Artist of the Week: Jonathan Richman

19Feb08

Now I can’t promise that there will be an artist of the week every week, but this week it’s Jonathan Richman. Yeah I know he’s not new, but I rediscovered him and really thought about his work.

Now, I don’t have every album ever by him, but the songs I do I have I greatly enjoy. Each song says something about me in a storytelling like way. To me, he defined the new and current form of a “ditty”. He wrote ditties that were relatable, fun and still smart. “Action Packed” and “They’re Not Trying On The Dance Floor” are two of my old favorites. He kept up his unique stylings when he was in the band The Modern Lovers. (Check The Modern Lovers for more.) Scanning for more Jonathan Richman ditties, I came across a song about a lesbian bar. That’s another that combines my favorite elements. There’s story-telling, humor and sincerity.

For some reason, from somewhere, I remember hearing that he is credited with the birth of new wave. You can hear the same delivery and calypso inspired music in the Talking Heads and David Byrne, an infamous band known for New Wave.

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