Sunday, March 01, 2015

No Sun Partisan He

Our friend Mark Baker was in town to install some rare old photographs of Atlanta's Cabbagetown neighborhood over at the Powerhouse. Why did he do that? I am happy to tell you! The Isom Center, the Southern Foodways Alliance, and others are hosting a Cabbagetown retrospective at 7 PM on March 19. You should attend! Among the other treats will be live performances from Bill Taft and Caroline Young, who will read her poetry about that place. There will be a rare screening of BENJAMIN SMOKE, Jem Cohen's lauded documentary about Bill's old band. Also: food! We walked up with Mr. Baker last night to see Jonathan Richman perform in the intimate setting of Proud Larry's. Many familiar faces in the crowd: Dent May is visiting from his new home in Los Angeles. Jimmy came up from New Orleans for the show. Mary Miller! Bill Boyle! A respectable crowd, but small enough that you could get to know every face in it. Jonathan Richman just walked in off the street and through the front door with his guitar case, stepped onto the stage and started playing with zero fuss. His stone-faced drummer hopped up from the bar and joined him. He sang a song thanking the sun for allowing us to grow peas and corn. Then, as if to prove he's not strictly a sun worshipper, he reminded us that sometimes (I think I have this right) "we want to paddle our own canoe into the sinister darkness." He sang a song about it. "He's a mesmerist!" said Dr. Theresa, trying to describe Jonathan Richman's crazy dance moves after the show. "It's like he's looking THROUGH us!" Will McIntosh reportedly whispered to Dr. Theresa during the performance. Jonathan Richman bridged each song with fancy guitar licks so that there were no pauses, no places to clap. We clapped anyway, when we could.