Monday, December 29, 2008

Chopsticks - Liz Phair

Artist: Liz Phair
Song: Chopsticks
Year: 1994
Album: Whip-Smart

In Chicago, Liz Phair was the indie queen. She was the critical darling and underdog to champion for. Her songs were a confessional before that sort of thing was popular. She is also her own worst enemy.

Just when things were getting ready to explode for her in the career department, Liz gets a serious bout of stage fright. It became so bad that she ended up doing virtually no publicity performances for the album. Her career, that was so promising, became stale and old news.

Despite mainstream press, the album was great. Despite Liz's phobias, the album was a success too. I was hungry for more of Liz Phair, but her releases got stranger and further spread out. Soon, she was releasing an album about her experiences as a mother. It was good, but not what we were quite expecting.

To pick this song as the opener did two things. It gave a nice throwback to her first album and it prepared the listener for the eye opening listening pleasure that was awaiting them. Liz wasn't trying to shock anyone with this song of confession. She almost seems bored or sedated throughout the song. It is meant to be a peek into her everyday, mundane life.

I met him at a party and he told me how to drive him home
He said he liked to do it backwards and I said that's just fine with me
That way we can fuck and watch TV

It was 4 am and the light was grey like it always is in paperbacks

He asked if I liked playing jacks
I told him that I was good to sixes but all hell brook loose after that

I told him that I knew Julia Roberts when I was 12 at summer camp
We didn't say anything after that

I dropped him off and drove on home
'Cause secretly I'm timid

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