Liz Phair will mark the 30th anniversary of her landmark debut album, Exile in Guyville, with a new tour this fall, where she will play the album in its entirety — alongside additional hits — backed by a full band. The 18-city trek kicks off on Nov. 7 in El Cajon, California at The Magnolia with stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Nashville, and more, culminating in Dallas on Dec. 3 at Majestic Theatre.
A lot has changed since Phair lived in Chicago, where she recorded the album — one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time — with Brad Wood at Idful Music Corporation. The studio is no longer, replaced in a strip-like mall with a pizza takeout, an urgent care facility, and a spa. But in 1993, Wicker Park — the actual park and the neighborhood — was an epicenter for artists, where divey bars were populated with young, mostly broke artists and clubs featured local groups on the cusp of breaking out.
And while the neighborhood is more baby stroller than thriving indie scene these days, Phair’s LP remains a definitive soundtrack for twentysomething women living in a male-dominated space while navigating the crushed-out relationships of early adulthood — where lust and love and fucked-up entanglements intertwine in a raw, lo-fi yearning for understanding.
“Guyville has been in our lives for 30 years and it is time to look at it with a fresh perspective. The themes that were so provocative and shocking in 1993 sometimes feel even more relevant today,” Phair tells Rolling Stone. “So many people have asked me how this album relates to the Rolling Stones’ album [Exile on Main St.]. I made myself into the girl that Mick Jagger was talking about and talking to. It is a love story, a hate story, a fuck story, but ultimately it is a story about understanding and forgiveness.”
Originally released on Matador in June 1993, the label reissued the album in 2018 along with a box set Girly-Sound to Guyville, which included the remastered LP alongside audio from her 1991 Girly-Sound tapes that shaped her debut. In Rolling Stone‘s original four-star review, the reviewer noted the “toxic consequences of intimacy with a lacerating explicitness reminiscent of Marianne Faithfull’s Broken English.”
“Despite its low-fi production, Exile in Guyville roams giddily all over the pop landscape,” Rolling Stone wrote at the time. “On ‘Fuck and Run,’ Phair, who lives in Chicago, manages to sound both wistful and pissed off. On ‘6’1” and ‘Mesmerizing’ she’s banging out chords that Keith Richards might admire. Folkie mood pieces (‘Dance of the Seven Veils’) and spooky piano nocturnes (‘Canary’) rub up against Patti Smith-style dialogues (‘Flower’) and psychedelic whiteouts (‘Gunshy’).”
“Phair didn’t conform to any of the cultural expectations for young female musicians,” Rob Sheffield wrote last year. “And neither did her songs. In the male-dominated music scene of the time, she was refusing to play nice. Exile in Guyville didn’t get any mainstream airplay, but it changed the stakes for indie rock, musically, culturally, and emotionally. Nobody had heard anything like this before. For many listeners, it felt like a voice they’d been waiting to hear their whole lives.”
Pre-sales for the tour begin Wednesday, May 17 at Phair’s website (password: GUYVILLE) and all dates will be on sale at 10 a.m. local time on Friday, May 19.
Liz Phair Exile on Guyville 30th Anniversary Tour Dates
Nov. 7 — El Cajon, CA @ The Magnolia
Nov. 8 — Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
Nov. 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Nov. 11 – San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic
Nov. 13 – Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall
Nov. 14 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre
Nov. 17 – St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre Nov. 18 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
Nov. 19 – Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple – Cathedral Theatre
Nov. 21 – Boston, MA @ Roadrunner
Nov. 22 – Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall
Nov. 24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre
Nov. 25 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem
Nov. 27 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
Nov. 28 – Atlanta, GA @ Woodruff Arts Center
Nov. 30 – New Orleans, LA @ Orpheum Theater
Dec. 1 – Austin, TX @ Moody Amphitheater
Dec. 3 – Dallas, TX @ Majestic Theatre
All dates w/ Blondshell