Tuesday, February 23

West Coast Live '97

Thanks to Nathan, in youtube there is a recording from West Coast Live with four songs:

- Everyday clothes
- Nuestro tema de amor (Silvio Rodriguez cover)
- Paris Je T'aime
- Mood lighting for dreaming

You can download the mp3 file at:



Thursday, February 18

Show reviews!

Okay, I know I've been a bit of a slacker about this, but I don't always have the time to comb the web, guys :(

First up, the lovely Andrew Frisicano of Brooklyn Vegan, about Jonathan's Valentine's Day extravaganza:

Overall, the set was similar to (if looser than) his summer 2009 shows at Bowery Ballroom (one difference being the somber absence of Vic Chesnutt, who was never mentioned but his presence was felt in the tour's unfilled opening spot). The Valentine's Day touch did make it special for the crowd (like some go to church to get refreshed, others go to see Jonathan Richman). He talked freely in and out of his songs about his own romance and its lows and highs. One Juliet in the house even brought up a bouquet of flowers, which sent him beaming. He closed out the night with "Le Printemps Des Amoreux Est Venue," and, politely asking permission to play just two more, added "Mr. Sorrow" and the perfect "Not So Much to be Loved as to Love."

You can read all of it, along with excellent pictures and video, here.

Next up! Kenneth Partridge of Spinner gives us a review that both has some delightful turns of phrase and also answers the question "Is Jonathan totally anti-psychiatric?"

Such is the nature of Richman's worldview, a sort of optimistic realism best exemplified on 'When We Refuse to Suffer,' which came later in the show. In that song, the former Modern Lovers frontman rejects air conditioning, anti-depressants and other quick fixes, insisting, "If we think we can cheat sorrow -- well, we can't."

It's not that he's a Tom Cruise-style anti-pill crusader -- in fact, in a playful aside, Richman said psychiatric drugs are fine for those who genuinely need them. He simply believes in taking the good with the bad and finding the beauty in each.

And the rest of that is here.

And then! Someone actually did email me a review, thanks be to your individual higher power, somewhere. This is from Andy Peters, who went and saw Jojo in Athens, and it makes me a little sad for Jonathan:

review of Jonathan Richman show, Athens, Ga., Feb. 6, 2010

after the second song, he spoke about how difficult it was to come to Athens because of memories of Vic Chesnutt, who died in December. Vic was supposed to have opened the Athens show for Jonathan.

I don’t remember the exact set list and I don’t know all the titles. The songs I do remember:

“Keith Richards”

“I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar”

“No One Was Like Vermeer”

Some song with the words “stultify” and “formaldehyde”

He took requests and played “Since She Started to Ride”

The second-to-last song was an extended version of a song about embracing pain and embracing the weeds and trash around a dirty pond and rejecting air-conditioned, no-feeling places.

Then he talked again about Vic Chesnutt, saying that they wouldn’t be able to attend a memorial for Vic in Athens in a couple of weeks, because they would be touring, but they would be there in spirit.

He closed with a song about watching his mother dying in a nursing home.

There was a long call for an encore, but Jonathan didn’t come back out.

Jonathan and Tommy ate breakfast the next morning at The Grit in Athens

Alot of reviews I've read about the tour have talked about the strange sort of emptiness left by Vic's abscence, and that just makes me sad for everyone involved on every level.

Photos are by the very talented Gongfujazz, who I recommend you go check out.

Wednesday, February 17

Pictures of Valentine's day show

Great pix by Hank Kauptman


Wednesday, February 3

Reviews comin' innnnn

I still haven't gotten any emails from eager readers willing to share their Jonathan experience, (I am disappointed in you kids!) but I did find some crawling around the internet to share with you. This first short one comes to us from Hikool arts:

After so many years, let us still count the charms of Jonathan Richman:

He’s funny.

He’s not shy about dancing, in the most loopy, unaffected way.

He knows his way around a love song, a fact that is easy to forget amid all the comical mugging and humor.

And he still exudes childlike joy with a combination of innocence and a knowing wink.

On Tuesday at the Social, Richman and his reliable sidekick, drummer Tommy Larkins, offered a delightful, unconventionally engaging 80 minutes, with the singer often stepping away from the microphone to do a verse, dance or play an intricate solo on his gut-string guitar – utterly unplugged.

“Don’t be shy about giving us the beat,” he told the crowd at one point, as the audience members clapped along. “It warms up the atmosphere.”

You can finish it out here.

Also, there is this very cool remembrance of a Jonathan concert/encounter from years past, via Every Gig I've Ever Seen:

We managed to get backstage to say hello to Jonathan. The band were buzzing at the reaction. We got a free beer. There’s Jonathan! By then the excitement was too much and I went bounding up to him. I was aware that I probably looked totally wired, all hot and sweaty and smelly. “That was amazing! I don’t know if you’re a genius or madman!”. I remember blurting that out. Can’t remember his response. He gave me a badge and didn’t seem displeased. In fact the overall impression was of a really nice person. Honest.

the rest, which I recommend, and is

In unrelated news, when talking with some people yesterday, the idea of a Jonathan Richman biopic came up. It's definitely on the list of impossible things that would never happen, but how cool would it be?

Also, email me your reviews, guys!

picture is from the great ZioWoody

Tuesday, February 2

Paris salle de l'Empire winter 1979

My friend JL Bassman has kindly posted on you tube this Jonathan concert filmed for French TV in 1979 and splitted it in 3 parts.

here is part 1 which features "crazy Eddie", "crazy little mama" and "back in your life"

part 2 is here, "abominable snowman in the supermarket"

part3 is here, "rock'n roll"

enjoy !!

Monday, February 1

So I've got good news and bad news...

So, in the good news vein, as you can see, comments are back. And since we decided just to give up on %#&^ing Haloscan and give in to our Blogger overlords, we lost all the comments that have ever been made on the blog. ROUGH. But that just means you guys have more space to fill with your thoughts and ideas!

In bad news, the Cactus Cafe, where Jonathan pretty much always plays when he heads through Austin, is closing. Citing wanting to provide better services for full-time students, UT is closing the legendary place where not just Jonathan, but tons of brilliant musicians have played. You can read all about it here.

In news that is neither bad nor good, I'm looking for reviews from the current tour. If you have one, my email is in the sidebar, under contact an admin. I would love love love to hear from you, because unfortunately I'm not independently wealthy and can't spend my days chasing Jonathan Richman around the country. More's the pity, really.

Pictures, in addition to being from Ravenna and being awesome, (seriously, it was hard just to pick two, and originally I was only looking for one), were stolen in the dead of night from ziowoody.