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Famous Like Me > Singer > P > Liz Phair

Profile of Liz Phair on Famous Like Me

Name: Liz Phair  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 17th April 1967
Place of Birth: New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
This article does not cite its references or sources. You can help Wikipedia by including appropriate citations.
Liz Phair at Red Rock Canyon, NV

Liz Phair (born April 17, 1967) is an American singer/songwriter and guitarist. She emerged from Chicago, Illinois with her debut album, Exile in Guyville, and became a critical darling.


Phair was born Elizabeth Clark Phair in New Haven, Connecticut, but was raised in a suburb of Chicago by her wealthy adoptive parents. She was a student of New Trier High School. After studying art history at Oberlin College in Ohio, Phair met guitarist Chris Brokaw (late of Come) and the pair moved to San Francisco for a brief period. After moving back to Chicago, Phair began writing songs and releasing homemade tapes under the name Girlysound, supporting herself by selling her drawings on the streets of Chicago. Soon, she was a part of the alternative music scene in Chicago and became friends with Urge Overkill, a popular band, as well as Brad Wood and John Henderson, head of Feel Good All Over, an independent label in Chicago. An attempt at recording the Girlysound tapes failed due to arguments between Henderson and Phair.

Meanwhile Brokaw gave several Girlysound tapes to the head of Matador Records, Gerard Cosloy, leading to a contract. Phair's debut album, Exile in Guyville, was released in 1993 and received uniformly excellent reviews. The album attracted critical attention because it was ostensibly structured as a woman's response to the Rolling Stones' classic Exile on Main Street, although a comparison of the two albums shows that this claim was, at best, overstated. The critical success of Guyville meant Phair soon attracted naysayers in the indie rock scene, notably including Steve Albini, but her fanbase continued to grow. 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." Despite such provocative lyrics, her trademark low, vibrato-less voice gave many of her songs a slightly detached, almost deadpan character.

Phair's second album received much media attention and an advertising blitz. Whip-Smart debuted at #27 in 1994 and "Supernova", the first single, became a Top Ten modern rock hit. In spite of this, the album received mixed reviews and did not sell well. In 1995, Phair married Jim Staskauskas (whom she later divorced), a film editor who had worked on her videos, and then released Juvenilia, an EP that included Girlysound material. She worked on her third album for a long time, delayed by the birth of a child, James Nicholas Staskauskas, on December 21, 1996. whitechocolatespaceegg was finally released in 1998.

In 2003, her self-titled fourth album was released. Initially, Phair worked on several album tracks with songwriter Michael Penn producing. When the album was released, however, most of the media attention was focused not on the Penn-produced music, but on several tracks produced by the glossy pop-rock team known as The Matrix.

Despite many negative reviews, especially from the independent music press who considered Phair to have sold out by making the record very pop-oriented, Liz Phair garnered some commercial attention and seemed to propel Phair out of the "alternative-chick" category and closer to the pop charts. The debut single "Why Can't I?", co-written by The Matrix, became a major hit in the North America, and its follow-up, "Extraordinary", was also somewhat successful and appeared on the soundtrack to the 2004 movie Raising Helen. Phair continued to flirt with sexually explicit themes, however, as was most evident in a track called "H.W.C.", which stood for "Hot White Cum" (see Fellatio).

Phair's new album, Somebody's Miracle, was released on October 4, 2005.

Phair is also an outspoken feminist. She married in 1995, but kept her maiden name. She has been quoted as saying, ""I am a feminist, and I define myself: Be yourself, because if you can get away with it, that is the ultimate feminist act."


  • Appearance:
    • height: 5'2
    • hair color: blonde
    • eye color: blue


Studio albums

Other releases

  • Girlysound (Demo compilation) - (1991-1993)
  • "Carnivore" single - (1993)
  • Juvenilia EP - (1995)
  • "Rocket Boy" single - (1996)
  • Comeandgetit EP (Internet Only) - (2003)
  • "Insanity" single (Internet Only) - (2003)


"If I Ever Pay You Back" (info)
from Girlysound (1991-1993)
"Divorce Song" (info)
"from Exile in Guyville (1993)
"Headache" (info)
from whitechocolatespaceegg (1998)
"Why Can't I" (info)
from Liz Phair (2003)
Problems listening to the files? See media help.

Filmography (Actress)

  • Seeing Other People (2004)
  • Cherish (2002)

Filmography (Composer)

  • Raising Helen (2004) (song "Extraordinary")
  • 13 Going On 30 (2004) (song "Why Can't I?")
  • Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004) (song "Why Can't I?")
  • How To Deal (2003) (song "Why Can't I?")
  • Thirteen (2003) (song "Explain It To Me")
  • High Fidelity (2000) (song "Baby Got Going")
  • Chasing Amy (1997) (song "California")
  • Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy (1996) (song "Six Dick Pimp")
  • Stealing Beauty (1996) (song "Rocket Boy")
  • Walking and Talking (1996) (song "Go West")
  • Amateur (1995) (song "Girls! Girls! Girls!")
  • Higher Learning (1995) (song "Don't Have Time")

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Liz Phair