Tag: Jonathan Richman

  • Lou Reed Rising

    Naked Lunch Becomes TV Dinner: The Rise of Punk Rock No “legendary” rock band of the 1960s has proven more legendary than the Velvet Underground. The name alone (before it was abbreviated by fans into “the Velvets”) carried a special resonance, evoking Genet decadence, whip-and-leather s&m, Warhol chic, and European ennui. And even though other urban […]

  • 1983 Pazz & Jop: Who Else? A Goddamn Critics’ Band, That’s Who Else

    Only rock critics will understand how such a thing could be, but for a while there it looked as if R.E.M.’s Murmur — known jocularly among skeptics as Mumble — might actually outdistance Michael Jackson’s Thriller in the 10th or 11th annual Pazz & Jop Critics’ Poll. This dire possibility reflected the ambivalence with which the most […]

  • Jonathan Richman

    Over 40 years into his career, Jonathan Richman remains one of underground rock’s most intriguing figures. His ’70s band Modern Lovers inspired punks like Sex Pistols and art rockers like John Cale, and then he achieved quasi-fame in the ’90s, thanks to an appearance with drummer buddy Tommy Larkins in There’s Something About Mary. He […]

  • Modern World

    After nearly 40 years of performing lovably idiosyncratic alt-folk music, Jonathan Richman remains as iconoclastic as ever. Although the lanky baritone put out 20 to 30 critically acclaimed LPs since the mid-’70s—including his work with the celebrated proto-punk group the Modern Lovers—and even appeared with his longtime drummer Tommy Larkins as the Greek chorus in […]

  • The Drums

    The Drums are a Brooklyn band that sound like a paint-by-numbers adaptation of glossy, mournful Britpop: Adroit at imitation, this year’s Portamento delights in smirking love songs (“I want to buy you something, but I don’t have any money,” repeats the chorus of their biggest hit “Money”) with pinball synths and frenetic Cure-melodrama. Live, frontman […]

  • Here Gets the Paris Syndrome

    In the immortal words of Jonathan Richman, “If you don’t think Paris was made for love/Give Paris one more chance.” But if you suffer from Paris Syndrome, also the title of Ex.Pgirl’s surreal dance-theater piece, one more chance could be dangerous to your health. Brought on by severe culture shock, Paris Syndrome is an allegedly […]

  • Re-Surrender to Jonathan Richman

    A couple years back, Jonathan Richman released a song called “You Can Have a Cell Phone That’s OK But Not Me.” It is, like most of his songs—”Our Party Will Be On the Beach Tonight,” “Give Paris One More Chance,” “True Love Is Not Nice,” “I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar”—fairly self-explanatory. Here he […]

  • Jonathan Richman

    When quirkier-than-quirky singer/songwriter Jonathan Richman last played New York, he attempted to turn up the Bowery Ballroom’s acoustics by turning off its air conditioning. . . in the middle of June. That made for the smelliest possible setting for the Modern Lover-cum-There’s Something About Mary troubadour’s odes to modern artists and everyday mundanity. By that […]

  • The Vic Chesnutt Band+Clare & the Reasons

    Now on Jonathan Richman’s label, Athens, GA’s favorite singer-songwriter has been pretty fruitful with two albums out this year on top of this tour. The live one, Skitter on Take Off, is mostly solo and pretty harrowing while the studio one, At the Cut, is spare and haunted. Rest assured, whichever persona he brings out […]

  • We Are Wizards Rambles through a Nation of Harry Potter Obsessions

    Pop eats itself with gusto, but it’s a meal only partially digested in this amiably rambling documentary on Harry Potter fandom. Director Josh Koury piles a bit of everything onto our plate, from riffing on the Potter mythos to describing tribute bands that proliferate like crazy while generating legions of fans all their own. The […]