With his Spanish-y guitar, childlike flow, and gawky but gentle rock 'n' roll vibrato, Jonathan Richman is the kind of willful romantic optimist who asks: Is the lullaby the lie? Or is the real lie everything lullabies help you forget? Time and again, he reminds you what's important, as if harmonizing directly with the hum of the earth: "You Must Ask the Heart," "Springtime in New York," "Time Has Been Going By So Fast," and the proto-punk "Road Runner" (to which M.I.A. and Art Brut are only the most recent spiritual debtors). Last year's O Moon, Queen of Night on Earth contains more classics, including one about how bodies were meant for better things than sitting all day. 18+. (Photo by Quique Lopez)
Fri., May 6, 9 p.m., 2011
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