MOST AMERICANS HAVE NEVER STEPPED FOOT ON A FARM OR RANCH OR EVEN TALKED TO THE PEOPLE WHO GROW AND RAISE THE FOOD WE EAT. FARMLAND WILL TAKE AN INTIMATE LOOK AT THE LIVES OF FARMERS AND RANCHERS IN THEIR ‘20S, ALL OF WHOM ARE NOW RESPONSIBLE FOR RUNNING THEIR FARMING BUSINESS.
THROUGH THIS FILM FROM AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR, JAMES MOLL, YOU’LL STEP INSIDE THE WORLD OF FARMING FOR A FIRST-HAND GLIMPSE INTO THE LIVES OF YOUNG FARMERS AND RANCHERS. LEARN ABOUT THEIR HIGH-RISK/HIGH REWARD JOBS AND PASSION FOR A WAY OF LIFE THAT HAS BEEN PASSED DOWN FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION, YET CONTINUES TO EVOLVE.
DIRECTOR JAMES MOLL TRAVELED ACROSS THE COUNTRY MEETING YOUNG FARMERS AND RANCHERS. WATCH THE TRAILER TO CATCH A GLIMPSE OF STORIES SHARED DURING HIS INTERVIEWS. THIS FILM WILL BE RELEASED IN SPRING 2014.
THIS FILM WAS MADE WITH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THE U.S. FARMERS & RANCHERS ALLIANCE ®.
Good News loved the film and what it will share with the public. People will learn to have a greater respect for a farmer, the inner workings of a farm and honest relationships within the families. Just sharing that someone erased a message from a family member who passed couldn’t be more real and honorable to give to the public. (We are all in this together) Both you and all the super stars in the movie and their families deserve many Academy Awards for their openness. Not even mentioning that there wasn’t a bad frame in the movie that could take out of the film:) You start with a seed and you end with a seed. 4/25/14 Paul
JAMES MOLL’S WORK AS A DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER HAS EARNED HIM AN OSCAR, TWO EMMYS AND A GRAMMY. MOLL HAS DIRECTED AND PRODUCED SUCH FILMS AS FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH ABOUT THE 16-YEAR CAREER OF THE ROCK BAND FOO FIGHTERS; THE SPORTS ADVENTURE RUNNING THE SAHARA, EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY MATT DAMON; INHERITANCE, ABOUT THE DAUGHTER OF A NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMP COMMANDER; AND THE LAST DAYS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG. MOLL’S UNIVERSAL STUDIOS BASED COMPANY, ALLENTOWN PRODUCTIONS, HAS ALSO PRODUCED NUMEROUS PROGRAMS FOR TELEVISION AS WELL AS WEB-BASED CONTENT. IN ADDITION TO WORKING AS A FILMMAKER, JAMES ESTABLISHED THE NON-PROFIT SHOAH FOUNDATION WITH STEVEN SPIELBERG FOR RECORDING AND PRESERVING MORE THAN 50,000 ‘VISUAL HISTORIES’ OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS.
- Brad Bellah (Thockmorton, Texas) – sixth generation rancher who runs beef cattle operations in Texas and Colorado, including a natural beef herd. The 26-year-old husband and father of twins earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University.
- Sutton Morgan (Brawley, California) – fourth generation farmer from California, who is the first person in his family to grow organic crops. Sutton grows, packs and sells onions, potatoes, melons, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, kale and alfalfa. He holds a degree in business economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
- Ryan Veldhuizen (Edgerton, Minnesota) – fourth generation farmer who is taking over operation of his family’s hog farm in Minnesota with his brother and sister. On the farm, Ryan and his siblings raise hogs, and grow corn and soybeans, which they use for feed.
- Leighton Cooley (Roberta, Georgia) – fourth generation poultry farmer who operates four farms in Georgia with his father. In addition to chickens, he also has a cow-calf operations and grows hay. Leighton and his wife have two sons.
