“. . . and the more I find out, the less I know . . .” — Johnny Nash

April 30, 2010


You’ve got to love Graham Parker. Well, I do, anyway. He was on “Soundcheck” on WNYC today, talking about his new album and about  his on-line project, “Sunglass(es): The Graham Parker Show.” The combination of music and wit is irresistible. “Well, irresistible to me,” anyway.

According to Parker, the album was prompted by his two fruitless forays into writing TV themes. Both songs  that he wrote and recorded and submitted to TV producers who were soliciting themes were rejected. His idea of revenge, or maybe only justice, was to write an album’s worth  of themes to non-existent shows. The album notes consist of descriptions of each of these shows.


The clip from the album that was played on “Sound Check” was from the theme for a show about an agoraphobic guy whose well-to-do parents put him up in an apartment in a busy downtown area. Since the guy never goes outside, he sees and understands the world only from the vantage point of his apartment window. In the lyric, he wonders out loud where all these people are going, what they’re carrying with them, and why, as Graham sort of put it, “they would be scared off by a forecast of occasional showers.” The album, “Imaginary Television,” is aptly named; it’s the product of a fertile imagination.


Like a lot of people in music, Parker is tuned into the radical changes that have affected the recording industry, and he, too, is trying to make his mark in the new media. So the imagination that never sleeps, at times with the help of his 14-year-old son, produced “Sunglass(es).” Has it caught on? Parker says it hasn’t gone viral — that it’s more on the order of “bacterial.” So far, he has posted only Episode 1, which is available at THIS LINK. Like Parker himself, it’s a stitch, and we do get to hear him sing.

In the interview with “Soundcheck” host John Schaefer, incidentally, Parker made some interesting comments about the career of Johnny Nash — the unlikely reggae artist from Texas. You can hear the interview at THIS LINK.


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