Thursday, August 31

Bob Dylan says Jonathan Richman is America's Bertolt Brecht

Bob Dylan hosts a radio show on XM called Theme Time Radio Hour. Yesterday's show (30 August) was themed Radio, and Dylan paired The Modern Lovers and "Roadrunner" with this poem by Bertolt Brecht:

Radio Poem

You little box, held to me escaping
So that your valves should not break
Carried from house to house to ship from sail to train,
So that my enemies might all address me,
Near my bed, to my pain
The last thing at night, the first thing in the morning,
Of their victories and of my cares,
Promise me not to go silent all of a sudden.

-- Bertolt Brecht

XM Satellite Radio with host Bob Dylan

You can listen to the show on AOL, which is also streaming Bob Dylan's new CD Modern Times in its entirety

playlist for 30 August 2006 Theme Time Radio Hour

Thanks to Eamonn for this

I watched it for a little while

Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love" mp3s at Moistworks


Tuesday, August 29

if you care about me (tell me now)

Marc at RetroLowFi on the Modern Lovers and Songs of Rememberance:

They gave people lean musical arrangements with lyrics that were so honest and uncomfortable that even the most cynical critic had no choice but to all but build a shrine to the band in their front yard. Instead of giving you a simple repetitive groove like, say, The Ramones, the Lovers stayed on one or two key chord progressions that dynamically came and went depending on the desired lyrical accents. If vocalist Jonathan Richman felt that a verse was important and the crowd wasn’t paying enough attention, he had no qualms about just stopping the band altogether to recite the stanza in plain voice. No one had ever attempted this type of connection and honesty in rock and roll.

Read the rest (and listen to mp3s of "Modern World" and "A Plea For Tenderness" from Songs of Rememberance) at RetroLowFi

more about Songs of Rememberance (track listing and lyrics)

additional info at sime's jonathan richman pages

Sunday, August 27

more about Revenge of the Book Eaters

or...... Shows That Ask The Eternal Question: Words or Music—Which is Better?

copyright Steve Rhodes
Jonathan Richman at Revenge of the Book Eaters benefit, 28 Aug 06
Image courtesy
Steve Rhodes

The Revenge of the Book Eaters tour is a series of benefits for the 826 Writing Centers across the USA, where volunteers help young people with their writing skills:

826 National FAQ and Application

David Byrne participated in the Revenge of the Book Eaters benefit concert in NYC Wednesday night. Read more about it in his journal:

David Byrne Journal

Jonathan Richman will be performing in the Revenge of the Book Eaters show in San Francisco tomorrow night (sold out).

See the Revenge of the Book Eaters tour info here. There's still time to make plans to go to the Bumbershoot show in Seattle and the final stop this year in Ann Arbor; Jonathan may not be scheduled to perform but it's a worthy cause that promises a good time.

Dave Eggers, the founder of McSweeney's and the 826 Writing Centers, explains what happens at the centers:

The kids are all over the map, age-wise, and in terms of their needs, and that makes it really different every day. Our days are strange sometimes, where we're doing a field trip with first graders in the morning — they play in the pirate store and we tell them stories in costume (usually this guy Ian dressed up as a pirate), and then they put together a booklet relating to their curriculum — and in the afternoon we've got drop-ins working on papers, and right after that our classes start. So we start with twenty 6- and 7-year-olds trying to find out if Ian's real, asking where his treasure is, pulling on his eyepatch, all that, and we end with fifteen 12-year-olds learning advanced comic-making techniques. It's a strange place sometimes, but we knew it would have to be strange, to be a place kids would come on their own.

more here

Tuesday, August 8

Roadrunner covered and RIP Arthur Lee

Here is some not too bad cover of "Roadrunner" executed by the Sex Pistols during their reunion tour. Interesting interpretation but so typically British, I would say the fish'n chips style..
The feeling of cruisin' on highways and the loneliness on route 128 are missing. The song keeps its pace a bit far away from Jonathan's dramatic scenery.

Sex Pistols - Roadrunner (1996)

Some days ago Arthur Lee, charismatic founder of Love, passed away. His music will survive him as it is easily some of the best produced during the last 50 years.

Love - Alone Again Or (2003)

Sunday, August 6

la la

Moistworks explains la la, the CD trading site (beta)

Jonathan Richman at la la

(clicking the compilations tab reveals a few surprises)

Friday, August 4

Rockin' and Romance

To get hold of a custom burned copy of 'Rockin and Romance' straight from the record label go here....

Revenge of the Book Eaters

28 August (Monday)
Revenge of the Book Eaters
Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

826 Valencia and Another Planet Entertainment present Revenge of the Book Eaters, a star-studded night featuring some of today's most recognized names in indie-rock, literature, and comedy, including Dave Eggers, Mark Kozelek, Aimee Mann, Patton Oswalt, Jonathan Richman, Zach Rogue and Sarah Vowell, in an event that promises to once and for all settle the debate: word or music—which is better?

Jonathan Richman, one of rock's most eccentric and unpredictable cult figures, is a performer whose eternally childlike public persona and seeming naiveté tends to obscure the dexterity and craft of his music, which skirts from garage rock to country to Latin stylings and back. Richman formed the influential proto-punk band the Modern Lovers in 1973 and has released 21 albums since then, gaining a fiercely devoted fan base, which expanded substantially in the 1990s, thanks to his frequent guest spots on TV's Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and his prominent appearance in the 1998 film comedy smash There's Something About Mary.


Revenge of the Book Eaters tour website

Wednesday, August 2


no tour scheduled but Jonathan's doing benefit performances close to home

3 August (Thursday)
IDEX benefit concert featuring Los nadies and Jonathan Richman
La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley