Monday, November 26, 2007

good peeps: Jonathan Richman

"He's Stoned/And I'm Straight"

After the New York Football Giants played one of the worst games in the recorded history of man I knew there was only one way to cheer up. That's where Jonathan Richman comes into play. You may have heard us mention Richman's deadpan wit before, or perhaps your familiar with The Modern Lovers from LCD Soundsystem's history of indie chic "Losing My Edge" ("All the Modern Lovers records"), or maybe you've seen Farrelly Brothers classic There's Something About Mary and wondered who that skinny old dude that serenades you with a spanish guitar is. The answer, of course, is Jonathan Richman.

In his teens the Massachusetts native became infatuated with The Velvet Underground and moved to New York in search of all things VU. He found himself penniless and sleeping on the Velvet's managers couch. After an extended stay he moved back to Boston and formed The Modern Lovers with Jerry Harrison (future Talking Head) and David Robinson (of The Cars). Not a bad crew, respectively. The Modern Lovers are most famous as the fore bearers of punk rock's three chord progression, exemplified in classics like "Roadrunner" and "Pablo Picasso."

Richman's lyrics, often whimsical, come from a place so pure that some songs sound as if they could be credited to a Natick kindergarten class ("I'm a Little Dinosaur"). However, it's his simple sing song, often remiscent of 50's boogaloo ("Dodge Veg-o-matic"), that has endeared pop fans for over 35 years.

"Roadrunner Once/ Roadrunner Twice/ I'm in with Love Rock and Roll/ And I'll Be Out All Night"

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers- Roadrunner
Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers- Pablo Picasso
Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers- I'm a Little Dinosaur

"I Was Dancing at the Lesbian Bar" at the Knitting Factory, NYC

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