- David Loberg (Carroll, Nebraska) – fifth generation corn and soybean farmer who operates a family farm with his mother. The farm also custom feeds 500 head of cows for a local dairy operation and runs on irrigation business. The 25-year-old and his wife have an infant son.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2014)|
|Everclear performing live at Emory Universityon September 29, 2007.|
|Origin||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Labels||Eleven Seven, Capitol, Tim/Kerr,429, DO IT Records|
|Past members||Craig Montoya
Everclear is an American alternative rock band formed in Portland, Oregon in 1991. The band was formed by Art Alexakis, the band’s lead songwriter, (vocalist and guitarist, and for most of the band’s height of popularity, consisted ofCraig Montoya on bass guitar and Greg Eklund on drums. The band found success with their albums first three albums on Capitol Records, Sparkle and Fade, So Much for the Afterglow, and Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 1: Learning How to Smile, which all were certified platinum in sales. However, sales suffered with Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 2: Good Time for a Bad Attitude and Slow Motion Daydream, leading Montoya and Eklund to leave the band in late 2003.
After a brief stint of solo performances, Alexakis decided to push forward with the Everclear name, finding new musicians to perform with and releasing two more albums, Welcome to the Drama Club and Invisible Stars. Starting in 2012, Alexakis has also started up a 1990s nostalgia tour, called the Summerland Tour, that occurs every summer with Everclear and other 1990s alternative rock bands.
Formation and World of Noise (1992-1993)
Art Alexakis suffered through a troubled youth, beginning with his father walking out when Alexakis was a child. Financial hardships pushed his family into the slums of Los Angeles, where Alexakis became a heavy drug user. During his teenage years, Alexakis was shuttled around the country between various family members (including a brief period in Houston living with his father’s new family), but the drug addiction persisted. Eventually, Alexakis suffered a near-fatal cocaine overdose, which finally pushed him to clean up. In the late 1980s, Alexakis played in a short-lived rock band in Los Angeles called Shakin’ Brave, where he began to hone his songwriting skills. Frustrated by the inattention of the L.A. music scene, Art relocated to San Francisco, where he fell into the then-burgeoningcowpunk scene.
Alexakis founded Shindig Records, a label that represented San Francisco’s cowpunk scene. He began recording material of his own for a solo album, but it eventually evolved into a group project called Colorfinger. Alexakis wrote under the pseudonym “A.D. Nation” while writing/recording with Colorfinger. While involved with Colorfinger, he wrote several songs that would later find success as Everclear songs, including “The Twistinside”, “Heartspark Dollarsign”, and “Why I Don’t Believe in God”.
In a single month in 1992, Shindig failed (when its distributor went bankrupt), Colorfinger broke up, and Alexakis learned that his girlfriend was pregnant. Seeking a change of location, Alexakis and his girlfriend moved to her hometown, Portland, Oregon. There, he placed an ad in local music weekly The Rocket, which earned two responses: bass player Craig Montoya and drummer Scott Cuthbert. The name Everclear was chosen as a reference to the infamous grain alcohol. In an interview with The Discovering Alcoholic, Alexakis called it “pure, white evil” for its deceptive nature. The new band began recording in a friend’s basement, essentially bartering for recording time with musical gear and whatever limited funds they could scrounge up. The sessions culminated in two releases: the Nervous & Weird EP and the band’s first full-length release World of Noise, both released by Portland’s Tim/Kerr Records in 1993. Frustrated by Tim/Kerr’s limited resources, Alexakis hired independent promoters to help push the album.
Sparkle and Fade (1994-1995)
The band spent much of 1994 seeking out a major label deal. After a modest bidding war, they were signed to Capitol Records by Gary Gersh, who was responsible for signing Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Counting Crows to DGC Records. Just before their signing, Everclear parted ways with drummer Cuthbert, citing personality conflicts, and brought in former Jollymon drummer Greg Eklund. In May 1995, the band released their first album for the label, Sparkle and Fade.
The album’s first single, “Heroin Girl”, received some modest airplay via MTV’s 120 Minutes, but was generally missed by the mainstream. However, near the end of 1995, the second single “Santa Monica” found a strong audience via the burgeoning alternative radio format, which eventually carried over to mainstream success. The album subsequently was certified platinum. However, two ensuing singles, “Heartspark Dollarsign” and “You Make Me Feel Like a Whore”, failed to find a wide audience, and the band ended 1996 fast at work on their second full-length album.
As Sparkle and Fade reached its audience, Everclear had to endure consistent comparisons to Nirvana, particularly given the album’s subject matter and drug references. Following a show with the Foo Fighters at the end of 1995, Dave Grohl told MTV News that he did not think that Everclear sounded like Nirvana, noting that Bush sounded more like Nirvana than any other band.
