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Graham Parker to bring Imaginary Television to Houston

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Graham Parker sings real songs about Imaginary Television.

Graham Parker holds a unique distinction in the history of Houston radio that few people know about. He is the only musician to visit Rock 101 KLOL at it’s Montrose location of 510 Lovett Boulevard and roll his own cigarette. The legal kind. It was during a visit in 1988 to promote the song “Get Started, Start A Fire” from his album The Mona Lisa’s Sister. The fact that his small container was filled with his preferred tobacco was actually more of a surprise (and a bit of a relief) than had it been filled with something else.

If Parker is still rolling his own, you may run into him on the outside of patio of the Dosey Doe Coffee House on Thursday, May 6. The patio is the only area where the Woodlands music venue and restaurant allows smoking and Graham Parker will be taking the stage at 8:30. Tickets are $17 and $22.

Graham Parker recently tried his hand at writing TV theme songs. After having his first two compositions rejected, he came up with the concept for his latest album Imaginary Television. Parker began creating his own treatments for nonexistent TV shows and then composed their themes, reassured by the fact that he wouldn’t likely reject his own material

Imaginary Television is the end result featuring 10 Parker- composed theme songs including the first two that initiated the concept for the album. There is also a cover of Johnny Nash’s “More Questions Than Answers,” a song Graham Parker has always wanted to record. The CD and vinyl editions of the album include the synopsis’ of Parker’s shows along with fake press reviews.

A nice companion to Imaginary Television would be The Who’s 1967 concept album The Who Sell Out. Coinciding with the fact that The Who were actually doing real commercials at the time, the album features various fake commercials and public service announcements between the songs. The album artwork consists of photos showing each of the four band members in humorous ads for various products while the vinyl pressing ends with a locked groove that repeats the Track Records jingle until the listener picks up the needle to stop it. Combining Parker’s theme songs and The Who’s commercials into one mix CD might be a good project for someone with too much time on their hands. Or, someone who’s rolling a different kind of tobacco.

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