Graham Parker

Brit's Pub again celebrates Bastille Day (approximately) with a free performance on the bowling green by the brilliantly acerbic, erstwhile pub rocker Graham Parker and assorted other entertainments, including a performance of Shakespeare's 37 plays in 97 minutes, necessarily abridged so the three guys in tights onstage don't have to prattle on like auctioneers. Never mind that Bastille Day is a French holiday, Will's probably doing contortions in his grave, and Parker long ago swapped London's East End for a home deep in U.S. suburbia. The always-entertaining Parker achieved a peculiar cult status as a singer-songwriter some three decades after his old band, the Rumour, regularly spewed venomously clever, lacerating rock across clubs far and wide. Parker harbored a punkish literary streak even then, and in the intervening decades has honed it into a reliable source of wickedly pointed songs packed with bilious commentary on the sorry state of the world, albeit now usually accompanied by acoustic guitar. Parker's last conventional release was 2007's Don't Tell Columbus, which picked on Dubya, dumb voters, and pop culture. But his own Up Yours label puts out a steady stream of curiosities, including just lately Carp Fishing on Valium, a collection of tunes recorded in his bathroom around 2000, written to accompany a promotional tour of his book of the same name. Some songs ("Chloroform," "Blue Horizon") turned up in different forms on subsequent records. Expect a decades-spanning set.
Sun., July 12, 1:30 p.m., 2009

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