Beat Is Up

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Songfacts®:

  • This upbeat techno track features an Indian self-help guru who doles out advice as Phair impersonates a deceptively positive go-getter who prattles on about lattes and tabloids. As a single mother to a teenage boy, Phair understood the pressure to keep up appearances.

    She explained to American Songwriter in 2010: "That was actually in reaction to the fact that I'm a mom, a full-on mom. Not a young mom. My son's almost 14 so I've been doing that for a minute. There are so many people in America who are just ferociously positive. 'Yes, I'm doing great! How are you,' you know, that kind of thing. 'Our children are involved in water polo, and soccer! They're constantly on the go and constantly being better and better and better!' I love to poke fun at that. At the same time I'm guilty of it myself. I think it's sort of running away of the basic unpredictability of life, and the fact that none of us really know how long you can go along being positive all the time before life kicks your ass. There's a lot of falsehood about it, too. That's what the Indian guy is doing for me, you know. 'You haven't slept with your husband in a while, you're drinking and taking pills,' it's just something I've noticed in a lot of us these days, and I think it's funny."

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