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Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, March 14, 2003, Music

Liz Phair Interview

Austin Convention Center, Thursday, March 13

You know an interview is going into the shitter when the artist prefaces a statement with, "Don't hate me because I'm a rock star, but ...." Such was the case this afternoon with Liz Phair, as she sat down for a chat with recently inaugurated Recording Academy President Neil Portnow and revealed herself to have been assimilated by the industry. After a spare four-song set of new songs off her forthcoming album (Liz Phair, due out June 24), Phair shared some insights about the new album, as well as her thoughts on the record industry. Describing the new release as a "best of" collection (it's culled from five years of various demos), she defended the delay between this and her most recent, Whitechocolatespaceegg, saying, "I'm very cerebral. I like to think things through. I just don't fit into the box." Phair proudly shared what is bound to be the first single, "Extraordinary," which was apparently abducted by the Matrix and overproduced to within an inch of its life. "They're great people! So talented!" she said of the production/songwriting team. "A lot of people who stay indie are very much 'us against them' and caught up in what's cool and what's not. Why paint yourself into a corner?" The most revealing (and revolting) moment of the afternoon, though, came when she aired "Hot White Cum," a supposedly empowering track for women. "It's about the joyful love of [hot white cum]. Women artists need to break barriers in order for women's experience to be valuable." And with that, the audience heard Phair sing about her lover's jizz as "the fountain of youth, the meaning of life." Let's get this straight: In order for a woman to be clear-skinned and happy, she requires an injection of hot white cum? If that's Phair's notion of empowerment, it's a good thing she doesn't have a daughter.

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