Tuesday, June 24

New JOJO tribute album


They're looking for a cover - I mean artwork

Saturday, June 21


The Spanish M80 Radio had Jonathan Richman and Tommy Larkins in-studio in April 12th, 2005. It was a very funny interview at the program "No somos nadie", but Jonathan also talked about Fairtrade and John Perkins' books (http://www.johnperkins.org/). Almost all the interview is in Spanish, and Jonathan and Tommy played "Cosi veloce", "Vampiresa mujer", and "El joven se estremece".


Filename: Jonathan Richman en M80 Radio.mp3 Size: 37.27 MB

Many thanks to Nacho, from

Make-Out Room Wrapup

Over at MOG, Spencer Owen's published a fine essay on the new album and all four nights at the Make-Out Room. Here, he explains his background as a fan of old-school Jonathan discovering the new solo stuff for the first time:

I wouldn't have gone to every night of this week's S.F. run if it hadn't been for his newest record, Because Her Beauty Is Raw and Wild. I only knew Richman's earliest, snottiest, most classic work with the Modern Lovers, as well as his first two solo records, which are about as silly and poignant as American pop music can get. Nothing had compelled me quite strongly enough to follow through on the rest of his career until I found his latest album at Amoeba and, next thing I knew, it was in my shopping bag. I now couldn't be more glad for the impulse.

Link. Thanks, Spencer!

Thursday, June 19

Boston Groupie News 1977

Interesting stuff about Jojo in 1977 here :


Wednesday, June 18

A rather poetic review from the Makeout Room

Jennifer Maerz of All Shook Down treats us to a romantic review of last night's show at the Makeout room. My favorite bit:

Because when you’re witnessing a Jonathan Richman performance, sometimes his insight into the need to suffer, to beat that air conditioning, to stay in love despite the crowds, to throw away the cell phone so you can just have a walk on the beach, sometimes that’s all you need to forget how uncomfortable an old club with no fan can be. When you refuse to feel, your life becomes a bore -- and you're suffering even more. At least, that's the way Jonathan Richman said it.

See the rest at All Shook Down

Picture by Bedtime Champ at Flickr. See more here

Tuesday, June 17

Jonathan and Tommy at the Make-Out Room: Night 1

Last night, Jonathan and Tommy began a four-night stint at San Francisco's Make-Out Room. The show was a keeper.

During the sequence in "Let Her Go" where Jonathan shrieks the female character's protests, he included a line I'd never heard before. He always says, "You controlling bastard!" and sometimes says, "You're just like my father!" but "I have issues you will *never* understand!" was a new one on me. Fleshes out the character just a wee bit more. Nice.

They also debuted a new song that I believe is now my favorite song. I'll paraphrase the lyrics:

despite having every advantage, why are we still stultified?

i do rebel
i do rebel
against the ways that've trained us all too well

i do deny
i do deny
and thus reject the forces that stultify

i do let go
i do let go
and let the moment tell us where we need to go

Combine that with a driving beat and some soulful up-tempo strumming, and you've got a hit.

Over at Mission Mission, we had a contest in which we gave away some tickets to readers (Thanks, Make-Out Room!), and our first winner had this to say:

The show was fantastic, definitely all I'd hoped for and more. Jonathan is a tremendously charismatic entertainer, and a clever songwriter to boot. There's nothing like going to a concert where you can tell, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the band is up there having the time of their lives. This was one of those concerts.

What a review! Thanks, Joel! To me, the band looked most joyous during their final encore, a rendition of the completely Modern Lovers-esque cellphone song in which Jonathan led the crowd in a climactic sing-a-long.

Photo by wizardmountain.

