Friday, June 29

still dancing

I was dancing in a lesbian bar, Jonathan Richman (LIVE) via

mohawk, austin, tx june 22, 2012


Rare Interview with Emma Silvers at All Shook Down (SFWeekly):
It's now that it's the best time: we have (me and my drummer Tommy Larkins) the best, overall, times with audiences of all ages, in the U.S. and everywhere, right now. (more)


September dates with Wilco: more info

16 September 2012 / Live on Ninth Street / Columbia, MO
On sale: Fri. June 29 at 12PM CDT

18 September 2012 / Santa Fe Opera House / Santa Fe, NM
On sale: Fri. June 22 at 10AM MDT

19 September 2012 / Tucson Convention Center Music Hall / Tucson, AZ
On sale: Fri. June 22 at 10AM PDT

25 September 2012 / Britt Pavilion / Jacksonville, OR
On sale: Fri. June 22 at 9AM PDT

26 September 2012 / Cascade Theatre / Redding, CA
On sale: Fri. June 22 at 10AM PDT

29 September 2012 / Avila Beach Resort / San Luis Obispo, CA
On sale: Fri. June 22 at 11AM PDT

Tuesday, June 19

better than ever

Jonathan Richman Dancing (Bowery Ballroom 6/12/12) by Dean Peterson via

NEW YORK CITY - Dean Wareham at Salon on Jonathan Richman at Bowery Ballroom (June 12, 2012):

Last night I saw Jonathan Richman perform at Bowery Ballroom in New York. I counted myself lucky that he pulled out not only “Egyptian Reggae” (a U.K. hit for him in 1977), but also “Old World,” which dates from that first album, but also appeared — in a new stripped-down version with fresh lyrics — on his excellent album “Because Her Beauty Is Raw and Wild.” He is an amazing and unique live performer, in recent years playing a nylon acoustic guitar and accompanied only by Tommy Larkin on drums (playing quietly). His guitar playing is better than ever; he never gets too far from the melody but there is a dazzling fluidity to his fretwork that I never noticed before. There are also moments where he puts down the guitar, picks up the jingle bells, and dances, before ending with a flourish and a smile that recalls his hero Harpo Marx.

Read the rest of this lovely appreciation at Salon: Dean Wareham: My Jonathan Richman romance

Dean Wareham has long been covering Jonathan Richman's "Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste" arranged into a galloping power-trance with Galaxie 500 and Dean & Britta:

Dean & Britta [Dean Wareham plays Galaxie 500] - Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste via

Here's Jonathan singing this song in stark a cappella in its Original Modern Lovers incarnation:

The Modern Lovers - Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste via

See more Jonathan Richman covers (Galaxie 500, Luna, Dean & Britta) at Head Full of Wishes on a post honoring Jonathan's 61st birthday last month here  

Sunday, June 17

Jonathan in Asheville

June 15, 2012
Asheville, North Carolina, USA
The Grey Eagle

Hello Jonathan Land,

A few nights ago I saw Mr. Richman play in Asheville, North Carolina at a venue called "The Grey Eagle".
Me and a buddy drove from Raleigh to see the show and everyone was in a real mellow mood after a beautiful day in Asheville.

The venue was average sized, with a main concert area and a bar/food area.
There was also an outdoor area where I saw Jonathan sitting with some people before the show.

I waited until it looked like he was free and asked for a photo. Then I had to ask him about the song "Bohemia". This song is so special to me, and the last time I saw him play at this venue (February of last year) he had played like a 12 minute meandering version where it seemed like he was just making it up as he went. It was probably my favourite moment at one of this shows seeing that, and this was about my 12th one.
He said that most of his songs are made up that way...just made up as he goes along, each time putting his own twist on it.

I said that I'd be in the front row, and he said that he'd "see me there!"

A little while later the show started, with what I thought was probably a smaller than expected audience. He mentioned for the venue people to turn on some of the lights so he could see the audience, and after a false try, they were brightened.

The beginning of the show was pretty standard...Egyptian Reggae, Vermeer, Let Her Go Into the Darkness...but then he played a GREAT new (to me at least) song about how his (I think) wife's laugh sounds like a trumpet. It was in Spanish I believe, and it had kind of a 12-bar blues feel to it. I don't know if it was a cover or not, but it sure sounded like something he would write.

A few songs later he broke a string in the middle of "A Que Venimos...", and nonchalantly said that he would just use 5 strings! And it still sounded great! After finishing the song, and playing a fast version of "Keith Richards", he said that if we wanted we would take a little break while he tended to his guitar.

