[MODERN LOVER] “Once I was young and intense,” sang Jonathan Richman on 2008’s Because Her Beauty Is Raw and Wild.
We remember, Jon. That was the Jonathan Richman who declared he’d “go insane if you won’t sleep with me,” who said he won’t pretend to like a girl “when she makes me feel appalled.” The new Jonathan Richman—who has actually been around for 30-plus years—is more likely to compare himself to a little airplane than complain about not getting laid. But the memory of that brasher, nervier artist hangs over Richman’s nevertheless unique discography, if only because it lasted for one single, agitated burst. Before his first group, the Modern Lovers, even finished its classic self-titled debut, Richman wanted to scrap what it recorded and try a mellower, island-influenced sound. He’s been exploring and refining it ever since, right up to his last album, 2010’s O Moon, Queen of Night on Earth.
But Richman remains a punk at heart: Last year, he played a three-night stand at Northeast Alberta Street dive the Know. This show is at a theater more proportional to his legacy, but Richman has a way of making every performance feel impossibly intimate.
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