Jonathan Richman | Hideout | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Sun., May 8, 8 p.m. 2011
Price: Sold out
From the beginning of his career more than 40 years ago—whether he was squaring the freaks with the precise Modern Lovers order of songs like "I'm Straight" and "Modern World" or extolling the glories of Stop & Shops and Massachusetts's Route 128 in "Roadrunner"—Jonathan Richman has embraced a Yankee contrarianism that's come to define him. By ignoring trends and faithfully upholding his own gosh-wow aesthetic of stripped-down, generally happy-footed rock 'n' roll, Richman has avoided the ignominy of, say, playing "Pablo Picasso" on the Riot Fest nostalgia circuit—and earned a devoted following along the way. With an oeuvre full of Dodge Veg-o-Matics, lonely financial zones, and Venice Beach rooming houses, Richman—for all the catchy-fun dance-worthy goofiness of his shows—is matched only by Ray Davies in his gift for finding beauty and transcendence in the ordinary. Though he's just a few days shy of 60, Richman tours as relentlessly as ever, and his most recent release, last year's O Moon, Queen of Night on Earth (Vapor), is familiar yet refreshing, full of perfectly Jojo numbers like the hilarious high school memoir "My Affected Accent," the earnestly romantic "It Was Time for Me to Be With Her," and a gentle yet direct request to wallflowers and buzz killers called "If You Want to Leave Our Party, Just Go." —Brian Costello



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