Jonathan Richman feat. Tommy Larkins

August 1, 2017 - 9:00pm

On Tuesday, August 1, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and KRVM proudly welcome to the WOW Hall: LIVE! ON STAGE JONATHAN RICHMAN featuring TOMMY LARKINS ON THE DRUMS!

“We don’t do concerts, we do parties,” states Jonathan Richman.

Richman has been playing music, recording and touring for most of his life.  In the early 1970s, Jonathan formed the noted band The Modern Lovers.  Tommy Larkins was in the groups Naked Prey, Giant Sand and other popular bands in Tucson, Arizona.

In the years since Jonathan performed here in support of 2010’s O Moon, Queen of Night on Earth, heavy efforts have been made to name his ’70s cult classic anthem “Roadrunner” the official state rock song of his native Massachusetts. The campaign has hit a few road bumps and snags, but hope is not totally lost for the Modern Lovers track.

“There’s a simplicity and ease to Jonathan Richman — Modern Lovers founder and frontman and overall pop-rock purveyor — that borders on enigmatic,” reports Village Voice. “This applies not only to his quirky, whimsical musical worldview, but also to the man himself. Even at 64, Richman exudes an air of boyish wonderment that cannot be fatigued.”

Richman’s latest release is Ishkode! Ishkode! on his new home, Cleveland based record label Blue Arrow Records.  “Ishkode” means “fire” in the Ojibwe language.

“[That] reflects the temperature of this release,” Blue Arrow writes, “a slow simmer, sensory anticipation, and a pleading desire to address the complete range of possibilities that we can extend ourselves.”

In the title track, “Ishkode! Ishkode!”, Jonathan Richman’s angular guitar contrasts with the slinky shuffle of the song. Richman “opens up” on an elementary level and sets the tone for the rest of the album; explorations in experiences. “Wait! Wait!”, a joyous romp, leads us down the path to the revelation that there is a primal beauty in simplicity. Richman’s voice is emotive and plaintive, with the backup vocals acting as conscience, inner voice made audible to affirm these thoughts and desires.

“In Let Me Do This Right!” and “Outside O’Duffy’s”, Richman sings “love, love, love” as a mantra. These themes of love are woven through all the songs; universal love, personal love, romantic love. We are faced with the manifesto of someone completely enamored with the human experience. Without pretense we are exposed to an earnest love letter to the universal. Jonathan Richman unburdened.

“At the point in his career where the attention he gets is mainly from longtime superfans, Jonathan Richman remains on a genuinely independent path, stubbornly so,” reports Pop Matters. “His latest is countercultural, in that you won’t find it on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, et al., but you can buy it directly from the record label…  Ishkode! Ishkode! is one of the best albums he’s released in the last two decades, though he’s released a lot of great ones in the time.”

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door.  Doors open at 8:00 pm and showtime is 9:00.

Door Time: 
August 1, 2017 - 8:00pm
Cost: 
$15 Advance, $19 Day of Show