select dates across the U.S. Tickets are on sale next Friday March 23rd at 10am ET.
Newly Announced Tour Dates
Thursday, May 31 Masonic Lodge, Los Angeles CA
Friday, June 1 Swedish American Hall, San Francisco CA
Saturday, June 2 The Crocodile, Seattle WA
Monday, June 4 Turf Club, St. Paul MN *
Wednesday, June 6 The Sinclair, Boston MA *
Thursday, June 7 National Sawdust, Brooklyn NY *
Friday, June 8 Wichita Riverfest, Wichita, KS (previously announced)
Saturday, June 9 Empty Bottle, Chicago IL *
* support from Soccer Mommy
“Girly Sound To Guyville: The 25th Anniversary Box Set” Tracklist
Exile In Guyville
2. Help Me Mary
4. Dance Of The Seven Veils
5. Never Said
6. Soap Star Joe
7. Explain It To Me
10. Fuck and Run
11. Girls! Girls! Girls!
12. Divorce Song
15. Johnny Sunshine
18. Strange Loop
Yo Yo Buddy Yup Yup Word To Ya Mutha
1. White Babies
3. 6 Dick Pimp
4. Divorce Song
5. Go West
6. Don’t Holdyrbreath
7. Johnny Sunshine
8. Miss Lucy
9. Elvis Song
10. Dead Shark
11. One Less Thing
13. In Love w/Yself
Girls! Girls! Girls!
1. Hello Sailor
3. Fuck And Run
4. Easy Target
5. Soap Star Joe
6. Ant In Alaska
8. Polyester Bride
10. Miss Mary Mack
12. Love Song
5. Open Season
9. South Dakota