Liz Phair is one of the most enigmatic musicians of our time. She became a near-overnight phenomenon and an indie rock goddess back in 1993 when she released Exile To Guyville, an LP which is universally acknowledged to be one of the best albums of the Nineties. She graduated to becoming a Buzz Bin and 120 Minutes staple with her two follow-up albums, Whip-Smart (1994) and Whitechocolatespaceegg (1998), before becoming the Most Hated Woman In Rock when she dropped the slick, unabashedly commercial self-titled Liz Phair LP in 2003. The album was not well-liked nor well-reviewed —we should take a moment to pause here, a moment in which we’ll go on record as being among the few that will go to our graves defending of the merits of this record— and turned Phair into a figure that is even more maligned than even Courtney Love in some circles.
Even Phair herself would likely admit that her career and reputation has never been the same since she worked with The Matrix, but we give her points for settling into a respectable groove as an elder stateswoman of indie rock, one who seems to have (mostly) gotten over her careerist desires and has once again embraced the experimental. She’s completely off-the-radar as far as major labels and radio are concerned, but her latest album, 2010’s Funstyle, was fairly well-received by her core constituency. Due to the fact that she wasn’t being bankrolled by a major label, she didn’t do much in the way of “traditional” promotion for that record (ie, shoot a music video); that is, until now. Nearly 23 months after Liz dropped Funstyle, she finally got around to shooting and releasing a video for “And He Slayed Her.”
We won’t pretend that we understand the strategy behind the timing of this particular video release; we’re just gonna go ahead and assume that some gracious benefactor/wealthy superfan offered to foot the bill. The video has a lot in common with Kanye West’s video for “Flashing Lights” in that both videos revolve around protagonists digging shallow graves for people who did them wrong out in the wilds of the American Southwest. In this particular case, the poor gent who emerges bound and gagged from the trunk of Phair’s vintage Camaro (’68, perhaps?) is a stand-in for former Capitol Records exec Andy Slater, a man that Phair famously feuded with back in her major label days (Andy Slater = And He Slayed Her). The video, with a theme straight outta the “Hell hath no fury” playbook, is not particularly interesting, but as devout fans of Liz, we’ll readily admit that it’s great to see her looking, well, great. We’re just hopeful that the release of this revenge-fueled video proves to be as cathartic for Liz IRL as it is for the character she plays in the video.