Monday, March 12, 2007

Gentlemen and Exile in Guyville

The albums Gentlemen and Exile in Guyville both came out in 1993 and garnered critical acclaim and controversy. Both albums dealt with sex and destructive relationships in unflinching detail. It didn't help that Greg Dulli and Liz Phair were the two most narrassistic people in indie rock. They were good looking and talented and knew it. In another era they would have been rock stars. The flannel shirt generation didn't want singers who seem to enjoy photo shoots.

Listening to both albums, I am left with the impression that the album is the male and female perspective of the same relationship. Be Sweet and Flower is about people using their partners for sexual conquests. Dulli sings, "I've got a dick for a brain and my brain is gonna sell my ass to you." Phair sings her famous "I want to be your blowjob queen" line.

Dulli and Phair have publicly talked about public restroom sex (the former) and much younger sexual partners (the latter.)

Be Sweet mp3

Flower mp3

When We Two Parted and Divorce Song are the consequences of lovers who can not communicate with each other.

Dulli deals with the male resentment of a relationship coming to an end.

If I could have only once heard you scream
To feel you were alive
Instead of watching you abandoning yourself

Phair sings about being on the receiving end of that anger.

And it's true that I stole your lighter
And it's also true that I lost the map
But when you said that I wasn't worth talking to
I had to take your word on that

When We Two Parted mp3

Divorce Song mp3

I always wondered what kind of music Phair and Dulli would make if they dated.

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At March 13, 2007 4:54 AM , Blogger itchycoo parka said...

man, you're reminding me how pissed off i am that someone stole my copy of "black love".

the other thing liz and greg have in common is that they write these massive, epic, conceptual song-cycles that are very cinematic in nature - "black love" was to me like scorcese or de palma, "exile in guyville" could have been a hal hartley or richard linklater film.


At March 13, 2007 4:01 PM , Blogger Michael Hussey said...

I agree with you on the cinematic quality of Dulli's and Phair's songwriting. People are still talking about Gentlemen and Guyville. The same can't be said about the Stone Temple Pilots.


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