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AlthoughExile in Guyvillewas grudgingly celebrated as one of the year's top records bySpinand theNew York Times, it was also some people's idea of an abomination: a mockery of the Rolling Stones' most revered record and a rare glimpse into the psyche of a shrewd, independent, strong young woman. For these crimes, Phair was quite literally run out of her home town of Chicago, enduring a flame war by writers who accused her of being boring, inauthentic and a poor musician. WithExile in Guyville, Phair spoke for all the girls who loved indie rock but felt deeply unwelcome there. Like all great works of musical art,Exilewas a harbinger of the shape of things to come: Phair may have undermined the male ago, but she also unleashed a new female one. For the sake of all the women artists who have benefited from her work - on behalf of Sleater Kinney, MIA and Miley Cyrus - it's high time we go back to Guyville.
Gina Arnold is the author of Route 666: On the Road to Nirvana and Kiss This: Punk in the Present Tense (both St. Martins Press). She has written for Spin, Rolling Stone, and the Village Voice. Currently, she is finishing up her PhD at Stanford University.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Written in my Seoul
Chapter 1: Guvyille as Ghostworld
Chapter 2: Sonic Pleasure and Narrative rock criticism