Sunday, May 2, 2010

Surrender to Jonathan Richman

Jonathan Richman is the childlike, stubborn, deliberately antiquated, overwhelmingly delightful creator of a uniquely golden thread of kindness in the dark fabric of punk rock. For more than 35 years, since singing about being sober and loving his parents on the still incredible Modern Lovers eponymous debut released way back in 1976, he has been the quiet revolutionary in a striped jersey at the front of the room. His simple, elegant, quietly euphoric touring show features only himself and long-time drumming companion Tommy Larkins reminiscing about New York ("The demolishing of an old building/Brings the smell of 1890 to the breeze") giving relationship advice ("Don't lecture her/you'll remind her of her father") and rejecting the accoutrements of the modern world ("If we think we can cheat sorrow/well, we can't.").

Hearing him sing is a pleasure. Watching him dance is indescribably life-affirming. He manages to channel Prince, Elvis and Ricky Ricardo all the while playing tribute his beloved Velvet Underground. Jonathan plays at the Tractor Tavern on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 4th and 5th. Tickets available here.

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