Before puberty, 12, 13 maybe, walking home from junior high, freezing, down an alleyway. Stumble upon a portable CD container in the middle of the concrete. Take it home. CDs only, no booklets, six in all, most of which show no indication of the artist or the songs, save for some live single by U2. One of the albums though—a girl, a guitar, rock songs, love songs, fuck songs. Learn indie rock. Write the lyrics to “Divorce Song” in freshman algebra book. Fall in love with a voice and some dirty words. Learn, much later, she’s in exile, her name’s Liz and she made this beautiful piece of wreckage just down the street.
Audience Comments: “‘Gunshy’ mack session in the back seat of a Dodge Daytona”; “every asshat in Wicker Park-Bucktown ‘remembers when’”; “First meeting Liz Phair when she walked out of a friend’s bathroom, just before the release of the album, then seeing her play an open mic at a tiny Bucktown bar.”; “getting head to ‘Flower’ in college”; “I met her at a party in early 90’s, I had no idea who she was, we talked about documentary films for a while and she seemed happy to talk to somebody who wasn’t part of the fan-like hubub around her”; “When Wicker Park was for ‘bad girls.’Now it’s for BCBG girls. Like, whatever, totally!”
Best of Chicago 2008