Monday, August 6, 2012

Links of note

Up on Everyday Genius since Wednesday: five drawings by Paul Legault (I have always loved art that includes text), "Elise Qua Elise" by Rebecca Hazelton ("and there was no meaning in any of it, just the ordinary / prayers and hands, / just songbirds competing / with traffic noise, / her, standing in my doorway, / explaining how my life / was no longer solely mine"), and "The Half-God Appears" by Heather Green ("The half-god is graceless, / but an arrow can't kill him. // The half-god points / to your false hope of fulfillment."). Mmm, poems.

Also: I wrote a little piece about Exile in Guyville for the Albums of Our Lives feature on The Rumpus:
I must have heard about Liz Phair from Sassy Magazine, my go-to and, really, only source for anything remotely counter-culture in the early ‘90s. I think I recall seeing the now-iconic cover of Exile in Guyville – Phair in black and white, mouth open, mid-song or mid-shout, her eyes obscured by the shadow of her hood – in the “What Now” spread, Christina Kelly’s sounding board for trends spotted, recent infatuations (“Zine of the Month,” “Cute Band Alert”), and the occasional complaint. Maybe I saw the video for “Never Said” on 120 Minutes one night before buying the album, but I don’t think so – “Never Said” being one of the least interesting songs on the album and a weak choice for a single. I think I bought the album, at some point later and sound unheard, based on Kelly’s recommendation alone (likewise for Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque and It’s a Shame About Ray by the Lemonheads). 
I know I came to the record a little late, after Kurt Cobain’s death. It was 1994 or ‘95....
One more: John and I went to see a production of Twelfth Night at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder on Saturday. I loved the outdoor theater and the costumes were great. The direction and acting left a little to be desired; they really played up Willie's tiresome cheeseball side. John wrote a good little essay on his not-updated-enough blog about why it didn't quite come off.


  1. such a beautiful piece on "exile in guyville," elisa! your '90s details bring me back so hard, and the celadon swim trunks gave me such delight. what a perfect ending to that essay, too.

  2. I thought of Exile--& other empowered-girl albums from the 90s like Rid of Me & Jagged Little Pill--this morning after learning from Silliman that a Syrian sculptor whose work focuses on "the freedom of women" had been tortured to death by the Syrian gov't. Because when I first heard those albums I thought women had never sounded so "out there" before--so rambling untrammeled & charged up, like men, thinking what they like and saying it, unafraid of either intelligence or sexuality. Not even Patti Smith had sounded like that. & college brought me into contact with girls who were avatars of that new rock--bold, forthright, independent girls who'd do things like hitchhike down to Mexico alone and come back wrecked but full of stories.

    I don't feel much nostalgia for the 90s, though: my life then was exactly like that of the most directionless and indigent characters in Linklater's Slacker.

  3. I always delighted in playing songs like "Fuck and Run" on my college radio show for the 3 or 4 high school kids who were listening at 6am. I hoped these songs would float on the airwaves like a virus, infecting younger kids like you.