Saturday, February 24

Review : The 5 Spot, East Nashville - Feb 2007

Jojo came to East Nashville 2/20 & 2/21 for a two night stay. With Tommy in tow and Phil Kaufman working the door part time for his old pal, the first night kicked off on a mellow note with Jonathan more quiet than usual. The dancing, banter and marvel were there, but Jonathan seemed a little preoccupied. He played a straight 1 hour and 45 minute set including most of the hits, but focusing elsewhere, which I appreciated because honestly listening to a crowd of people who showed up for “Pablo Picasso” yelling gets a little old after the years. He spent most of the night switching back and forth between French, Spanish and working on his Italian, which is getting quite good! One of the of the highlights of the night had to be when he did his famous version of “Let her go into the darkness” with the spoken part in Spanish, French, Italian and Hebrew with a concluding observation of “Gee, it’s hard all over, I guess.” Not wanting to do an encore, Jonathan ran out into the crowd as if to avoid the topic. When he realized he wasn’t getting away so easily he improvised in a way that became the highlight of the night. After a shake of his head he started to sing the old standard “Volare” a capella while standing in the middle of the crowd and encouraged a sing along, which turned out to be a magical ending.

After the show, Tommy and Jonathan decided to head to the other side of town for a little karaoke at local bar The Springwater, which is an old Nashville dive that Jimmy Hoffa used to run numbers out of and Steve Earle had many a wedding reception among the crusty floors and ceiling yellowed by eighty years of debauchery. As soon as Jonathan and Tommy showed, Jonathan had to leave because he was having a discussion with the misses over the phone, which explained his somewhat gloomy disposition. Tommy stayed until 3 and relayed a great story of when they met Tom Waits at Redding. According to Tommy, they were sitting under a tree when they saw Waits in the distance. As they watched him, Waits started to walk towards them and stuck out his hand to an awe struck Jonathan telling him, “I like your songs” Jonathan replied, “I like your songs” with the three of them stuck in this awkward, but mystical moment.

The second night found Jonathan back in good spirits. It seemed his thoughts were racing so fast that multiple times he would stop a song in the middle and think of something else, sing it in French, want to come back to it, or think it was “just plain too slow.” Tonight he was really focusing on the dancing. About an hour into the show you could see he was really having a good time. I hadn’t seen him with that kind of energy onstage in a long while. He started asking what the crowd wanted to hear and decided he liked “Cosi Veloce” the best after the crowd attempted for “New England” (he looked at the girl and said, “No, we can’t do that one”) and “That Summer Feeling” (he actually hadn’t done it either night, surprisingly), “only because it so warm today”, the fan explained. He ended up doing the song after, but a short version with little interest in it. My personal favorite request was, “Do a monologue about Bermuda!” which was damn funny and Jonathan laughed right along. My favorite moment of the night though was when he started to talk about how he sometimes thinks of himself as a country boy…..and started into “When she started to ride.” As many times as I’ve seen Jojo, I’ve never heard him do that song. Don’t know if it was a little Nashville treat, but it didn’t matter. He finished out the night with “Give Paris one more chance” and jumped up for an encore with another verse.

Melodramatic as it may be, I walked outside the next morning and a magnolia tree in my yard was blooming. Considering just a few days before Nashville had nighttime lows in the teens, my first thought was that Jonathan must have brought the spring before he and Tommy headed off to Memphis.


Thursday, February 22

two faces of pablo

Art Decade has "Pablo Picasso" mp3s by both The Modern Lovers and David Bowie


Wednesday, February 21

coming and going

Having returned from traveling to find that Blogger has decided it's time to switch over to the new no-longer-beta Blogger, I crossed my fingers, held my breath, and made the leap. Hopefully there won't be a problem with the team blogs. I don't have time to explore all the nooks and crannies since I'm only home long enough to repack and leave again, but starting next week I may be going back to clean up archives and assign labels. If that happens those of you who read this blog via feed can probably expect to see some repeats.

More info for team members here

Saturday, February 10

Volando Voy - The Knitting Factory, Feb 2007

Here's Jonathan and Kiko Veneno doing a lively 'Volando Voy' a few days ago.

Government Center- Let's Rock!

government center- let's rock!

Handed out during a radio fund drive, circa 1975 (thanks to Tony for this!)

Review: Knitting Factory 4 Feb 2007

and then Sunday night I caught Jonathan Richman performing a really strong career-overview of a wonderful set at the Knitting Factory, Jonathan was in superlative form and fine voice (think of it-- David, Lou, Laurie and Jonathan, all in one weekend--now there's a NY minute for ya)...flamenco star [Kiko Veneno] opened in a duo with a another male guitarist and they did a rocking version of Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile (with the Memphis Blues Again)" in Spanish that got a large Spanish youth contingent on their feet...then Jonathan came out with wispy beard and striped tee and danced and rocked and rolled and frolicked and frei-lached acoustically doing Richman classics old and new including "That Summer Feeling", "Egyptian Reggae", "Give Paris One More Chance"-- he even went back to precise Modern Lovers style with a rendition of "Girl Fren", Ernie Brooks was supposed to have made it down but didn't show, too bad for him as he would have loved to see his old bandmate on such a night, went backstage and spoke to Jonathan who spoke not a word back to me or anyone else in the dressingroom but instead scribbled messages to us and mimed to us all to save his voice, he nodded vigorously and happily upon hearing that Gods and Monsters are covering a version of The Modern Lovers' "She Cracked" on our forthcoming live DVD/CD (yes! Jerry Harrison sang it, and is currently mixing it down to 5 point one surround sound in Sausalito--btw, Jerry produced Kenny Wayne Sheperd's new album, which is #1 on the Billboard Blues chart only 10 days out!)...I ran into Steve Paul backstage too, who has this great new website up at,where you can see clips all about his new Puppet Music Hall project, and more cool stuff... another classic night of musical scrapple from the paraphrase Jonathan: Give New York one more chance!

-- Gary Lucas, from New York is Now!

Read the rest of this fantastic post on Gary Lucas blog

Saturday, February 3


Now this is Jonathan Richman, the singer from Boston,
Who wants to tell you where he shops, when he stops, in Austin,
The owner doesn’t know I took this ad out for surprise,
But I want people to know about his store called ECO-WISE.

I saw the store on Congress South, when it was there a spell,
And now it’s on E-liz-a-beth, so can’t be seen so well,
I have them ship stuff to me, tho’ I’m half way cross the nation,
Cause I’d rather buy from the little guy than a monster corporation.

I buy their house paint for my house, ‘cause I don’t want no fumes!
I buy their bedclothes for my bed, don’t want no bad bedrooms!
So try it! So shop there! It’s an ecological store,
And their number is, three two six four-four-seven four!

(An advert posted by Jonathan in the Austin Chronicle, TEXAS - 1999)

Eco-wise's website is here

Teatro Aurora, Olgiate Comasco, Italy - 18th May 1993