Jonathan Michael Richman -- we like to call him "JoJo" -- is 60 years young today. He has spent 40 of these making the kind of music to make you fall in love. Some was created with the Modern Lovers and some without. Whether the songs are in English or Spanish or French or Portuguese, they always express warm sincerity and clever, to-the-heart ingenuity. The love implied here is a transcendent sort: with and/or through JoJo, you can fall in love with simplicity, cities, your best friend, adventures big ("Give Paris One More Chance") and small ("I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar").
As a longtime fan of the Velvet Underground, his earlier recordings with the Modern Lovers reflect a similarly detached, speaking-as-singing aesthetic (see: "
"), though his style was always sweeter, funnier, more distinctly JoJo. Fast-forward to now: He's a hero, a pioneer of a style that's witty and hilarious and totally punk (maybe even theGodfather of Punk
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Jonathan Richman, now - "My Affected Accent," from O Moon, Queen of Night on Earth