So Much for the Afterglow (1996-1999)
By the end of 1996, the band had nearly completed the album, which they planned to release under the title Pure White Evil. Alexakis, however, was dissatisfied with the results, and decided to work on more songs for the effort, including “One Hit Wonder” and the eventual title-track to the album, So Much for the Afterglow. The songs “The Swing” and “Otis Redding” were cut from the Pure White Evil Sessions and were not on So Much for the Afterglow. Eventually they were released: the former on the soundtrack album for Scream 2 and the latter on Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 1: Learning How to Smile. So Much for the Afterglow was released in October 1997. The first two singles from the album, “Everything to Everyone” and “I Will Buy You a New Life” performed modestly, but helped begin a slow build for the album, while “Local God” was featured in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet in 1996 as well as on the soundtrack. The band completed a US tour at the end of the year, and started 1998 with a tour of Australia.
The Australian tour, however, was an unexpected disaster. At a show in Wollongong, someone threw a shoe at Alexakis, knocking loose a few of his teeth. Two nights later in Melbourne, someone threw a lit explosive on stage, which exploded and burned a stagehand. Tensions erupted backstage, with touring guitarist Steve Birch refusing to continue, and Montoya getting into a heated argument with Alexakis. In interviews for VH-1‘s Behind the Music, the band related that they nearly broke up that night. The band decided to cancel the remainder of their tour following a final show on the Gold Coast, during which Alexakis was hit with a shoe (while the crowd was singing him “Happy Birthday”) and Montoya’s acoustic bass guitar was stolen. Montoya declined to join the band for the ensuing tour of the United Kingdom, with then-bass-tech David LoPrinzi filling in. To date, Everclear has not returned to Australia, although Art has recently mentioned that he has no bad memories of the country and would return if a tour was viable.
Following an extensive tour of the United States with Marcy Playground and Fastball, the band released Afterglow’s third single, “Father of Mine”. The song catapulted the album and the band to mainstream success.
Afterglow provided the band their only Grammy Award nomination to date, a Best Rock Instrumental nod in 1998 for “El Distorto de Melodica”. Later that year, the band won Billboard’s Modern Rock Band of the Year Award. Though Afterglow never charted higher than No. 33 on the Billboard album chart, the album reached double-platinum status at the end of the year.
Songs From An American Movie Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (2000-2001)
Following the success of So Much for the Afterglow, Alexakis decided to step back from the Everclear sound and record a solo album of more pop-influenced songs, and brought in Everclear touring musicians David LoPrinzi, Brian Lehfeldt, and James Beaton to perform on the recordings. Unhappy with the results of the initial sessions, Alexakis decided to bring in Montoya and Eklund and transform the effort into an Everclear album. The results were released as Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 1: Learning How to Smile in July 2000. The album yielded the band’s most successful single, “Wonderful”, and eventually reached platinum status. The song “Wonderful” was also notably used as the graduation song for the Columbine High School class of 1999, who had months before suffered from the Columbine High School massacre.
Rather than tour for the release, the band arranged with their label to release a second album in 2000. Alexakis believed he had enough of a catalog of unreleased songs at the ready, and was eager to show the opposing sides of Everclear’s sound. However, delays in the mixing process of Learning How to Smile had pushed its initial April release to July, limiting the amount of recording time for the follow-up in order to meet Capitol’s demands of an end-of-the-year release.
Proclaimed as a “return to rock”, Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 2: Good Time for a Bad Attitude was released just four months after Vol. 1 in November 2000. Unfortunately, the promotional push for Vol. 2 while still in the throes of supporting Vol. 1 confused much of the music-buying public. Learning How to Smile’s second single “AM Radio” was released barely weeks before the release of Vol. 2, leaving some stores to mistakenly label the song as the first single from Vol. 2. The confusion was amplified by the band’s decision to accept an opening slot for Matchbox 20 in the months after the release of Vol. 2, a somewhat awkward billing for a band who was trying to support a hard rock album.
By the late spring of 2001, both albums had stalled. Capitol attempted a final push by re-releasing Learning How to Smile with “Out of My Depth” and “Rock Star” from Good Time for a Bad Attitude as bonus tracks. A cover of Van Morrison‘s “Brown Eyed Girl” received some modest airplay as a result, but couldn’t help revive the momentum. A tour of the United Kingdom for what would have been the band’s first extensive tour out of the country since 1998 was cancelled shortly before its start.
