When I saw that Jonathan Richman was touring again it struck me with the same giddy surprise that happens every time his music shows up in my life. My spastic reaction upon hearing "I'm a Little Airplane" on Sesame Street was one of the first times my son looked at me with the sober judgment that I was totally nuts.
I wish that I could go see Jonathan Richman this Tuesday at the Lion's Lair. It is surely one of those missed shows that'll stick in my memory with super glue regret. I've heard his live shows are amazing and put real meaning into the word "live." I bet he makes you smile. I can't say first hand though, having only heard recorded stuff. I know he pulls off stuff that would, sung out of other mouths, make me cringe at the sappiness, but with Richman, I somehow believe it's all right.
It all comes back to this: Sincerity is a hard thing to judge. I've written that before and I expect I will again, but Jonathan Richman just radiates sincerity as brilliantly as the real star he is. It feels rare to run into any artist, hell, anybody is truly sincere anymore. Sincerity is boring, irony is fun. But not too fun. Not like Jonathan Richman.
And seeing him at Denver's little ol' Lion's Lair. Incredible.