After the break he played a few other standards and then came the most magical part of the night...a new song about a fight he had. It sounded like a fight he had with his wife, but I suppose it could have been with anyone...but definitely someone that was tender. He kept on singing that he should have been softer, and just stopped, but that he would do better "next time". It was a slow song and was simply brilliant.

When he left the stage the audience naturally clapped and made all sorts of noise for an encore.
He came back up to the stage and did something interesting...he announced that there would be no encore, and that he had instructed the venue to turn off the lights after he had said goodnight.
This news coming from any other person could have enraged the audience...but due to his truly unique nature it was simply accepted with very little fuss! He left the stage saying that he had said all he had wanted to say, and the show came to a close.
The only other time I had heard of him doing this was about 10 years ago in Atlanta.

Overall it was a (as usual) great gig, but with a little less of a closeness with the audience than with previous gigs I had seen. I'll always remember those new songs he played and the meeting I had with him before the show.

1. intro
2. My Affected Accent
3. Let Her Go Into the Darkness
4. Egyptian Reggae
5. No One Was Like Vermeer
6. Take Me To the Plaza
7. Trumpet?
8. Celestial
9. Vincent Van Gogh
10. A Que Venimos A Caer
11. Keith Richards
12. Le Primtemps Des Amore Est Venue
13. Her Mystery Not Of High Heels or Eye Shadoe
14. O Moon, Queen Of Night On Earth
15. These Bodies That Came To Cavort
16. We Had a Fight Last Night

Saturday, June 16

Date in Rotterdam

A friend of mine from Holland just pointed me towards this -  New Date in Rotterdam on Wednesday 15 August 2012 - lets hope for a big Jojo Summer tour!

Monday, June 11

One of the "Losts albums"

Dr Faustroll on his BLog is sharing with us one of Jonathan's many lost albums. This one has demos and alternate takes of songs from the 80's which eventually got released. And others stayed in the shadow.

The set list goes like this :

Track 01. I’m A Little Airplane
Track 02. The Morning Of Our Lives
Track 03. In The Checkout Line
Track 04. Try This Brand New Dance
Track 05. Theme From The Moulin Rouge [instrumental]
Track 06. And That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll
Track 07. Ancient And Long Ago#
Track 08. The Fenway*
Track 09. Not Yet Three+
Track 10. Stop This Car+
Track 11. Shirin And Fahrad#
Track 12. Walter Johnson*
Track 13. Five Year Old Feeling

+ finally released in a different version on 1983’s Jonathan Sings!
* finally released in a different version on 1985’s Rockin’ & Romance.
# finally released in a different version on 1986’s It’s Time For Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers.

Friday, June 8

Beth Harrington needs our help

Our friend, and  Modern Lover extraordinaire,  Beth Harrington needs the help of all music lovers to finalize her beautiful documentary project "the Winding Stream". I leave it to her to explain her goal below, please do your best to get this to happen!


The Winding Stream is officially in post-production and we are now seeking funds to get the film done by the end of 2012! This is a story that has never been told in its entirety and it's one that we feel really needs to be told. 

Our film is the saga of the family at the very heart of Americana music - the Carters and Cashes. This family has influenced generations of musicians and has produced a cultural legacy that is celebrated to this day, 85 years since the first Carter Family recordings.
 Our documentary is a big story about our culture and our history. It features lots of great performances and interviews with a wide range of country and roots music artists. But our most notable interview is the one with the legendary Johnny Cash, granted to us in the last weeks of his life. We believe he allowed this interview for one simple reason - he thought it was critically important that people know the Carter Family story. He felt he owed them. The Carters not only influenced the course of country music - the genre he loved and excelled in - with their songs, but they also influenced it by saving Johnny Cash's life.

In 2010, lots of folks through Kickstarter generously helped us complete principal photography. With that money we were able to finish shooting key interviews with Johnny and June's son, John Carter Cash and his wife Laura, as well as interviews with June's daughter Carlene Carter, family friends and other well-known musicians. [NOTE: See our website for the complete rundown]

 So now we have a bunch of great footage that needs to be incorporated into the cut we've been working on. Ideally, we're hoping we could raise enough to pay some folks who've been working very hard on this for years for little or no compensation - in particular, we're talking about our diligent and talented editor, but we'd also want to cover our animator/graphics people, our clearance people, our sound designer, our color corrector and other post-production people. That would get us to fine cut stage!

