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Jonathan Richman 

When: Fri., Jan. 23, 9:30 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 24, 9:30 p.m. 2009
Price: $15

Jonathan Richman abandoned his rock band, the Modern Lovers, in 1976, shortly after his song "Roadrunner" became an underground hit. He wanted people to pay attention to his lyrics and swam against the tide for a while with a stripped-down presentation that was a precursor to the anti-folk movement of the '90s. Richman's rock and pop songs were full of optimism and sunshine and, presented in with acoustic or quiet electric guitars, made him an underground favorite until his unlikely star turn as the musical narrator in the 1998 film There's Something About Mary. He currently tours with drummer Tommy Larkins, whose understated approach is perfect for Richman's guileless, poignant music-making.Jonathan Richmanplays the Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) on Friday, Jan. 23 and Saturday, Jan. 24. 9:30 p.m., $20. StarryPloughPub.com


— j. poet

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