Jonathan Richman

Modern Love: Jonathan Richman casts some 5 o’clock shadow.

To simply call Jonathan Richman "quirky" is to simply call the late Tiny Tim "weird." Once described as the "Godfather of Punk" primarily for his band the Modern Lovers' song "Roadrunner" (director Richard Linklater once called it the first punk song), Richman's 30-plus-year career has seen him careen wildly between his early Velvet Underground/Talking Heads art-rock stylings to softer solo material. Amazingly prolific — he's released at least 28 albums, not counting compilations — Richman has pin-balled around the rock world, recording with all sorts of odd ensembles and singing in at least five languages. His work has been covered by the Sex Pistols, John Cale, David Bowie and Joan Jett, while his music has inspired bands like Weezer, Nerf Herder, Violent Femmes and They Might Be Giants. After Richman and ever-present drummer Tommy Larkins nearly stole the Farrelly Brothers' 1998 film There's Something About Mary, his visibility increased even further over the past few years with numerous guest spots on Late Night With Conan O'Brien. His semi-comedic 1992 cult hit "I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar" remains an evergreen of Richman's massive repertoire.

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