 But all that comes with a big price tag - $250,000. And frankly we're nervous about going for that amount on Kickstarter since, as you probably know, it's an all or nothing proposition. If we don't meet our goal, the project doesn't get funded. 

 Still, we're not complete cowards. So we're going to think about this in parts.

 We've already completed Phase 1 in 2010. We raised that money for the aforementioned principal photography. Done! Successful! Thanks!

Phase 2 launching now will pay for the rest of the editing and some other post-production costs. Plus the fees and rewards and postage attached to this campaign. That's $50,000.

Phase 3 depends on the success of Phase 2. Maybe we can exceed our Phase 2 goal of $50,000 now? Can we raise the remaining $200,000? Though it's unusual, there have been some Kickstarter film projects that have succeeded in raising that amount and more.

 Could The Winding Stream - the story of the legendary Carters and Cashes - be one of those historic Kickstarter campaigns?

 Can you help us get there? 

There's some urgency to our pitch beyond Kickstarter. In a recent conversation with folks at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, we learned that they are extremely interested in screening the film there, perhaps as a premiere event, and will focus some additional programming on the Carter Family as well. We can't think of anything better to be a part of. We want our film in the mix!

We have to get The Winding Stream done by the end of 2012!

We also have had interest from other museums (Country Music Hall of Fame, Experience Music Project), festivals and broadcasters, but obviously, we can't take advantage of their offers to show the film when it's not done yet.

 And because we'd like the film to "do well by doing good" we're also committed to doing benefit screenings for The Winding Stream for MusiCares, the Grammy Foundation's philanthropic arm that helps musicians in need. That work can't start happening until we get the film done!

We're grateful to have received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the Faerie Godmother Fund and the Roy W. Dean Grant. But films are expensive and with recent cutbacks in arts funding, this just hasn't been enough.

On several occasions, we've also encountered a skepticism among industry decision-makers who seem unsure that anyone cares about this story. But we know there's interest! We've had great support from the people who care about roots music, history, indie filmmaking and the world of rural America. We're hoping you folks are the ones who will help us get this film made.

 Please note that because The Winding Stream is being done in conjunction with the non-profit Center for Independent Documentary, your donation is tax deductible (minus the cost of your reward).

To our friends who've already helped us in the previous Kickstarter campaign, we say thanks again. You're the best. If you're inclined to pledge again, we'd be honored. But even if that's not in the cards for you, we hope you'll help spread the word to anyone you know who might share your enthusiasm for this project.

 The real success of a Kickstarter campaign relies on that exponential growth that occurs when you share our link and information about what we're doing! These campaigns grow only with your assistance. Please tell people about this film! Send them to this Kickstarter page and our website

 And please pass along any outreach ideas you have to us. We're giving this our all in the coming days but we can't get it done without you!

 Thanks a million.


 Beth Harrington and the gang down by The Winding Stream

Thursday, June 7

more like a party

CHICAGO – Robert Loerzal at Underground Bee on Jonathan Richman at the Pritzker Pavilion (June 4, 2012):

“It’s not a concert,” Jonathan Richman told the audience Monday night (June 4) at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park. “It’s supposed to be more like a party. That’s why I sang all the songs with the word ‘party.’” And indeed, Richman’s performance — like any Richman performance — didn’t feel like a normal concert. Not exactly a party, either. Not a party hosted by a normal person, anyway. Richman doesn’t seem like a normal person, and that’s much of the reason why it’s so entertaining and funny and touching to watch him play his music.

More (awesome photography too)

Wednesday, June 6

it all depends on the blue

Jonathan Richman Interview on Videowave via

Singer-Songwriter Johnathan Richman is interviewed in Maxwell's. by Dawn Eden. Episode #197. This is an old excerpt of a longer version from April '96.

Tuesday, June 5

Turquoise Taylor Grant 10/4/66 - 5/29/12

Turquoise Taylor Grant (via)

What will survive of us is love. (Philip Larkin)

In which Turquoise dreams that God turns out to be the lion Aslan and Heaven a nice trailer park filled with friends...

