BACKSTAGE PASS

There’s something about Jonathan Richman


Singer/songwriter Jonathan Richman performs Wednesday at High Dive. (Courtesy of Jonathan Richman)

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 1:21 p.m.

If you were alive in the ’90s and had any sort of sense of humor, then you found “There’s Something About Mary” hilarious. Now that I’ve jogged your memory, remember the music? The funny little Greek chorus running throughout the film? That was Jonathan Richman, former lead singer of the Boston-based proto-punk band the Modern Lovers. The Modern Lovers (the original line-up had Jerry Harrison, later of Talking Heads, on keyboard) were incredibly influential to any aspiring punker who had too much talent to just play Sex Pistols covers in someone’s basement.

One could argue the music Richman wrote was softer, subtler and more nuanced than his New York neighbors, The Ramones, but a bit more wacky and powerful than the radio pop that was popular at the time like The Doobie Brothers. His vocal style, too, is often more sentimental and restrained, with more than just a hint of humorous melancholy.

Richman has played Gainesville about once a year for as long as anyone can remember, and each performance is just a little more whimsical than the last. If you haven’t spent any time with his music, do yourself a huge favor and listen to the Modern Lovers’ 1985 album, “Rockin’ and Romance,” for the foreseeable future and head on down to High Dive on Wednesday to catch what is sure to be a magical performance, starting at 9 p.m.

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Tonight, Los Angeles shoe-gazers Thread play with those funky, Marvin Gaye-esque hipsters, Wester Joseph’s Stereo Vudu, at High Dive starting at 9 p.m.

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Gainesville’s favorite cover band The Shoddy Beatles performs Friday with South Carolina’s Urban Praise Band at High Dive, starting at 9 p.m.

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Local post-hardcore duo Daggerz plays Friday with alt-rockers The Future Now and the local experimental two-piece, Half Undressed, at The Atlantic starting at 10 p.m.

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Local indie band-made-good Hundred Waters plays with Orlando’s Maximino, hip-hop extraordinaires MSNRA and plenty of dee jays to go around Friday at The Elestial Sound Headquarters, starting at 9 p.m.

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The medical students down at UF are putting together a little fundraiser on Friday at Loosey’s for medical mission trips with performers including The Hamstrings, Victorand the Frog, Gutman and Friends, The Nocturnal Squirrels and The ‘Nauts, starting at 9 p.m.

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Saturday at High Dive, regional country-music star Jamie Davis and his band perform with an acoustic set by EFen followed by the JB Crockett Band, starting at 9 p.m.

Contact Scott Kauffmann at kauffmann1987@gmail.com.

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