That summer, the band decided to license “Rock Star” to the movie of the same name.
Slow Motion Daydream (2002-2003)
The band regrouped a year later to record their sixth album, Slow Motion Daydream, released in March 2003. Prior to its release, Alexakis and Capitol came to odds over the album’s first single. Capitol was thrilled about one of the last songs added to the album, a somewhat 9/11-influenced “The New York Times”. Alexakis, however, had previewed a tongue-in-cheek ode to suburbanite housewives, “Volvo Driving Soccer Mom“, during a solo tour in 2002, and had received a fair amount of media attention. Capitol eventually relented to Alexakis’ demands and released the song and video, but didn’t put much effort into the song and album’s promotion. “The New York Times” was released shortly thereafter as the second single with even less support from the label, and the album stalled after selling 100,000 copies.
At the end of the tour support for Slow Motion Daydream in August 2003, Montoya and Eklund decided that it was time to move on, and departed the band to pursue other interests. The following summer, Everclear ended its relationship with Capitol Records. Capitol compiled a Greatest Hits album reflecting the band’s tenure at the label, titled Ten Years Gone: The Best of Everclear 1994-2004, which was released in October 2004.
Line-up changes and Welcome to the Drama Club (2004-2009)
After a solo tour in the fall of 2003, Alexakis decided to continue with Everclear, organizing a new band that made its debut in March 2004. The new line-up consisted of bassist Sam Hudson, guitarist Dave “Davey” French, and drummer Eric Bretl. In the summer of 2004, the band added keyboardist Josh Crawley, and swapped Bretl for former Everclear drum tech Brett Snyder. The new line-up released its first recording, a cover of Woody Guthrie‘s “This Land Is Your Land“, that summer. Alexakis, an Oregon delegate, performed the song (as well as “Everything to Everyone”) with an acoustic guitar during a CNN interview at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. A self-released EP of performances recorded for XM Satellite Radio called Closure was given out at shows in the fall of 2004.
Free of a major label, Alexakis spent the ensuing year and a half slowly recording material for a new Everclear release in Biloxi, Mississippi under the direction of his new band instructor who moved from the northern part of the state where she worked at a music store. He admitted that the time after the breakup of the original line-up served as a “wake up call”, during which he suffered his third divorce and filed for bankruptcy and did not retain sole custody of his family pet, a dog named Scooby. The new line-up was signed toEleven Seven Music. Everclear released Welcome to the Drama Club on September 12, 2006, the title being in honor of their affection for the stage. Two songs were released from the album, “Hater” and “Glorious”.
In January 2008, Alexakis posted on the band’s Myspace that they were working on a cover album, and a new album, which should be released in 2008. In addition, two unreleased songs from the Drama Club sessions, “Downtime” and “Here Comes the Darkness”, were posted.
The Vegas Years, a collection of cover songs was released April 15, 2008 by Capitol Records. It contains a mix of newly recorded, previously released, live, and remixed older covers. To celebrate the release, Art and the band hosted a live video chat. They confirmed they will be touring in the summer of 2008 including a possible UK tour in autumn. They also plan to release a series of singles for download online in the summer.
In November 2008 the band traveled around Iraq in support of the troops and the USO. They stopped at Camp Liberty, Camp Shield and Camp Slayer, FOB Echoand many other FOBs around the country. The sets were primarily done acoustically and consisted of most of the band’s hits. In March 2009, Art Alexakis went on a solo acoustic tour, playing Hard Rock Cafes around the US. The tour was a benefit for the Musicians on Call charity.
On October 6, 2009 the band released In a Different Light, a collection of re-recordings of old Everclear songs in a more acoustic fashion. The collection also featured two new Everclear songs, “Here Comes the Darkness,” which was actually a leftover track from Welcome to the Drama Club, and “At the End of the Day,” which Alexakis had written and performed with Marion Raven.
On September 13, 2009, Alexakis posted a blog on Myspace that all of the current members had left the band, and were replaced by all new musicians. This included Freddy Herrera who was the bassist of The Exies, who had previously toured with Everclear. This new version of Everclear toured for two months in support of In a Different Light.
