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Video: Liz Phair Remembers 'Exile in Guyville

'This was when you really felt there was a mainstream music culture that we wanted to fuck with,' the singer tells 'Rolling Stone' at Matador 21. 'We felt we were making better music than the stuff you heard on the radio.'

October 4, 2010 1:27 PM ET

“Everyone who was making indie music knew each other. It was a small group of people,” Liz Phair told Rolling Stone, sitting high up in the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas during the weekend anniversary celebration for Matador Records, which released her acclaimed 1993 debut, Exile in Guyville. “This was when you really felt there was a mainstream music culture that we wanted to fuck with. We felt we were making better music than the stuff you heard on the radio.” She has a new album, Funstyle, set for release October 19th (on Rocket Science), but was in Vegas to reconnect with old friends, including the Matador art director who wandered into the nearby wilderness during the cover shoot for Whip Smart and, apparently, barely survived. “It's intense — everyone is coming together. We've all been dispersed, the culture has moved on. [But] it's alive, it's still happening. Thank God Matador did this. They made a weekend that I'll remember forever.”

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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