Liz Phair finishing up record

Album is due on ATO in the fall

NEW YORK -- Although it's still without a title or track listing, Liz Phair's new album is in its final recording stages. "This I can tell you: All my sloppiness is in there," she said of her ATO debut, due in the fall. "I fought all the way through, and I'm not letting anyone take it to a perfected style.

"It's not going to be '(Exile in) Guyville' again, but I'm using all my tools," she continued. "I keep pulling it out of producers' hands, before they can do anything."

Phair said that so far she's confident in about "half of it," but will be busy with the album all through August. The best way I can describe it is 'natural,'" she said. "It has mistakes in it. It has layered background vocals of mine that just make an overall slop, but it's perfect slop."

Having split with Capitol this year, Phair is finding that working with ATO is a breath of fresh air. "They literally look at me and say, 'Here's your budget, don't go over, bring us something good,'" she said. "It's a f***ing mind-bending experience after the last 14 years. Even when I was with Matador, combined with other labels, there were so many chefs in the kitchen. I'm working exactly the way I want to work."

ATO recently reissued Phair's classic 1993 debut, "Exile in Guyville," which she's been performing in its entirety at a handful of recent shows.

"I remember being kind of aggravated, because I was supposed to be recording my new record, and I had to go back and figure out how to play all these songs," she said of the "Guyville" shows. "It was 20 years ago when I was writing all these. And one thing I found out, which is really lucky for me, is that I've become a better guitar player now, and as bizarre as they are, they're not technically hard to play."

Beyond three upcoming "Guyville" gigs next month, Phair said there aren't any plans for more, but she isn't ruling it out. She reports, "If people are into hearing it, I'd like to play it, until it becomes the 'Yeah, yeah, the old traveling 'Guyville' show."