Friday, October 7

FWIW: Quiet Please

Allentown (PA) Morning Call
October 6, 2005

"When Jonathan Richman performed at Philadelphia's North Star Bar in 2003, he and the crowd quarreled throughout his 85-minute show over the sound level. Many wanted singer-acoustic guitarist Richman and drummer Tommy Larkins to play louder, but Richman stubbornly insisted the audience make less noise or move closer.

"On Tuesday, the battle will no doubt resume when the 54-year-old performer with the childlike persona and fierce punk-rocker's heart will play at Philadelphia's Theatre of Living Arts. The multi-lingual Richman likely will be performing some songs in Spanish and French -- he may even do the sublimely silly "Couples Must Fight," where he replicates a quarrel in five languages. And there will be those extended acoustic guitar solos, and repeated outbursts of spastic dancing padding the performance.

"But despite his many eccentricities, Richman is one of a kind, with a wealth of wonderful, whimsical material that dates back a quarter-century to his days fronting the Modern Lovers. No one is capable of songs such as "Pablo Picasso," "Roadrunner," "Back inYour Life," "Rooming House on Venice Beach," "I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar,""My Career as a Homewrecker," "Give Paris One More Chance," "Vincent Van Gogh,"etc.

"Now, if only he would play them."

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