On December 28, 2009, Alexakis again posted on Myspace that former guitarist Davey French, was back on guitar, and Johnny Hawthorn was exiting the band. In the same blog, Alexakis said the band would be recording the next album in March and April 2010, for a 2011 release. On May 7, 2011, Alexakis announced on the band’s Twitter page that keyboardist Josh Crawley rejoined the band.
Invisible Stars and 1990s nostalgia touring
The band entered the studio in 2011 to record both a new forthcoming studio album and to record cover songs and re-recordings of past hits album entitled Return to Santa Monica. Extended Versions was released, which contains 10 live recordings of a show taken place on October 15, 2010 in Seattle, WA at the Historic Columbia City Theatre.
In June 2012, Everclear released their first album in six years, entitled Invisible Stars. In support of the album, Alexakis announced the Summerland Tour, a 90s nostalgia tour featuring Everclear themselves, Sugar Ray, Lit, Marcy Playground, and the Gin Blossoms. In 2013 the Summerland Tour returned, this time consisting of Everclear, Live, Filter, and Sponge.
- Art Alexakis – lead vocals (1992–present), rhythm guitar (2003–present) lead guitar (1992-2003)
- Dave French – lead guitar, backing vocals (2003–2009; 2009–present)
- Josh Crawley – keyboards, backing vocals (2003–2009; 2011–present)
- Freddy Herrera – bass guitar, backing vocals (2009–present)
- Sean Winchester – drums, percussion (2010–present)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Elizabeth Clark Phair)
|Phair performing in October 2008|
|Birth name||Elizabeth Clark Phair|
|Born||April 17, 1967 (age 47)
New Haven, Connecticut
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Genres||Alternative rock, indie rock, lo-fi,pop rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano|
|Labels||Matador, Capitol, ATO Records|
|Fender Duo-Sonic II|
Phair began her career in the early 1990s by self-releasing audio cassettes under the moniker Girly Sound, before signing with the independent record label Matador Records. Her 1993 debut studio album Exile in Guyville was released to acclaim: by the turn of the 21st century, it had been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Ten years after the release of her debut, Phair’s fourth album, Liz Phair, was released on Capitol Records and her music began to move in a more pop rock-oriented approach. Phair has sold nearly three million records worldwide. Her latest album, Funstyle, was released on July 3, 2010.
Life and career
1967–1992: Early life and career beginnings
Phair was born in New Haven, Connecticut, but was raised in Winnetka, Illinois, by upper middle-class adoptive parents. Her father was an AIDS researcher and head of infectious diseases at Northwestern Memorial Hospital; her mother, a docent who worked at the Art Institute of Chicago. She graduated from New Trier High School in 1985. During high school, Phair was involved in student government, yearbook, and the cross country team, and took AP Studio Art her senior year, among many other advanced-level classes. She attended Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and majored in art history.
1992–2003: Exile in Guyville, Whip-Smart & WhitechocolatespaceeggPhair’s entry into the music industry began when she met guitarist Chris Brokaw, a member of the band Come. Brokaw was dating one of Phair’s friends, and stayed at their loft in Soma one weekend. Phair then moved toSan Francisco and tried to become an artist there. After being unsuccessful as an artist in San Francisco and moving back to Chicago, Phair began writing songs and recording homemade tapes under the name Girly Sound. She became part of the alternative music scene in Chicago and became friends with Material Issue andUrge Overkill, two of Chicago’s upstart bands to go national in the early 1990s, as well as Brad Wood and John Henderson, head of Feel Good All Over, an independent label in Chicago. (A later attempt at re-recording the Girly Sound tapes failed after arguments between Henderson and Phair.)
After asking Wood who the “coolest” indie label was, Phair called up Gerard Cosloy, co-president of Matador Records, in 1992 and asked him if he would put out her record. Coincidentally, Cosloy had just read a review of Girly Sound in Chemical Imbalance that very day and told Phair to send him a tape. Phair sent him a tape of six Girly Sound songs. Cosloy recalls: “The songs were amazing. It was a fairly primitive recording, especially compared to the resulting album. The songs were really smart, really funny, and really harrowing, sometimes all at the same time. . . . I liked it a lot and played it for everybody else. We usually don’t sign people we haven’t met, or heard other records by, or seen as performers. But I had a hunch, and I called her back and said O.K.”
