Jonathan Richman

Back in the early days of Late Night With Conan O’Brien, it wasn’t uncommon to see the wide-eyed visage of Jonathan Richman as the pompadoured host’s musical guest. Now that CoCo’s the starting pitcher for the talk-show big leagues, will he put the hugely influential Richman in the spotlight again? At age 58, the former Modern Lovers frontman has used the last four decades — and more than a dozen albums — to transform himself from punk-rock demigod to steadfast acoustic troubadour. But what’s never changed is Richman’s cautious enthusiasm for love, life and everything in between. From his high-profile role as the singer-narrator in There’s Something About Mary to the childlike optimism of songs such as “Ice Cream Man” and “I’m a Little Dinosaur,” it’s hard not to get caught up in JR’s charisma. We know it’s been a few years, Conan, but this is one act you need to reconnect with.

Categories: Music