Wednesday, June 11


photo: VOXPOP

Alexander Miller of VOXPOP (in London, not to be confused with the Vox Pop band in Los Angeles associated with the Rubinoos; Rubinoos have been occasional Modern Lovers, most notably Greg "Curly" Keranen whose bass playing can be heard on Because Her Beauty Is Raw and Wild) sent us the reflective song "In Love with the Modern World" as a tribute to Jonathan Richman, and as a mini history of pop music over the last 50 years. [download mp3]

Loudersoft says this about VOXPOP: They take what’s best about Suede and a number of other great pop and Brit-pop bands and blend them together. You’ve got a bit of Weezer, a bit of Franz Ferdinand, a bit of The Strokes and a dash of Futureheads for good measure. [more] and [more again]

Thanks Alexander!

VOXPOP (MySpace)

Los Angeles: Rockaway Records (7 June 2008)

Jonathan Richman, Rockaway Records 6-7-08 by pneyu
photo: pneyu

Jonathan Richman, Rockaway Records 6-7-08 by pneyu
photo: pneyu

Although I did not write about it earlier, Saturday we had an In-Store performance by Jonathan Richman. It was supposed to begin at 1:00pm, and fifteen minutes before that time he was nowhere in sight. I was in charge of watching the back door to grant his vehicle access to a spot near the shipping department. The car rolled up just as the store was starting to become cramped with people. I met him and his percussionist behind at their car and showed them inside. My first impression was that Jonathan was a very slight fellow, and I wondered why when he introduced himself he was speaking with a weird accent. At Jonathan's request, we turned off the air conditioning just before he got on the makeshift stage we made a few days earlier. The general manager said a quick word or two about turning off cellphones, not using flash photography, and not speaking during the performance. Jonathan then performed maybe five songs, delivered a monologue or two, and hung around for about an hour afterwards to talk to fans and even and old friends (like Alan Mason and Elliott Roberts) who had come out to see him. As I walked back and forth between the front and rear of the store, performing my regular duties, I was struck by his demeanor whenever I walked past the group conversing at the back of the room. He was kneeling on the ground, lightly picking flamenco patterns on his nylon-string guitar, and staring off into space. His smile was very unusual. Even if he glanced in my direction, it seemed as if he was looking through me and smiling at something far beyond. Very cool, and very weird. [more]

via Swan Fungus

Thanks Evan!

Rockaway Records

Thursday, June 5

The "other" new CD

This is Jonathan's new CD, exclusively produced and distributed through APC, a French Fashion Company created by Jean Touitou, a die-hard fan of Jojo's. This CD is a collection of songs in Spanish, Italian, French and English. It is available now in APC shops and on line at : http://www.apc.fr

Wednesday, June 4

Seen on Flickr

rudemonkey by ajennywren
rudemonkey, originally uploaded by ajennywren.

Tuesday, June 3

Stupenda e misera città

Stupenda e misera città
With your doormen and your bouncers
In this miserable city
Tonight they’re all on the town
With your doormen and your bouncers
And your barfly girls and flouncers
Stupenda e misera città
La notte ci chiama

Stupenda e misera città
La luna sulla terra
In questo luogo misero
La notte ci chiama
Colla luna sulla terra
E il rumore della sera
Stupenda e misera città
La notte ci chiama

Stupenda e misera città
With your mystery and shadow
In this miserable city
Tonight they’re all on the town
With your mystery and shadow
And back alleys and boulevards
Stupenda e misera città
La notte ci chiama

As performed at Radio 3 studios, Madrid, Spain, 22nd May 2007

Thanks to Renato and Bob

the originator

Bo Diddley (30 December 1928- 2 June 2008)

Bo Diddley (Ellas McDaniel) was one of Jonathan Richman's rhythmic influences, "originating" the 5/4 (African based) beat and playing his box-guitar like a drum

diddy wah diddy


BBC News

Update: a Bo-bituary by David Hepworth at The Word Magazine

Monday, June 2

Jonathan Goes Funky Demo Tape

The Boxing Duck! music blog has the rare 'Jonathan Goes Funky' demo tape from the early 80's for download. It has 6 songs, some of which were commercially released later on, some were not:

1. Underneath
2. My Name is Jonathan
3. The Neighbors
4. Better
5. Don't Change for Me
6. Somebody to Hold Me

Pop over to the Boxing Duck! for the download link.