I bet Liz Phair long ago identified with the girl whose tits were too big in fifth grade just as she did with the one who was good at math. She internalized the threat they posed and enjoyed the way they messed with other people's expectations. That they were often the same girl was a female epiphany of my generation. Phair in turn invented a protagonist who could fuck and run at age 12, be bored with the process by her early twenties, and live to tell about it—all in a guitar-strummed plaint with a hook. Disgust was her artistic capital; tormented by roommates, she prayed they would help her "breed my disgust into fame," and they did. Phair's privileged background in Winnetka, Illinois, and the unconditional love of her adoptive parents tempered the nail-biting urgency of her persona. Even though song after song trashed the eons-old myth that a well-fucked female kept her mouth shut, their anger was grounded in a vision of equality that promised better sex and more love. For a while she got off on this: "I totally fed off the whole idea that I had done something brash that was hard for a woman to do. My little tail wagged." But soon it got old, and she went after the "Shitloads of Money" she'd never denied wanting. For the first time, she was willing to risk a one-night stand where she... More >>>