Tuesday, December 24

sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

Image: RB

Rudolph (mp3 via Bob!)

Happy holidays to Jojoblog friends and family! I hope you all have had a chance to read Ramon's story! Heartfelt thanks to Ramon for sharing this staggeringly generous project and much love to Nugrape for everything!


A rarity now up on Youtube:

Jonathan Richman - "Living Room Demos" aka "Solo Acetate" EARLY DEMOS (1973/1974) via Isak Borg


Jonathan Richman's 'Roadrunner' is still in the running to be Massachusett's official state rock song, introduced in a bill to be churned through the legislature by Boston's mayor-elect Marty Walsh and championed by progressive activist Joyce Linehan. Read the eloquent testimony she delivered at the 12/19/13 hearing:

I am proud to say I am the person who asked Representative Walsh, now Boston Mayor-elect, back in January, to introduce this bill. As you have undoubtedly heard, he has had an interesting year, and in a funny way, this Roadrunner campaign became a cornerstone of a forward thinking arts and culture policy that I would argue helped in some small way to propel him to victory. As his campaign Policy Director, and currently his Transition co-chair, I can say the subject comes up frequently, because to a group of dedicated fans of the iconic song who understand it symbolizes hope and optimism while professing its love of our home state, it is important. (read more)

Aerosmith's 'Dream On' is the other contender for the job of Massachusetts state rock song but no one showed up at the hearing to push for it, not even the song's sponsor.


Interesting video documentary coming along with all sorts of The Bostonians from the 70s, many familiar to Jojoblog's readers from our own beloved Jacques's long running series:
The explosion of Boston’s punk rock music scene in the 1970s was a turning point in the lives of many who came of age in nightclubs like the Rat and Cantone’s, hearing bands such as the Real Kids and the Neighborhoods. Chris Parcellin remembered the thrill of traveling with his brothers from their home in Malden to Boston to see these nascent bands, and he wanted to document the experience. (read more)

Boys From Nowhere: The Story of Boston's Garage Punk Uprising via boysfromnowhere


On the tour front, Jonathan Richman and Tommy Larkins have been as busy as ever, with lots of good shows in 2013. A roundup of just a few:

Nashville, 6/23/13 (The Stone Fox):

As Larkins followed every nuance with telepathic grace, Richman remained a body in motion, dancing a perpetual wiry flamenco, moving his guitar around his microphone to change its tone, striking poses like an ancient fresco. Nothing struck us as particularly childlike about this show; sticking mostly to his catalog from the past 10 years, Richman told stories and expounded on philosophical meditations using an adult's elevated language, and occasionally, other languages — Spanish, French and Italian — but never becoming pedantic. Verses were determined by the flow of the narration, not by any mathematical construct. Sometimes they were strung together between choruses, peppered with asides and anecdotes in a range of voices recalling Andy Kaufman or Robin Williams on the standup circuit. During Richman's impressive but tastefully restrained solos, he stared into space, the screens open, channeling instructions from somewhere else. (read more)

Milwaukee, 11/14/13 (Shank Hall):

The A.V. Club: As an early disciple of Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, do you have any thoughts or stories to share about Reed in light of his recent passing?

Jonathan Richman: Yes. Aside from being exceptionally nice and patient with me, they also, in letting me watch them rehearse at their sound checks, allowed me to learn about sound itself and, by watching them improvise, about improvisation itself.

Lou Reed was my musical hero, and I watched the whole band very closely. I was lucky enough to see them with John Cale many times, too—which were adventures in sound that still affect the music I make. My boyhood hero has changed worlds, I see, but I can hear his speaking voice instructing me, reprimanding me. (I really was a little brat and I started hanging around them when I was sixteen.) He seemed to play guitar in color! He instructed the band onstage; they made new sounds and song structures every time you saw them. (read more)

NYC, 11/21/13, 11/22/13 (Bowery Ballroom)

But even as Richman’s music has grown more complex and sophisticated, he’s retained a faith in simple presentation. Alone onstage, with the exception of Tommy Larkins, who has drummed with him for most of the last twenty years, Richman performs without anything approaching a gimmick. There’s no light show. There’s no complicated choreography. There’s no crowd-sourced set list created in real time via Twitter. (read more)

Philadelphia, 11/22/13 (Union Transfer):

He even managed to fit in a tribute to his “boyhood hero,” Lou Reed, recounting a story of his sixteen-year old self meeting The Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol at a show in Boston. Richman confessed to Warhol that he didn’t understand his art. Warhol replied, “Yes you do.” (read more)

Austin, 11/27/13 (Continental Club):

Jonathan Richman via Pete Minda


Never seen a commercial for one of Jonathan Richman's albums before? Here you go! You're welcome!

A 30-Sec Commercial for Jonathan Richman via It's Terrific Pictures


A gift, from BabylonShadow, from the great show at the Mint in Los Angeles, 12/5/13. During 'Bohemia' (approx. at 31 minutes) Jonathan extolls for a little while about Velvet Underground, Sterling Morrison, and Lou Reed.

1) No One Was Like Vermeer

2) Let Her Go Into The Darkness
3) Keith Richards

4) I Was Dancing At The Lesbian Bar

5) Bohemia
6) Le Printemps Des Amoureux Est Venu

7) The Honeymoon Is Over/ Give Paris One More Chance

8) That Summer Feeling

9) I Took A Chance On Her

10) A Que Vinimos Sino A Caer

11) When We Refuse To Suffer

12) I'm In A Dancing Mood/ 007 (Shanty Town)

13) The Old World

14) La Festa E Galactica


Jonathan Richman...having a dance at The Mint in Los Angeles via dorinda_roberts


Everyone have a great holiday and a wonderful New Year. Dance a lot, be safe, and smart, and take care.