52 Church street
Cambridge
MA, 02138
617-547-5200

Liz Phair: Girly Sound to Guyville – Tickets – The Sinclair – Cambridge, MA – June 6th, 2018

Liz Phair: Girly Sound to Guyville

Liz Phair: Girly Sound to Guyville

Soccer Mommy

Wed, June 6, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$35

Sold Out

This event is 18 and over

The Sinclair is general admission standing room only.

Liz Phair
Liz Phair
Liz Phair is a Grammy-nominated singer songwriter whose debut album, Exile In Guyville, is considered by music critics to be a landmark of indie rock. She has been a recording artist and touring performer for twenty-five years, paving the way for countless music artists, particularly women, who count her among their major influences.  Her deeply clever and often brutally candid songs have been garnering critical praise since she began her career in the early 1990s in Chicago by self-releasing audio cassettes under the name Girly-Sound.  The intense viral response to these early tracks led to Phair signing with the independent record label Matador Records. 

Her 1993 debut studio album Exile in Guyville was released to international acclaim; it has been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, by Pitchfork as one of the 100 Greatest albums of the 90’s and is considered one of the most accomplished debut albums for any artist in any genre to date. She was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, topped SPIN’s 20 Best Albums of the Year, and reached No.1 on the Village Voice Pazz and Jop Critics Poll. Phair joined Lilith Fair in 1998-9, performing as a main stage headliner along with top female acts of the day like Sarah McLachlan, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Missy Elliott.

In Spring 2016 Liz toured with The Smashing Pumpkins on their North American “In Plainsong” tour. Liz is currently working on a new record, and will be touring in June.

2018 marks the 25th Anniversary of Exile in Guyville. To celebrate, Matador Records will be re-issuing the record along with a box-set. Phair has sold over five million records worldwide, with three US gold albums and two Grammy nominations. More than two decades after the release of her debut, Phair's influence in contemporary music and particularly over female voices in alternative music can be felt today more than ever.
Soccer Mommy
Soccer Mommy
“I don’t want to be your fucking dog,” sings Soccer Mommy’s Sophie Allison on “Your Dog,” a highlight from her new album Clean. Over knotty, distorted guitars and churning bass, Allison is equal turns confrontational and vulnerable. “I want a love that lets me breathe/I’ve been choking on your leash.” It’s a mission statement, a reclamation of power, a rewriting of all indie rock’s rules.

Soccer Mommy is the project of twenty-year-old Sophie Allison, a Nashville native. She cut her teeth in her local DIY scene, going to shows and hanging out with other musicians, though she kept her own songwriting secret. “I’ve played music since I was six,” says Allison, “and I always wrote songs just for myself. I did it for fun, posting songs on Tumblr, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud. I didn’t think anyone would notice.”

All that changed the summer before Allison left for college. She bought a Tascam digital recorder and began to experiment with production, pushing the quality and craft of her songs to new heights. A buzz began to grow around her Bandcamp recordings, leading to live shows and eventually a record deal, with 2017’s critically acclaimed bedroom-recorded compilation Collection. “I realized that I could do this full-time,” says Allison. “It was either quit school now and do it, or stop growing as an artist. It was now or never.”

So Allison took the plunge. She quit school, moved back home to Nashville, shifting all her focus to music. She toured with Mitski, Jay Som, Slowdive, and others, and was featured in the New York Times article “Rock’s Not Dead, It’s Ruled By Women.” The bedroom project of Sophie Allison is now a full-time band with a new studio-album debut, Clean. Produced by Gabe Wax (War On Drugs, Deerhunter, Beirut) and mixed by Ali Chant (Perfume Genius, PJ Harvey), Clean is Allison’s journey out of the bedroom and into the studio.

“I wanted it to be a lot more cohesive than the rest of the stuff that came before,” says Allison, on her decision to record in a studio. “I’d never made a full album before, just EPs and random tracks thrown together. I wanted to make something that was a full piece of my life, that addressed similar themes and held together as a whole.”

The higher production values play to Allison’s strengths, highlighting the maturity and growth of her songwriting. The music gains clarity and power, losing none of the trademark intimacy of her Bandcamp work, something Allison credits to days spent recording in Wax’s home studio. “It still felt do-it-yourself,” she says. “It didn’t feel like making a pop album. It was like being in a nicer bedroom, with better quality stuff. It was a natural progression. I’d always wanted my music to sound this way, I just didn’t have the means before.”

“Still Clean” is a stunner of an opening track, with the signature warmth of Allison’s voice coupled with one of her best hooks. It’s mostly Allison alone with her electric guitar, playing chords and singing about an ephemeral, passing love. The song is full of heartache and defiance, equal measures vulnerability and strength, and it’s Allison at her best. It’s also a bridge of sorts, with synth flourishes rising in a crescendo behind her, ushering the listener into Soccer Mommy’s new, high-definition world.

Allison’s growth as a lyricist is most evident on “Cool”, a sharply observed character study describing an aloof stoner girl, so cool and untouchable, and the agony she inflicts on her boyfriend. “She’ll break your heart and steal your joy/like a criminal,” sings Allison, full of venom and bitterness. But what starts as a lyrical evisceration of the girl in question transforms into awe, even admiration, on the chorus: “I wanna know her like you/I wanna be that cool.” Suddenly the cold-hearted girl becomes the hero, and the song becomes a meditation on identity, on wishing to be someone else for a while.

“Flaw” is the comedown from a song like “Cool.” A melancholy ode to lovesick self-loathing, Allison sings, “I choose to blame it all on you/ ‘Cause I don’t like the truth.” There’s an ecstasy in being sad, and the chorus of “Flaw” nails that feeling perfectly. “Scorpio Rising” crystalizes these themes of identity, jealousy, and the desire to be someone else. What starts as an acoustic ballad, harkening back to the Soccer Mommy bedroom days, quickly transforms into a full-band doomed love song. “’Cause you’re made from the stars/That we watched from your car,” sings Allison, “And I’m just a victim of changing planets/My Scorpio Rising and my parents.”

Clean presents Sophie Allison as a singular artist, wise beyond her years, with an emotional authenticity all her own. “It feels like my first real record,” says Allison. “It’s my first real statement.” It’s an emotional album, heavy on themes of growth, isolation, and change, but balanced by a lightness of touch, and with hooks to spare. Clean is a true step forward, a mature, powerful album from an artist just coming into her power.
Venue Information:
The Sinclair
52 Church St
Cambridge, MA, 02138

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