Turquoise (via)

Turquoise Taylor Grant, also known as Violet Veronica White, whose names were colors and whose favorite color was Emerald green, with robin's egg blue and sea glass hues not far behind; whose magical eyes changed colors from blue to green to grey depending on what she wore…

"Your Words Are Colors" - 5/29/12, by Emily Yates (via)

I wrote this song to honor the amazingness of Turquoise Taylor Grant, whose acquaintance I had the pleasure of making through her online writings in 2005. I was in the middle of my first deployment to Iraq, and had begun an online diary (before they were called by the unattractive name of "blogs") to combat anger, depression and loneliness during my year-long deployment. I spent my non-writing time reading other people's journals. Turquoise, or Violet, as I knew her, was one of those writers whose words were addictive. I read through all her old entries, with sore cheeks from laughing so very hard, and we began to correspond. She sent me at least one spectacular care package, probably more, and sent things like a blue foam wig and wallpaper samples with caricatures of her co-workers drawn on them with snarky captions. I dubbed her "Miss Vermont" due to her signing an email "V/T" for Violet/Turquoise. When I came home from Iraq and got out of the military, we stayed in touch, and actually hung out "in person" a few times. It was fabulous every time, of course. As was she. (Emily Yates)

Faithful friend of Jojoblog from times before it was conceived; vibrant woman-grrrl, lovely, lively, sweet, and kind; effusive, smart as a whip; glamorous sailboat-racer, even when (especially when) dressed in a sailor's anorak…

Singer/songwriter/strange bird of the band Strange Bird, and writer of witty greeting card captions; maker and mailer of mix cds and delightful mail art packages; brandisher of chic manicures and pedicures; fancy shoe and sticker hoarder; Gump's devotee and thrift store shopper…

Author/essayist/humorist of poignant truths, human foibles, snark, and confessional peccadilloes; ponderer of Big Questions; list-writer, artist, actress, office worker, extraordinary blogger

Heartbreakingly vulnerable and unflinchingly down to earth, light and life of parties, funny and fun-loving and brave with a strength beyond her tender reckoning…

Born in Boston, Massachusetts on 4 October 1966 with a lineage that may or may not have come over on the Mayflower, gone from this life in Ventura, California at daybreak on 29 May 2012 surrounded by love, surrounded by family…

She loved her beautiful Bengal cat, the splendid Kong, both for his luxurious spotted fur and for his ardor. They understood each other's wild roots and they shared mutual devotion...

She loved drinking Absolut Greyhounds. She loved fine china and crystal and sterling silver flatware and designer fabrics and gemstones and furs, not because she was a snob but because she loved exquisite things, because she herself was exquisite...

She loved watching Murder, She Wrote and Martha Stewart on television...

She loved her friends, she loved her angels, she was fascinated by ghosts…

Turquoise (via)

She lived on a boat in a marina for years with her longtime former companion the Keelhauler aka the Captain with whom she raced in regattas, some of them metaphorical. It was complicated…

I don't know what to say. I'm typing this through tears...

I've been struggling, faltering, barely keeping pace with my own challenges these past couple of years and had been unable to keep up with hers…

Turquoise is gone…

She loved Jonathan Richman's music, dreamed about him, and was a regular at his shows in the San Francisco area (and elsewhere, like in Paris for example, where she partied with our Jacques). It's likely many Jojoblog readers saw her dancing at those shows. She was old friends with Tommy Larkins from her days living in Tucson, where he's from…

For Turquoise: "They're Not Tryin' On The Dance Floor" by Jonathan Richman, by Emily Yates (via)

During the last couple weeks of her struggle with cancer, I told Turquoise I'd learn any Jonathan Richman songs she wanted me to, and would video myself playing them to send her. I was a day too late on this one, but here's my best effort. I owe Turquoise an ocean of thank-yous for asking me to learn this song, which she said was "under-appreciated." Luckily, she will never wear that label. Rest in peace, friend. (Emily Yates)

There's a chance (why not?) that she still dances at Jonathan and Tommy's shows. Look for her graceful presence tonight in Detroit at the Magic Stick. Her mystery's not of high heels or eye shadow- but most likely she will have the most perfect shoes and the most elegant eye makeup anyway. And the most delicate painted nails. Because she's like that. Because she is fabulous. Because she is foxy. Because she remains with us in our heart of hearts…

In which she will stay with us.

Turquoise (via)

Turquoise (Violet, Emerald) kept the most recent incarnation of her blog trilogy here, where her good friend will update news for memorial services and related information: still life with idiots

Some tributes/reminiscences:
becky haycox
leftyforjesus (has an image of Turquoise with her friend, and a wonderful painting she made of her mother)
Life in Scribbletown also here
spynotes – brian westbye
anne taintor

Be sure to view the slideshow images on anne taintor's site so you can see Turquoise's captions