Jonathan Richman sanded some of the edge off of the cold-stare aesthetic of the Velvet Underground. Richman and his band, the Modern Lovers, brought a radical celebration of simple and timeless pleasure to a rebellious music movement that was throwing away tradition.
“Well, the old world may be dead / Our parents can’t understand / But I still love my parents and I still love the old world,” sang Richman in 1972.
As a solo artist, Richman brought a joyous childlike naivete to post-punk music, writing songs that were essentially odes to things like baseball, candy wrappers, Vincent Van Gogh, the New England winter, doo-wop, summer and other sources of happiness. Richman’s music has had a shadow life in the soundtracks of some landmark movies. Richman appeared and sang in the 1998 film “There’s Something About Mary.” A version of his song “Pablo Picasso” was featured in “Repo Man,” and “Road Runner” was used in the film “School of Rock.”
Richman, 66, is a living legend who helped shape the various strains that became known as college rock, alternative and indie music over the years. A relentless touring performer, Richman is an inspired eccentric with the work ethic of an artisanal craftsman.
Jonathan Richman performs at Fairfield Theater Company’s Stage One, 70 Sanford St., Fairfield, on Thursday, March 1, at 7:45 p.m. Tickets are $25. 203-259-1036 or fairfieldtheatre.org.