Wednesday, August 31

Sexsmith & Kerr

Calgary Sun, 8-30-05:

"Most of the best memories -- the simple, ingrained and timeless memories -- are summer memories. Coffee on a sundeck. Slurpees in an NHL collector cup. Slip 'n' slide. Sidewalk chalk drawings. Hand-holding.

"All of those memories and more -- tennis courts, playing catch, lemonade stands, etc. -- come flooding forth listening to Destination Unknown, the new disc from Canadian songwriting treasure Ron Sexsmith and his longtime musical collaborator Don Kerr.

"The two friends catch -- to quote Jonathan Richman -- "that summer feeling" as effortlessly as a moth in a jar with this refreshing collection of acoustic songs ripe with melody, infused with harmony and sweetened with an innocence that would be cloying if it weren't entirely and utterly believable.

"'Miracles all around, you've only to follow the sound,' Sexsmith sings on the album's opening track. And when you do, the path will take you to a destination known and not forgotten -- back to those summer memories, those simple memories, the best memories."

Tuesday, August 30

summer shows revisited

Jonathan Richman at the Outland
words and pix by promootheus

Here's Jonny!
words and pix by roargh

Both of the above by way of the rockin' shopping center

and then there's this gem: The concert by Phantom Scribbler

Monday, August 29


:: Yaya favourite tunes ::
Thanks to JC Brochard via the Jojolist.

Tuesday, August 16

one more time

Download mp3: Billy Bragg covers "Ice Cream Man"

(3.56 MB) Thanks to Brian for this! Hurry, this link will disappear soon...

Lyrics and chords for "Ice Cream Man" here

Monday, August 15

vintage 1996

From: kk
Date: Thu, 2 May 1996
Subject: Jojo is sexier.

Ladies, please, no need to make excuses for a sexy tangent. Sexy is as sexy does. Besides, I know a whole hell of a lot of men who'd say the same. But I don't think it means that everyone wants to leave their significant others for JoJo. I think he just represents something that is very appealing to many of us. There's a frank sex appeal that just seems to be part of his personality. Maybe it's because he is down to earth and goofy. Maybe it's because he seems to share his vulnerability with his audience while still maintaining a bit of mystery. Or maybe it's the way he dances with that trademark combination of self-consciousness and oblivious-ness. In any case, I don't think you have to be a woman to appreciate that. And I do think it's worth discussing.

To stray a bit from the topic, I also find Jonathan to be strange and distant in person, like his mind is always somewhere else. Granted I've only spoken to him after shows and when he visited our offices, but still it was odd. I think that because I relate so much to his music and his style, I was expecting to relate to him one on one as well. But maybe I've just had bad timing.

- -kk

p.s. I had a great time at both of the Noe Valley Ministry shows in SF. There were quite a number of kids there and highlights included "I'm a Little Airplane" complete with the dance. Friday night he did a touching version of Maurice Chevalier's "Paris Je t'aime." Actually, I am always surprised at how few people actually dance at his shows, especially considering what a dancin' man he is. The Noe Valley shows were even dubbed "a dance party" but the floor was covered with chairs. I don't get it.

Note: This is a vintage post from the old list. If you spend any time at all on an email mailing list, you will assuredly come across a flame war at some point, and some of them are more interesting and less wince-inducing than others. This particular thread was an affectionate jousting over Gary Numan v. Jonathan, arising from Numan's being billed over Jonathan at a "New Wave" festival in the UK. Some of the points hashed over were: which musician was the pioneer, what is new wave music anyway, who had the better hair, and is it a UK v. USA thing? Of course the important matchup was in the sex appeal arena, where there was no question as to who had the advantage.

Wednesday, August 10

Gig Posters art

While there are still some interviews with musicians and artists concerning Jonathan which I will publish in the Bostonian series, Summer seems a good time to look at pictures, here are some gig posters along the years which, I think, are a pretty good reflection of Jonathan's music and mood at the time.
First part concerns the photographers who always seemed to enhance the gloomiest side of our man.

This one does not need any comment, it is the classic shot of the Modern Lovers at Gloucester High gig, angry young men led by a stubborned Jonathan, they are creating both punk music and attitude but they don't know it yet.

Years later, after the "confusion" tour, Jonathan is darker than ever and this poster is a tribute to punk art (the shoes, the lettering, the de-structured picture design) as well as a try to show Jonathan as a mixture of Richard Hell and of Tom Waits. The guy looks unhappy.

Look at this ! Mr Jonathan Richman with THE Amazing Tommy Larkins, this has been clearly designed after beginning of the Irak war, the "not in my name tour". Colours are vivid red and black only. The video screened photograph displays a musician singing in Hell cave among burning fires.. apocalyptic and scary ..

The illlustrators usually sorted out the funny and playful side of Jonathan to inspire them, there are posters with dinosaurs and cappucino mugs. Here I have selected three untypical posters which again are on the edge of something darker.

A poster for a gig in Montreal, Quebec. The girl inspired by J.Cl. Forrest's Barbarella looks decided and unimpressed. She has just done her shopping, having found a musician she just stuffed in her paper bag, Jonathan as a ready to consume item.

This second poster is ambiguous. From a short distance you see peaceful birds embracing a girl's legs with a delicate banner. From a longer distance, this banner looks like the girl is losing her knickers and they are around her knees.

This is one of my favourites. The drawing a la Charles Burns and the girls displaying a picture of a young Jonathan whom they love as being the perfect guy. But have a look at those girls eyes, they do not look to be in love at all. These girls are more likely to wrap Jonathan in a paper and put it in a bag like on the first poster. Great art anyway.