BEING THERE: Jonathan Richman @ Union Transfer

Photo by JOSH PELTA-HELLER Jonathan Richman’s shows are a meandering montage from start to finish, what might at first seem like an ill-advised marriage of classical guitar noodling, musings in various languages, vaudevillian song and dance, psychedelic storytelling and outright highly stylized stand-up comedy, with and without musical accompaniment. There’s no opener, and no encore. His show is short — just over an hour — and performed casually, intimately by Richman and his longtime drummer Tommy Larkins, before the rapt attention of a room of devoted followers. Where many performers seem to struggle to preserve audience attention or to outplay […]

REVIEW: Jonathan Richman At First Unitarian

[Illustration via EDGEART] BY JONATHAN VALANIA If Jonathan Richman didn’t already exist, we would have never thought to invent him, which is a testament to both his originality and the shortcomings of our collective imagination. For more than 35 years, Richman has been a tireless advocate of hopeful romanticism, rugged individualism and unyielding optimism, travelling the world like some post-modern Jimmy Stewart with a guitar telling anyone that would listen that, despite all the hard-bitten cynicism that surrounds him, it’s still a wonderful life. He is, in short, the immaculate heart on the dirty sleeve of rock n’ roll. Performing […]