Cosloy offered a $3,000 advance, and Phair began working on a single, which turned into the eighteen songs of Exile in Guyville.
Exile in Guyville was produced by Phair and Brad Wood, and released in 1993. The album received uniformly excellent reviews. The album received significant critical acclaim for its very blunt, honest lyrics and for the music itself, a hybrid of indie rock and pop. The album established Phair’s penchant for exploring sexually explicit lyrics such as in the song “Flower“: “I want to be your blow job queen/…I’ll fuck you and your minions too.” By contrast, her trademark low, vibrato-less monotone voice  gave many of her songs a slightly detached, almost deadpan character.
The release of Phair’s second album received substantial media attention and an advertising blitz. Whip-Smartdebuted at #27 in 1994 and “Supernova”, the first single, became a Top Ten modern rock hit, and the video was frequently featured on MTV. Phair also landed the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine with the headline “A Rock Star is Born.” Nonetheless, the album received mixed reviews, and although it was certified Gold(shipments of at least 500,000 units), it ultimately did not sell as well as expected, as it was hoped the album would introduce Phair to a wider, more mainstream audience. Following Whip-Smart, Phair released Juvenilia, a collection of some early Girly Sound tracks and several B-sides, including her cover of the 1980s song by The Vapors, “Turning Japanese“.
In 1994, Phair made several live television and radio appearances in an effort to promote Exile in Guyville and Whip-Smart, including David Letterman performing “Never Said” and “Supernova” and Jay Leno performing an acoustic version of “Whip-Smart”. She even performed “Alice Springs” live on Good Morning America.
She also appeared on the MTV alternative rock show 120 Minutes performing “Never Said”, “6’1”, “Cinco de Mayo” and “Supernova” live at various times during 1994 and early 1995.
In 1995, Phair married film editor Jim Staskauskas, who had worked on her videos. They had a son James Nicholas Staskauskas on December 21, 1996. Phair and Staskauskas divorced in 2001.
Phair’s third album, entitled Whitechocolatespaceegg, was finally released in 1998 after some delays, which included a disagreement about content; at one point, the label rejected the album as submitted, and asked Phair to write a few additional radio-friendly songs for the set. The album displayed a more mature Phair, and reflected some of the ways marriage and motherhood affected her. While the single “Polyester Bride” received some airplay, and the album received many positive reviews, it was no more successful commercially than her previous records. To promote the record Phair joined Lilith Fair. Phair performed on the main stage along with acts like Sarah McLachlan, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Missy Elliott. She also opened for Alanis Morissette on her 1999 Junkie Tour.
2003–2008: Liz Phair & Somebody’s Miracle
Liz Phair in concert, October 26, 2005
In 2003, her self-titled fourth album was released on her new label, Capitol Records. Phair had not released an album in several years; she had been working on her record, as well as making guest appearances on other tracks (she lent backing vocals to the Sheryl Crow hit “Soak Up the Sun“). She had also performed the Dragon Tales theme song in 1999.
Initially, Phair worked on several album tracks with songwriter Michael Penn as the producer. When she submitted the finished Penn-produced album to Capitol, the label gave it a lukewarm reception and was unwilling to release it as submitted. Having already exhausted her recording budget, label president Andy Slater offered Phair more money to record only if Phair agreed to work with the production team known as The Matrix (best known as songwriters for Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne) to come up with some singles for the album. Phair’s collaboration with the Matrix resulted in only four songs, but much of the media attention focused solely on the Matrix-produced tracks, which were a departure from her earlier work. The album received many negative reviews, especially from the independent music press, who accused Phair of “selling out” by making the record very pop-oriented.
Liz Phair provoked a strong backlash from critics and disappointed fans of her earlier work. Many decried her for “selling out”, and she became a “piñata for critics.” The New York Times‘ Meghan O’Rourke‘s review, titled “Liz Phair’s Exile in Avril-ville”, said that Phair “gushes like a teenager” and had “committed an embarrassing form of career suicide.”
