I saw Jonathan Richman last Thursday

In what’s become an annual tradition, I went to see Jonathan Richman last Thursday night. This time, he was in the Constellation Room at the Galaxy Theater. I’d never been there before but it’s a small room with a bar, some booths, and a small, though greatly raised, stage.

Jonathan and Tommy took the stage in there characteristic humble fashion with Jonathan carrying his guitar case onstage. Jonathan just plucked the guitar from its case, not bothering with a stand or even strap. He ran his own sound from the stage, occasionally stepping back from the mic to adjust the levels from the board on the stage. On one hand, I see things like that and think, well, he could get a couple of stands to use for the board or his guitar. But then, I realize, he doesn’t need those things. He does fine without. And that’s a great example of minimal music. He’s got the tools he needs already.

I liked seeing Jonathan in this room moreso than in the Detroit Bar where I saw him last year. It was a much closer show and really stripped of any rock trappings. That made a really cool night.