Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

This Artist Can Relate to His Fans

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

This Artist Can Relate to His Fans

Article excerpt

One of the most enduring myths about popular music is that

people buy records created by artists who are just like them.

Which, need less to say, assumes a lot.

First, it as sumes that pop artists are exactly like the

average fan -- which they often aren't. They just make money by

appearing to be. And, that people who are most like the average

pop artists buy records.

But sometimes artists and fans do share common ground.

Singer/songwriter Graham Parker knows this phenomenon all too

well. A brainy, thoughtful, cynical chap like him attracts

brainy, thoughtful, cynical fans -- who, needless to say, don't

have much use for popular culture. They're likely like Parker

himself, who spends more time watching Seinfeld reruns than

keeping up with the latest record release schedule.

"I get asked all the time, `When are you going to put

something new out?,' " said the 46-year old Parker, who will

perform a solo acoustic set tomorrow at The Milk Bar. "They

haven't heard anything since Squeezing out Sparks. But the

thing is, I have been making a record every year since then. I

tour every year. It's just that the people who like me are

probably like me -- they don't follow music."

In other words, Parker said, they are much more interested in

books' than in scooting down to the CD store. Which means

they've missed a good chunk of their favorite artist's output.

Sure, 1979's Squeezing Out Sparks was rated by Rolling Stone

as one of the top rock albums of the past quarter century. But

since then, Parker, whose disputes with music's executive branch

are now the stuff of legend, has changed labels a couple of

times and released more than a dozen albums, most recently, Acid

Bubblegum on the Razor and Tie Label. That album, said Parker in

a cheeky, self-written promo contains "all the typical Parker

elements you would expect anyway: extreme hostility(Turn it

into Hate) gardening tips (Sharpening Axes) flippancy

disguised as extreme hostility (Bubblegum Cancer) . …

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