Thursday, April 6

The Bostonians #10 : Jen D'Angora from the Downbeat 5

For #10 in this series I am very glad to have the first female rock musician interviewed and who else could it be but Jennifer D'Angora the dramatically attractive singer/guitar player in the Downbeat 5 and in the Dents .

From the very start of my contributions in this JojoBlog I had wished to speak about Jonathan with members of the Downbeat 5 because to me this "rock'n roll quartet" today is giving the Boston area the new fuel to revive the scene in the same way as the Modern Lovers did in the 70's. The Downbeat 5 has two CDs out, "ism" and "Victory Motel", which have become already instantaneous classics. Listen to Jen's voice, added to those guitar licks from JJ Rassler .. they will make you understand why I am having great hopes for this awesome band. They rule !
My next interview to be will feature JJ from that same band.
You can get info on their webpage :
Jen kindly agreed to answer my questions about Jonathan...

> - When was the first time you saw Jonathan live on
> stage ? how was it ?
I've never seen Jonathan Richman live, as odd as it
may seem. I always mean to, and something always
comes up. I know it sounds lame, but there are a lot
of people I love who I've never seen live.

> - What is your favourite period of his career from
> the Modern Lovers to
> nowadays ?
To me, the original lineup and the first album beats

> - When he comes to Boston do you go and attend his
> concerts ?
Like I said, something else (like a gig) is either
going on, or I find out too late. Being in two bands
with a full time job, it's really hard to keep track
of all the shows. I rehearse twice a week and play
really often, and I've got a demanding job that I also
travel for.

> - Do you think he is still an influence on the local
> scene or is he a part
> of the past, drowned in the elephant cemetery ?
He's totally still an influence. Anytime you hear
that "I don't care" tone of voice over a very simple,
guitar driven beat, that's his influence.

> - What did you think of the Modern Lovers line up
> with Beth and Ellie ?
I liked it. I love his lyrics and his musical
personality so much, however, that it doesn't really
matter what other sounds are around, though.

> - Could you imagine yourself doing this kind of
> singing with Jonathan,
> though I know it is not your usual style ?
No, he seems really particular, first of all, from
what I've read. So I don't know why I would be part
of the equation. Hypothetically, I like to think that
I could compliment anyone's style, but that would be
up to him.

> - What is your favourite Jonathan song, album ?
"She Cracked" is my ultimate favorite song. Besides
the first album, I love "I, Jonathan."

> - What song of Jonathan's can you imagine yourself
> covering with the
> DownBeat 5 ? and with the Dents ?
"She Cracked" with The Downbeat 5, "I Was Dancing in
the Lesbian Bar" with The Dents (because it would be

> - I have the feeling that today with a band like the
> Downbeat 5 , the Boston
> music scene is starting again to get inventive as
> was the case with the
> Modern Lovers in the 70's , what do you think ?
The Downbeat 5 definitely try to keep things moving
and changing, we don't like to beat one sound to
death. Inventive is a very good word. Lots of other
bands are definitely doing the same thing. It's a
shame more bands out of Boston aren't breaking out
nationally, because there's some great music coming
out of here.

> - Any anecdote related to Jonathan ?
I met him once, when I was working at Rounder Records.
I was wearing a striped shirt that day - I thought it
was kismet or something. Anyway, someone took him
around the office to show him around, and he told me
he liked the diagram of "How to Mambo" that was
hanging on the wall of my cubicle. I'll never forget
that, it made me REALLY happy!

> Thank you again Jen, and keep on rockin' , you are a
> star !
Thanks Jacques - I hope that was helpful in some way.
I feel lame compared to other stories you've probably
collected, but I did my best! YOU are a star for
making me feel like a star!

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