Graham Parker and the Rumour – This is Live (2013)

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Sometimes the strangest things turn into a catalyst for a revelatory moment. Like Graham Parker reuniting after more than 30 years with the Rumour — for a guest shot on Judd Apatow’s 2012 comedy “This is 40.”

Parker and the Rumour had just released their long-awaited, and perfectly named, studio collaboration Three Chords Good when they were asked to set up for a concert scene in September 2011 at the Belasco Theater in downtown L.A. Featured over a fleeting moment in the completed film, this boisterous set actually stretched back to included pub-rock favorites like “Local Girls” and “Soul Shoes” (given snarky, propulsive readings) and newer compositions like “She Rocks Me” and “Long Emotional Ride” (the last, offered as a delicately conveyed moment of reminiscence).

Apatow filmed it all, and has now overseen the release ofThis Is Live, available August 20, 2013, as a Blu-ray/DVD pack from Shout Factory. There’s even a previously unreleased track from the sessions for Three Chords Good, called “Sirens in the Night.”

What that album could only hint at, this feisty concert recording makes clear: Parker and his rough-housing compatriots have lost none of the righteous indignation, sucker-punch sarcasm and face-peeling rock smarts that defined their late-1970s hey day, but it’s leavened now with a new-found sense of shared camaraderie — and (dare we say it) grown-up acceptance.

The quintessential angry young man has become a older one who can still summon that outrage, even as he’s learned to be thankful for what’s left.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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