The debut single “Why Can’t I?“, co-written by The Matrix, did reach the Top 40 charts in North America, and its follow-up, “Extraordinary,” was also somewhat successful: it appeared on the soundtrack to the 2004 movie Raising Helen and was the promotional theme for the 2004 Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament; in March 2007, the song began appearing in Gatorade television advertisements. Phair continued to flirt with sexually explicit themes, however, as was most evident in a track called “H.W.C.”, standing for “Hot White Cum”. Phair also offered backing vocals on Jimmy Eat World‘s “Work” track on their Futures album.
Somebody’s Miracle, Phair’s fifth album (and final album with Capitol Records), was released on October 4, 2005. The album returned to a more traditional rock sound, mixing the mood of Phair’s earlier work with a more mellow sound. The album received mixed reviews and was not a chart success.
2008–2010: Exile in Guyville reissue & career as TV composer
Phair signed with ATO Records in early 2008 and re-released Exile in Guyville on June 24, 2008. Exile in Guyville was reissued on CD, vinyl, and in digital format. The special reissue package includes three never-before-released songs from the original recording sessions: “Ant in Alaska,” “Say You,” and an untitled instrumental. Phair has also completed a new documentary DVD, “Guyville Redux.”  This DVD features an introduction by Dave Matthews, founder/co-owner of ATO Records, and describes the making of the album, in the male-dominated, Chicago independent music scene of the early 1990s (which included Urge Overkill,Material Issue, and Smashing Pumpkins), associated with the Wicker Park neighborhood where many of these bands often performed.
“Exile in Guyville is miles more complex than the porn-star manifesto it was often considered,” said Alan Light (former editor-in-chief of Spin, Vibe, and Tracks) in an essay written for the reissue. “Phair spoke for the uncertainties facing a new generation of women, struggling to find a balance between sexual confidence and romance, between independence and isolation. . . . Exile in Guyville sat at the center of a culture in transition.”
In May 2009, Phair released a new song “Faith and Tenderness,” sold exclusively at Banana Republic.
In recent years Phair has broadened her career by serving as a composer for television dramas. Beginning with the theme song for NBC‘s The Weber Show she has also worked on the CBS show Swingtown, the CW reboot of 90210, for which she won the 2009 ASCAP award for Top Television Composer, and most recently has been hired on as composer for the USA Network show In Plain Sight.
Phair said in an interview that she is writing a book and working on a new album. On July 3, 2010, her official website announced a surprise link to download her new album Funstyle. It contains 11 songs, many of which are experimental or at least unorthodox, compared to most of her earlier songs. The song “Bollywood” was available to stream from the site for a limited time, before Phair took it down.
A note from Phair to her fans posted on her official website explained why the songs were problematic:
How To Like It.
You were never supposed to hear these songs. These songs lost me my management, my record deal and a lot of nights of sleep.
Yes, I rapped one of them. Im as surprised as you are. But here is the thing you need to know about these songs and the ones coming next: These are all me. Love them, or hate them, but dont mistake them for anything other than an entirely personal, un-tethered-from-the-machine, free for all view of the world, refracted through my own crazy lens.
This is my journey. Ill keep sending you postcards.
Phair revealed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the falling out with her record label, ATO, occurred after a change in management. She explained, “The people who were still there didn’t like, or didn’t know what to do with, the music I was making, so we just stalled out and I asked to leave.”
Phair went on tour to promote the album, playing many songs from Guyville and Whip-Smart, along with songs from the rest of her repertoire. The Funstyle Tour ran from October 2010 to March 2011. The tour’s last show took place at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
In 2012, she co-wrote and performed the song “Dotted Line” with A. R. Rahman for the film People Like Us. “The song ‘Dotted Line’ I wrote with A. R. Rahman for Alex Kurtzman’s film ‘Welcome To People’,” she said in an interview. “Both amazing. ‘Welcome To People’ is a truly powerful film. Very proud of being part of it.”
Main article: Liz Phair discography
- Exile in Guyville (1993)
- Whip-Smart (1994)
- Whitechocolatespaceegg (1998)
- Liz Phair (2003)
- Somebody’s Miracle (2005)
- Funstyle (2010)
|1995||Grammy Awards||Best Female Rock Vocal Performance||“Supernova”||Nominated|
|1996||Grammy Awards||Best Female Rock Vocal Performance||“Don’t Have Time”||Nominated|
|2005||BMI Pop Awards||Most Performed Work||“Why Can’t I?“||Won|
|2009||ASCAP Awards||Top Television Composer||“90210“||Won|