November 16, 1993 |
Graham Parker has always had a short fuse, and not a whole lot of respect for authority. "They want you to trust in the power they're wielding," he sang early on at the Theater of Living Arts on Sunday night. "You might as well jump from the top of a building. " Later, as horns blared and a snaking guitar riff coiled through "Don't Ask Me Questions," he warned the Almighty to get off his back. But while his first late-'70s albums - particularly the fiery trio Howlin' Wind, Heat Treatment and Squeezing Out Sparks - bridged the gap between punk and rhythm-and-blues by making righteous use of Parker's unrelenting anger, more recent recordings have found the 43-year-old Englishman turning into an inconsistent, prematurely crusty old crank.
October 15, 1992 |
If nothing else, Tuesday's bill at the Trocadero promised an evening of great songs. Though he's touring to promote a hopelessly average album (Burning Questions), headliner Graham Parker is responsible for some of the cleverest pub-rock ever. And opener Lucinda Williams specializes in blunt, crystal-clear songs that straddle the country-rock divide without pandering to either side. Only Williams and her exceptional trio delivered greatness with any consistency. Parker and his band, the Small Clubs, which featured veteran bassist Graham Maby and drummer Gary Burke, were bent on obscurity.
June 2, 1988 |
Graham Parker has always acted as if a good love song should draw blood. That's why the sunny version of Sam Cooke's "Cupid" that concludes his fine new album, The Mona Lisa's Sister, is such a surprise. What, no irony? Parker even shares a nostalgic memory with his audience. Instead of printing Cooke's lyrics alongside those of his original songs, Parker inscribes, "You already know the words. " "It was such a pleasure that I could just belt it out and hit the notes," says Parker of his decision to record Cooke's romantic chestnut.
May 27, 1988 |
Graham Parker has sure had his ups and downs. In the mid and late 1970s, music critics pumped him up as the next big thing in punning, punky, Dylan redux rock, by cheering the early Parker albums "Howling Wind," "Heat Treatment" and "Squeezing Out Sparks. " Then Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson grew and kinda passed him by, while Parker went into a long, slow creative tailspin that deflated his fans and de- spirited the artist. Now, miracle upon miracles, Parker is back with one of the best records in his life, and with a touring band that brings him to the Chestnut Cabaret on Thursday.
October 10, 2003 |
For a guy who made his reputation as a raging rocker, Graham Parker is quite content these days to perform solo. "I prefer it in many ways. I'm free to do what I want," the acerbically witty Brit said last week from his home near Woodstock, N.Y. "[With a band] you're locked into a set. . . . I've actually cultivated an audience who knows [a solo gig] is going to be a bit looser, with a few more jokes and a lot more silliness from me. " But not less intensity. "You know me, even when I play the soft stuff, it rocks.
November 27, 2012 |
When it comes to his career, Graham Parker says, he doesn't do a whole lot of planning. "I just sort of drift along, and things happen to me," the perpetually underappreciated British rocker says. So he had not originally intended to reunite his storied '70s band, the Rumour, with whom he made incendiary, R&B-laced rock as well as the 1979 classic Squeezing Out Sparks . Yet here they are, with an excellent new album, Three Chords Good , and a tour that brings them to the Theatre of Living Arts on Friday night.
December 11, 2012
Conan (11 p.m., TBS) Chris O'Dowd; Graham Parker & the Rumour. The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (11:35 p.m., NBC10) Actor Ewan McGregor; actress Bailee Madison. Late Show With David Letterman (11:35 p.m., CBS3) Amanda Seyfried; Natalia Makarova; Top Ten List with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards; Awolnation performs. Jimmy Kimmel Live (midnight, 6ABC) Actress Leslie Mann; teddy bear Ted; Sarah Jaffe performs. Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (12:35 a.m., NBC10) Anne Hathaway; Robert Smigel; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis perform.
October 28, 2011
Low Cut Connie/Thom McCarthy New Jersey native Adam Weiner, the occasionally mustachioed singer, composer, and hard-pounding piano player with the piled-high hair, has been thrilling the locals as the doo-wopping Ladyfingers. That's the dark, soulful character who croons his way through an array of haunted rockabilly rockers and Bacharach-tinged ballads, while summoning the ghosts of Gene Pitney and Carl Perkins on LPs such as Open Your Robe. But since last year, it has been Low Cut Connie, Weiner's new band with Dan Finnemore of Birmingham, England, that has titillated novice listeners and top-notch critics such as Rolling Stone magazine and NPR's Fresh Air with its debut recording, Get Out the Lotion.
April 5, 1995 |
"I don't know what came over me. I got all angry there for a minute," said Graham Parker, grinning slyly at the Theatre of Living Arts Sunday night, after spitting out "Here It Comes Again" from 1993's Burning Questions. It was a joke, of course. Outsized anger has been the singer-songwriter's calling card for two decades. But the often acerbic Brit has always been more than a one-dimensional artist, as he proved again at the TLA. Taking their cue from his strong new album, 12 Haunted Episodes (Razor & Tie)
December 16, 2014 |
"Nick the Knife" is one of Nick Lowe's nicknames, and "Basher" another, for the way the sharp-witted Brit pounded out the classic albums he produced for Elvis Costello and Graham Parker, among others, that helped define the 1970s and early '80s pub-rock and New Wave eras. Lowe was smooth and suave Saturday, however, at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, when the blade-thin, frosty-haired songwriter brought his Quality Holiday Revue to the Camden County venue, where he was backed by the Mexican wrestling mask-wearing guitar band Los Straitjackets.