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Bipolar Babies: Leonard Cohen and Rod Stewart in misery and delight

"Every night and every morn," wrote William Blake one afternoon in 1803, "some to misery are born."
By: JAMES PARKER  |  December 05, 2012


Finding out what makes the Meat Puppets tick with a new oral history

They Ain't Heavy, They're the Kirkwood Brothers
As half-assed a form as it can be, the rock-band oral history is a folk form nonetheless, with a great claim to authenticity.
By: JAMES PARKER  |  May 30, 2012


They ain't heavy, they're the Kirkwood Brothers

Finding out what makes the Meat Puppets tick with a new oral history
Finding out what makes the Meat Puppets tick with a new oral history
By: JAMES PARKER  |  May 31, 2012


Getting to know Philip Larkin with a new edition of his poems

Philip is a punk rocker
"A smash of glass and a rumble of boots/Electric trains and a ripped-up phonebooth/Paint-spattered walls and the cry of a tomcat/Lights going out, and a kick in the balls." These lines are not by Philip Larkin, of course — they're by Paul Weller.
By: JAMES PARKER  |  April 26, 2012


Black Sabbath are back — in print and on film

Masters of reality
The literature on Black Sabbath — already extensive — will continue to grow, as we try, try, try again to wrap our poor noggins around the irreducibly cosmic fact of this band.
By: JAMES PARKER  |  November 14, 2011


Rediscovering Metallica with a new bio

Write the Lightning
Write the Lightning
By: JAMES PARKER  |  August 26, 2011


Rediscovering Metallica with a new bio

Write the lightning
That the biggest metal band in metal history should be called METALLICA — it's just so frigging metal .
By: JAMES PARKER  |  August 24, 2011

books hd list

Remembering Hüsker Dü with two new books

Everything fell apart
"Readers of this book will be disappointed," declares Andrew Earles, rather sternly, in the introduction to his Hüsker Dü: The Story of the Noise-Pop Pioneers Who Launched Modern Rock (Voyageur Press), "if they hope to be rewarded with the gritty details of any band member's drug use."  
By: JAMES PARKER  |  June 09, 2011

poet Les Murray interview

A poet faces the abyss

Les is more
Depression: the mind grapples — the culture grapples — to frame it. Serotonin hiccup? Existential banana-skin? Anger blow-back? Fall from grace?
By: JAMES PARKER  |  June 08, 2011


Oprah, red in tooth and claw

All God's creatures get nailed in Life
"Of the millions of known species of life on earth, more than 90 percent have no backbone." Well, that explains a few things.
By: JAMES PARKER  |  June 16, 2010


Echo chamber

Men are from Martin Amis, women are from . . . ?
As Under-Secretary of the Ted Hughes Rough Riders (Boston Chapter), I have been delighted by two recent developments.
By: JAMES PARKER  |  May 04, 2010


Eat, pray, shove

Cooking with Mailer in two new memoirs
So after all the roarings and the thumpings and the garlands and the scandals, after all the sex and the jazz and the fires on the moon and the women’s-libbers howling for his blood and the glass bouncing off Gore Vidal’s head, the old lion ends his days in comfortable domesticity on the crooked fingertip of Cape Cod, nibbling teriyaki-infused oatmeal and reading baseball statistics on the crapper.
By: JAMES PARKER  |  March 30, 2010



Jack Pendarvis's not quite mot juste
John Gardner, the great teacher and novelist who wrote approximately 413 books before annihilating himself on a motorcycle in 1982, was very big on vocabulary.
By: JAMES PARKER  |  October 15, 2009


Carnal knowledge

Nick Cave’s bad Bunny
When I interviewed Nick Cave for the Phoenix three years ago and he told me — drolly, languidly, literarily — that his next writing project was about “a sexually incontinent hand-cream salesman” on the south coast of England, I assumed he was taking the piss.
By: JAMES PARKER  |  October 06, 2009


Engine notes

Top Gear hits heavy traffic
The big question with Top Gear, the popular British consumer-car show (in perpetual reruns on BBC America), is this: will it succeed in denting my colossal lack of curiosity about cars?
By: JAMES PARKER  |  May 05, 2009


Interview: Zack Snyder of Watchmen

Zack Snyder is a cheerful dude who's mounting one of the most perilous assaults on pop culture.
"Every movie I've made, starting with Dawn of the Dead, has been, like, death threats."
By: JAMES PARKER  |  March 04, 2009


Dirty democracy

Sexual politics have never been more  — perhaps because there's so much sex in politics. A sexpert sorts us out.
Breathe deep, politics fans. What is that odor?
By: JAMES PARKER  |  December 17, 2008


Medicine men

Two Boston poets use their art for the good of the tribe
What if a poem had the power to heal loneliness?
By: JAMES PARKER  |  November 28, 2008


A smoker’s tale

Will Self’s The Butt
Somehow one is surprised — if one is a semi-conscious literary journalist like me — by the discovery that Will Self has continued to produce books.  
By: JAMES PARKER  |  November 26, 2008


Baby fights the blues

Juliana Hatfield is still standing. How a hometown guitar hero dodged the bullet, and then wrote a book about it
Evening slants in over the spires of Harvard, and Juliana Hatfield is watching me across the table.
By: JAMES PARKER  |  September 17, 2008
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