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Bill Kopp's -- Pop music interviews, essays, criticism, analysis, news and opinion...and occasional bonus material

Feature: Graham Parker

Once pegged as one of rock’s angry young men, these days Graham Parker is neither angry nor young. And while his profile these last few decades has been lower than in his commercial heyday (1976 to the mid 80s, and even then only a modest commercial success), Parker has continued to release a remarkably consistent string of albums that are true to the virtues he’s long championed. As he sang on his (best) album, 1979's Squeezing Out Sparks, “Passion is No Ordinary Word.” But it’s a word that aptly sums up Parker and his music. As he told an NME interviewer in 1979, “All I want to do is send a shiver up people’s spines.” Click for the full interview with Graham Parker.

About This Archive

In Summer 2009, I (Bill Kopp) began a blog; that blog is updated with new content -- reviews, essays, interviews, features and whatnot -- every business day. And that's been the case for four and a half years; there you will find nearly more than 1300 written pieces. That blog can be accessed here. Go visit!

But prior to the start of the blog, I wrote quite a bit as well. The site you're currently viewing is the permanent archival home for that content. Here you'll find interviews with Crowded House, Flaming Lips, Robyn Hitchcock, Tommy Keene, Los Straitjackets, Andy Partridge (XTC), Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices), Polyphonic Spree, Joe Satriani, Pete Yorn and many others.

You'll also find reviews of hundreds of releases (CDs and music-related DVDs) from the mid- to late 00's, as well as essays and other relevant items. Lastly, you'll find a list -- no longer updated -- of unofficial/ROIO recordings that may or may not be part of my permanent collection. Nobody's saying.

All told, there are countless hours (mainly because no one's counted 'em) of reading to be found in this archive. But for everything post Summer 2009 -- right up to this very day -- visit the Musoscribe blog. You can always come back here later.

Featured New Music Review

Morrissey - 25Live DVD/Blu-Ray

In pop culture, certain truths evolve into long-running inside jokes. For example, if you booked Sly Stone for a gig, you could count on him (a) not showing up, (b) showing up right around the time the gig is supposed to end, or (c) walking out the stage door mid-act to “take a pee” and then not returning. And with former Smiths vocalist Morrissey, buying an advance ticket to a date on one of his tours is akin to buying a Powerball lottery ticket: your odds of getting an return on your investment are one in a million. Click for the full review.

Coming Soon to the Blog...

Interviews & Features

  • Keith Emerson
  • Larry Coryell
  • Bayeté / Todd Cochran
  • Keith Allison
  • James Lowe of The Electric Prunes
  • and plenty more. No kidding.

Album Reviews (Reissues etc.)

  • Rick Wakeman - White Rock
  • Magma - Zühn Wöhl Ünsaï - Live 1974
  • The Move - Live at the Fillmore 1969
  • and plenty more. No kidding.

New Album Reviews

  • Marshall Crenshaw - Red Wine EP
  • Brian Jonestown Massacre - Revelation
  • Jamie and Steve - Circling
  • Howlin Rain - Live Rain
  • and plenty more. No kidding.

DVD Reviews

  • The Rutles - Rutles Anthology
  • BB King - The Life of Riley
  • DEVO - The Complete Truth About De-evolution

Book Reviews

  • Bob Dylan: American Troubadour
  • One Way Out: The Inside Story of The Allman Brothers Band

Featured Reissue Review

Butterfield Blues Band - East-West

Some people — musicians, listeners, you name it — get their nose out of joint when writers apply labels to music. How dare we, the thinking goes. The music shouldn’t be shoehorned into some reviewer’s preconceived notion of stylistic categories.

I’m guilty as charged of said pigeonholing, and I make no apologies. I see part of my responsibility (to anyone who reads my reviews) as being a sort of consumer guide. You, gentle reader, are too busy to sift through the endless stream of new music that is created daily. (Hell, so am I.)...

Click for the full review.

Let me tell you what I think...

Somebody -- we think it was either Elvis Costello or Frank Zappa; recent evidence suggests Martin Mull...nobody's sure -- famously said that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture." Well, so be it. And speaking of ol' Frank, it really was him who defined rock journalism as "people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." With that in mind, I offer as my own humble addition to that proud tradition.

I've written for Billboard, Shindig!, Trouser Press,, Ugly Things,, WNC Magazine, and many other publications large and small. From 2005 until its demise, I wrote for Skope Magazine; from 2006 until the end, I served as Editor-in-Chief of that national music magazine. And for what it's worth, my music collection numbers in the several thousands. And I'm a musician (though the rewards for my being one are decidedly non-monetary).

I hope you find the site entertaining, and perhaps even useful.

Again, the blog contains my work from mid 2009 to present-day, but my older pieces are here Here's what's on:

  • Features - In the last few years -- and continuing still -- I have interviewed some of the most fascinating and influential artists on the music scene. Click into this section to read features on (and interviews with) Yoko Ono, Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, Neil Finn of Crowded House, bluesman Johnny Winter, and many, many more.

  • Reviews - Here you'll find informed reviews and critical assessments of recent music releases. You'll find some undiscovered gems, and get the lowdown on some really awful albums that should never have been released.

  • Essays - Career-spanning retrospectives on Pink Floyd and Todd Rundgren can be found here, plus interviews and features with important music-related figures. And more, of course, including stories on music-related technology.

  • The "Blast From the Past" column - Everything old is new again; as Edgard Varèse famously said, "The present-day composer refuses to die!" Read reviews of notable and recent reissues.

  • (the collection) - If I had a huge collection of unreleased music (not saying I do, you understand) this is where you'd find a current inventory of it.

  • About - About me, if you care to know a bit more.