Under ordinary circumstances, I wouldn't have gone to this show, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to reciprocate Evonne's endless generosity, see Maudie, and report back to Andrew. Besides, it's been far too long since I've gone to the fabulous Make-Out Room.
Jonathan Richman, The Make-Out Room, October 1, 2006: As visitors to my apartment can tell you, the price of crashing on my couch is enduring my parade of concert posters and, in some cases, setlists. (If you hold the debatable honor of having been born around the same time as me and sharing a history of Anglophilia, you're also required to feign interest in my Star Hits collection, but that's another story.)
And that's exactly what I put Evonne through before I realized how many times I've seen Jonathan Richman live. Of course, there was last month's show, and I'll always remember the string of dates with Wilco in 2001. But I had completely forgotten about the opening slots for Belle & Sebastian (also in 2001). By that count, I guess I've seen Jonathan Richman at least half a dozen times now.
Fortunately, it turned out to be a great time, and it was easily the best Jonathan Richman show I've seen. I think it had something to do with the fact that he was the headliner and not the opener, so my attention was squarely on JoJo and Tommy. But everything was just right: the crowd, the club, the pacing of the show. JoJo himself wasn't as talkative as usual, owing to a callous on his vocal cords, but he was, as ever, engaging and, of course, dancing. He did a mix of old and new songs, and I actually recognized a few (errr, the Something About Mary tunes, anyway). I'll probably never be a JoJo faithful, but this evening, I totally got it.
» a verse, then a verse, and refrain