Graham Parker Live Alone in America, 2019 version

In 1990, my brothers and I saw Graham at the Bayou in DC. The day before the show, he made an appearance at a record store and I got a signed copy of an album.

Now my brothers and I are going to see him again, solo, in Boston on May 11.

He has recently released an acoustic version of Squeezing Out Sparks. I have a feeling that will be the show, followed by other songs from his catalog of great songs.

Can’t wait.

In a weird way, it is hard to call him an unappreciated musician, he was featured in the movie “This is 40.” But he is unappreciated for anyone except his fans. This show is in a small theatre, tickets selling for 30 bucks. He shoud be selling out Madison Square Garden Theatre.

Anyway, I am trying to figure out a way to get another album signed. I don’t know how, except to send messages to his website and Twitter page. It would be so cool to hang another album on my wall next to the “Live Alone in America” album I have.

BTW, what restaurant should we go to before the show? It is at City Winery, we are staying at a hotel a few miles away.

I hope it’s a great trip and a good show.

Parker (almost) never pulled me in, but performers speak to different people. I listened to Mercury Poisoning, Local Girls, and Discovering Japan on the local college radio station, and purchased Squeezing Out Sparks. However after a dozen listens I didn’t care about anything but You Can’t Be Too Strong — and even there I had no idea what he was saying about the procedure. Fine wordsmithing and high intensity, but a big, “yeah, and…?” factor.

But (no-irony) I’m glad he speaks to you.

My bolding.

Here’s a FWIW for you. Back in the day, GP ended up briefly on Stiff records in the UK (arguably the coolest record label of it’s era, at least in it’s heyday). The Up Escalator was released on Stiff.

Quoting from Stiff - The Story Of A Record Label by Bert Muirhead (which is kinda a semi-official (auto)biography of the label):


My phone is so full of audiobooks and podcasts that I have almost no music on it. But I have a short playlist of Utterly Perfect Songs. And there, sandwiched in between “Homework” (Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac) and “Heart it Races” (Dr. Dog) is “Get Started, Start a Fire” aka “Mona Lisa’s sister couldn’t smile”.

Seriously, if anyone hasn’t sat down and listened to it all the way through, Mona Lisa’s Sister is an amazing album.

Oh, I really love that album. Gotta go look for the new one.

Oh, wow. On Shoutfactorytv, which I have just discovered, Graham and the Rumor. 54 minutes, I think this was recorded for the movie This is 40. But as I recall in the movie, his only scenes were acoustic.