Few artists hold as much universal respect as Jonathan Richman, so if you don't make it to his show at the Continental Club tonight, you might as well slap your favorite musicians in the face.
In the early 1970s Richman spearheaded The Modern Lovers, a protopunk band that took a heavy dose of influence from The Velvet Underground. But even though the band disbanded before their vinyl was eventually released, The Modern Lovers still became highly influential with artists ranging from The Sex Pistols to Weezer citing them as inspiration.
From his punk roots, Richman has evolved into a wry, but still wide-eyed observer of the world. Richman's irony doesn't depend on detachment.. If anything, he seems trapped inside his own quirky, absurdist fables in songs like "You're Crazy For Taking the Bus" and "I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar." It's this dual role of court jester and naïf that makes him so perfect for his cameos in the Farrelly Brothers' "Kingpin" and "There's Something About Mary."
There's an incredible intimacy to Richman's live shows and fans tend to crowd the stage. There's gold in his throw-away asides, his exasperated eye rolls and his resigned shoulder shrugs. And the truth is, everything he touches is gold.
Jonathan Richman will be playing with Tommy Larkins on drums. Tickets are $15.